Basford Poor Law Union


Poorhouses, Poor Law, etc.

  • There was a parish workhouse in Basford in 1777. It served several nearby parishes and housed up to 44 inmates.
  • There was a Basford Incorporation formed under Gilbert's Act of 1782 of 24 parishes (later 40 parishes) to deal with the problems of poor and out-of-work individuals.
  • The Basford Incorporation built a workhouse in Basford in 1815-16 to hold up to 240 inmates.
  • The Basford Poor Law Union (and Civil Registration District) was centered in Basford, Nottinghamshire.
  • After the Poor Law Ammendment Act of 1834, the Basford Poor Law Union was formed on 2 May 1836 to serve 43 local parishes in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. Additional parishes were added as they were formed in the region or boundaries changed. Inititally, the old workhouse at Basford was used for the Union workhouse. It was enlarged in 1842. For more on the history of this Union, see the Peter Higganbotham website.
  • You should also check the information at The Institutions website.
  • The Basford Poor Law Union encompassed the following parishes and chapelries: Annesley, Arnold, Awsworth, Barton-in-Fabis, Beeston, Bestwood Park, Bilborough, Bradmore, Bridgford, Brinsley, Bunny, Burton Joyce, Calverton, Carlton, Clifton-with-Glapton, Codnor, Codnor Park, Colwick, Cossall, Eastwood, Felley, Gamston, Gedling, Gotham, Greasley, Heanor, Hucknall Torkard, Ilkeston, Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Lambley, Linby, Newstead Priory, Nuthall, Papplewick, Ruddington, Selston, Shipley, Stoke Bardolph, Strelley, Thrumpton, Trowell, Wilford, Wollaton and Woodborough.
  • An 1840 outbreak of smallpox convinced the Board of Guardians to build a medical facility on the Workhouse grounds. That Infirmary was completed in 1843.
  • After 1930, the workhouse was converted to the Basford County Institution. After the start of the National Health Service in 1948, it became Highbury Hospital.
  • Search the Nottinghamshire Archives for Poor Law records. Holdings include Guardians' minute books (1836-1930); Admissions and discharges (1854-7); Outdoor relief lists (1900-30); Apprentices indentures and settlement (1845-1903); Register of children in workhouse (1900-30). There is a 100-year closure law for all documents for privacy reasons.

Politics and Government

  • In April, 1862, the district was enlarged by gaining Stamford Hill and Castle Nottingham from the Nottingham Poorlaw Union.
  • In July, 1880, the district was reduced by returning Stamford Hill to the Nottingham Poorlaw Union.
  • In July, 1895, the district was reduced by tranferring parts of Carlton and West Bridgford to the Nottingham Poorlaw Union.
  • In July, 1899, the district was reduced by tranferring the parishes of Basford, Bulwell and North Wilford to the Nottingham Poorlaw Union to form the new Nottingham Civil Parish.

District Population



  • Maurice Caplan, "In the Shadow of the Workhouse," 1984, Univ. of Notts, paperback, & ISBN-13 ISBN-13: 978-0902031982
  • T Fry, "A Look at the Basford Workhouse," Notts FHS, 5, 11.

Staff and officers

  • 1853: Henry SLEIGH, chairman; Richard Birch SPENCER, clerk to the guardians; Robert S. BOWKER, medical officer; The Rev. Samuel ROGERS, chaplain; James JOHNSON, workhouse master; Mrs. JOHNSON, workhouse matron; Benjamin HIBBERT, schoolmaster.
  • 1869: Rd. RHODES, workhouse master; Mrs.. J. JOHNSTONE, workhouse matron; Richard Birch SPENCER, clerk to the guardians; Thomas S. W. LOWATH, schoollmaster; Miss Julia E. RUSHTON; William MALTBY, Meidcal Officer.
  • 1881: William DEAN, workhouse master; Mrs. DEAN, matron; Charles James SPENCER, clerk to the guardians; Rev. H. R. PITMAN, chaplain; William MALTBY, medical officer.
  • 1899: Charles James SPENCER, clerk to the guardians; Henry J. NEILSON, medical officer; The Rev. F. HART, chaplain; William TURNBILL, workhouse master; Diana TURNBILL, workhouse matron.
  • 1912: W. J. FURSE, chariman; Henry STONE, clerk to the guardians; H. E. THORNTON, treasurer; H. J. NEILSON, medical officer; The Rev. F. HART, chaplain; James HOLLOWAY, workhouse master; Mrs. C. HOLLOWAY, workhouse matron.