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YORK Poor Law Union and Workhouse

York Poor Law Union was declared 19th June 1837. 

A building of brick to hold 607 inmates, Huntingdon Road; 
John MOFFITT, master; 
Rev. E Storrs FOX M.A., chaplain; 
Sydney H SMITH, medical officer; 
Mrs Isabella MOFFITT, matron.
The York Union also had 3 out-relief unions - 

  • Flaxton - comprising of 25 townships, population 1901 was 6,042
  • Escrick - 17 townships with a population in 1901 of 5,214.
  • Bishopthorpe - 6 parishes - population in 1901 was 1,960 

In addition to York being an out-relief union as well.
The population of York Union as a whole in 1901 was 91,656
Kelly's Directory 1909
Submitted by Andy Kerridge

The workhouse was erected 1848 to 1849 on Huntingdon Road, from designs by John and William Atkinson, architects.

The Builder 1868 Vol XXVI 952 pp
4th January 1868
020 York Workhouse Chapel & Dining room Lately Mr J. L. Forster, one of the guardians of the York Union, applied to the Board for permission to undertake the decoration of the large room in this workhouse which is used as a chapel and also as a dining-hall. Leave was given, and the funds were provided by a private subscription. Mr. J.W.Knowles, of this city, mural decorator, carried out the work. The ceiling, which is divided in certain places with beams (supported by pillars), has been coloured a warm buff, and thrown into panels by an ornament of a darker shade. The walls from the ceiling to the window-heads is coloured the same buff as the ceiling; from thence down to the dado they are sage green, having ornamented bands of a deep yellow and red running across horizontally, the intermediate spaces being filled with fleur-de-lis of a darker green. On the face of each pillar, which is coloured grey and deep yellow alternately, is a fret in Indian red, banded by a style of sage green. A fret is also stencilled under each beam. The seats have also been stained and varnished.
Source: Submitted by Alan Longbottom

Escrick appears not to have had a workhouse in 1909. The following introduced the section on Out Relief "By Local Government Order, Escrick has been formed into an Out Relief District, from York Union, and under the provisions of the "Local Government Act, 1894" (56+57 vict), A Rural District has been formed."
There were 18 parishes/townships within this district, with a population in 1901 of 5,214.
Submitted by Andy Kerridge

Useful Links
Link to York Poor Law Records

Page updated 12 March, 2008
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