The Hundred of Wangford was incorporated for the support of its poor, under Gilbert's Act, in 1764; & in the following year, the guardians & overseers of the 27 parishes (Southelmham, All Saints & St Nicholas being united as one) erected a large House of Industry at Shipmeadow, about 3 miles from Beccles & Bungay, at the cost of about £8500. This Workhouse has room for about 450 paupers, & since the incorporation was dissolved, & the Hundred formed into a union under the new Poor Law Commissioners, its internal arrangements have been considerably altered so as to admit of a better classification of the sexes, & the aged & young.
8 guardians are elected for the 2 parishes of Bungay , 6 for Beccles. 2 each for 8 of the other larger parishes, & `1 each for the 16 smaller parishes. The total expenditure for the relief of the poor of the 27 parishes, during the quarter ending Mar 21, 1843, was £1748.2s.1+d, exclusive of £8.17s.6d for registration fees & £6.9s6d for vaccination fees. Richard W Clarke esq, is Union Clerk for Beccles & Supt.Registrar. Mr William Stanford is relieving officer for Beccles ... Mr Robert Butcher is relieving officer for Bungay.Mr Thomas & Mrs Balls are master & matron of the Workhouse, which had 261 inmates in 1811, 206 in 1821, 250 in 1831 & 133 in 1841, when the census was taken in those years.
Source: White Directory 1844 - p 411
Submitted by Betty Longbottom
Page updated March 12, 2008 by Rossbret