Blaby Poorlaw Union



  • The Poorlaw Union was the census Registration District. It made sense to use an existing political structure to manage the census.
  • The 1871 census shows 53 paupers in residence.


  • The Blaby Union was established by the 1834 Poorlaw Amendment Act and was formed in February, 1836.
  • The Blaby Union included 22 parishes; Aylestone, Blaby, Braunstone, Cosby, Countesthorpe, Croft, Enderby, Foston, Freakes Ground, Glenfield, Glen Parva, Huncote, Kilby, Kirby Muxloe, Knighton, Leicester Forest East, Leicester Forest West, Leicester New Found Pool, Lubbesthorpe, Narborough, New Parks, Oadby, Potters Marston, Thurlaston, Whetstone and Wigston Magna.
  • The number and names of parishes in the Union would vary over time, up to 30. Later Additions: Braunstone Frith (from 1861), East Wigston (from 1894), Freakes Ground (1862-91), Glenfield Frith (from 1861), Kilby Frith (from 1861), Knoll and Bassett House (1861-1909), New Found Pool (1862-91), New Parks (from 1862).
  • In 1836, the Poor Law Commissioners authorised an expenditure of £4,400 on construction of the building which was to accommodate 350 inmates.
  • A new Blaby Union workhouse was erected in Enderby parish about 1 mile east of the village of Enderby in 1837. While it was being built, the existing Wigston Magna workhouse was rented and used.
  • After the abolishment of the Poorlaw Unions in 1930, the former workhouse became the "Enderby House County Home" providing accommodation mainly for the elderly and chronic sick. The old buildings were demolished in the late 1960s and replaced by modern premises for accommodating the elderly.
  • The Board of Guardians met on alternate Tuesdays at the Workhouse.
  • The Union covered, on average, 21,695 acres.

Inventories, Registers, Catalogues

These documents can be viewed at the Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland in Wigston Magna:

  • The Board of Guardians' minutes (1836-1930).
  • The Blaby Poorlaw Union Births (1867-1926).
  • The Blaby Poorlaw Union Deaths (1866-1914).
  • The Blaby Poorlaw Union Creed register (1899-1938).
  • The Blaby Poorlaw Union Punishment book (1914-1927).
  • The Blaby Poorlaw Union Bathing register (1914-1939).
  • The Blaby Poorlaw Union Admission and Discharge Registers (1911-1936).

Remember that some records may be restricted by the 100-year closure laws and regulations, established to protect individual privacy.


These figures are the total for all the parishes in the Blaby Poorlaw Union. The Workhouse often held only about 50 inmates.

Year Inhabitants
1831 13,061
1861 14,171
1871 14,814
1881 21,853
1891 21,695
1901 24,973
1911 27,764


  • 1849: Henry GILLOTT, workhouse master; William GREGORY, clerk to the Board; Rev. A. R. HARRISON, chaplain, Mrs. GILLOTT, workhouse matron.
  • 1881: Thomas SHEPPARD, Clerk to the Board of Guardians; Henry HILL, workhouse master; John YOUNG, sugeon; Rev. Charles KING, chaplain, Mrs. Elizabeth HILL, workhouse matron.
  • 1899: Benjamin Arthur SQUIRES, Clerk to the Board of Guardians; William Unwin HEYGATE, Treasurer (also for Billesdon); Alfred ORMSTON, workhouse master; John YOUNG, medical officer; Rev. A. F. AYLWARD, chaplain; Mrs. M. J. ORMSTON, workhouse matron.
  • 1912: Rev. Warwick WHITELEY, chairman; Benjamin Arthur SHIRES (Sp. ?), Clerk to the Board of Guardians; Samuel Francis STONE, Treasurer (also for Billesdon); James CARRINGTON, workhouse master; Samuel Barrett COUPER, medical officer; Rev. A. F. AYLWARD, chaplain; Mrs. James CARRINGTON, workhouse matron.
  • For a complete list of officers, staff and inmates in 1881, see the Ross Brett Workhouse site.