Lutterworth Poorlaw Union



  1. The Lutterworth Workhouse: from the Lutterworth History Group, Price £4. (Probably the same book as listed below.)
  2. The Lutterworth Workhouse, ed. Roz Bailey, Lynda Hill and Brian Wilkinson (Lutterworth Local History Group, 1998). Price £3 + £1 p&p) from Lynda Hill, at 39, Mulberry Close, Lutterworth, LE17 4DF.
  3. Lutterworth Workhouse Index: a finding aid for inmates 1808-1900 by Roz Bailey and Lynda Hill. Price £3.50 + £1 p&p from above address.


  • 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 79 paupers in residence. In 1911, 60 inmates were in residence there.
  • The table below gives census piece numbers, where known:
Piece No.
1841H.O. 107 / 598
1861R.G. 9 / 2247
1891R.G. 12 / 2490


  • There had been a Lutterworth House of Industry established here circa 1721. The House had a cow for milk, a hog in the yard, and a small garden for vegetables. At the formation of the Poorlaw unions, it was clear that the House of Industry would be too small.
  • The Lutterworth Poor Law Union was established by the 1834 Poorlaw Amendment Act and was formed on 10 December, 1835.
  • The Lutterworth Union included 37 parishes, most in Leicestershire; Arnesby, Ashby Magna, Ashby Parva, Bittesby, Bitteswell, Broughton Astley, Bruntingthorpe, Catthorpe, Great Claybrook [Claybrooke Magna], Little Claybrook [Claybrooke Parva], Copston Magna, Gilmorton, North Kilworth, South Kilworth, Cotesbach, Dunton Bassett, Frowlesworth [Frolesworth], Gilmorton, Kimcote, Knaptoft, Leire, Lutterworth, Misterton, Monks Kirby, Peatling Magna, Peatling Parva, Shawell, Shearsby, Stretton-under-Foss, Swinford, Ullesthorpe, Walton in Knaptoft, Wibtoft, Wigston Parva (until 1895), Willey, Willoughby Waterless, and the parish of Welford, electorally in Northampton.
  • The number and names of parishes in the Union would vary over time. In June of 1895, Wigston Parva was transfred to the Hinckley Poorlaw Union, Westrill and Starmore from the Rugby Poorlaw Union were folded into Lutterworth and Welford was transfered to the Market Harborough PLU.
  • A new Lutterworth Union workhouse was erected in 1839-40 at the far end of the old Wood Market on Woodmarket Road in Lutterworth. It was built to hold up to 200 inmates. In 1911 it held 60.
  • After the abolishment of the Poorlaw Unions in 1930, the former workhouse became a Public Assistance Institution. After 1948, it became an old people's home under the name of "Woodmarket House." The old workhouse buildings were demolished in 1969 and replaced with new accommodation for the Woodmarket residential home.
  • The Board of Guardians met on alternate Thursdays at the Workhouse in the Board Room.
  • The Union covered, on average, 58,000 acres.

Inventories, Registers, Catalogues

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

  1. The Board of Guardians' minutes (1835-1930).
  2. The Lutterworth Poorlaw Union Births (1847-1932).
  3. The Lutterworth Poorlaw Union Deaths (1847-1914).
  4. The Lutterworth Poorlaw Union Creed register (1899-1939).

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 Lutterworth Poorlaw Union. The 1871 census reports only 79 inmates in the Workhouse itself. The average number of inmates was 38.



  • 1849: James DRIVER, Clerk to the Board; Robert SPACKMAN, surgeon; George Waring CARTWRIGHT, workhouse master; Mrs.. Selina CARTWRIGHT, workhouse matron.
  • 1881: James DRIVER, Clerk to the Board; Rev. Robert SEDDON, chaplain; Thomas MEASURES, workhouse master; Mary Elizabeth MEASURES, workhouse matron; Herbert W. FAGGE, medical officer; Elizabeth FOSTER, nurse; Charles H. EVANS, porter.
  • 1912: Joseph Parker TOONE, chairman; Thomas Coaton BODYCOTE, Clerk to the Board of Guardians; Samuel Francis STONE, Treasurer (also for Billesdon); John W. WATSON, workhouse master; Herbert W. FAGGE, medical officer; Rev. Montague F. ALDERSON, chaplain; Mrs. J. W. WATSON, workhouse matron.
  • For a complete list of officers, staff and inmates in 1881, see the Ross Brett Workhouse site.