Settlement and Removal Orders

Malton parishes were responsible to pay for the relief of their own poor. Everyone had a parish of Settlement and if that was Malton and you fell on 'hard times' then the Malton parishes were responsible.
If Malton parishes thought that you were likely to become a burden to the parish and did not have settlement rites in Malton then they could obtain a removal order.
Removal Order
The removal order here is in the name of 'the Churchwardens and Overseers of the Poor of the United parishes of Saint Michael and Saint Leonard' for the removal of 'Jane Tasker, widow of John Tasker deceased, and her five children ….' since they had not gained a legal settlement there and to convey them to the parish of Saint Dennis in the City of York, being their last place of legal Settlement. Dated 1st February 1851.

Managing the Workhouse

Prior to the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834 attempts to help the poor were generally at a parish level. This act however centralised the administration and defined Poor Law Unions and encouraged the development of workhouses. The Malton Poor Law Union consisted of many local parishes, each of which had a ‘guardian’ who was elected by local land owners and occupiers. They sat on the Board of Guardians and administered the workhouse. They also reviewed requests for ‘out-relief’ – payments made outside the workhouse system to those old and/or poor not living in the workhouse. Meetings of the Board of Guardians took place weekly, in the Town Hall, and the proceedings of these meetings are well reported in the local newspapers. Boards of Guardians were abolished in 1930 by the Local Government Act, 1930.
The first meeting of the Board of Guardians for the Malton Poor Law Union (sixty-eight Townships) took place on the 13th January 1837 at the New Talbot Inn, Malton. [1] Henry Willoughby of Birdsall was elected chairman and Mr. Allen of Malton, vice-chairman. The first officers were: clerk, Mr. Alfred Simpson, of Malton, solicitor; treasurer, Robert Bower, Esq., (of the East Riding Bank); auditor, Mr. Chas. Jagger, solicitor of Malton. Medical and Relieving Officers were not appointed.
An open letter appearing in the Yorkshire Gazette, in January 1837 from J.J. Wilcocks, Member of the Royal College of Surgeons, and residing in Hovingham, solicits his appointment as surgeon [2].
Also in 1837, an advertisement was placed in the local press by Alfred Simpson requesting that anyone desirous of being the relieving officer (salary £90 a year) or Master and Mistress of the workhouse (salary £40 and £10 respectively) should attend the Meeting of the Board of Guardians at the Assembly Rooms on Saturday 28th of January at ten o’clock [3].
The Relieving Officers received requests for ‘out relief’ and kept books of account recording what had been paid. Periodically they presented their accounts to the Board of Guardians for approval and reimbursement. In August 1840, Mr. Pearson was Relieving Officer for the ‘rural district’ and, had expended £65 14s 8d. Mr. Rutter held the position for the ‘town district’ and had expended £31 11s 5d. The meeting of the Guardians approved these amounts and they were reimbursed [4].
Another responsibility of the Board of Guardians was to invite tenders and assess responses for the supply of food, drink, coal and clothing to the workhouse. In the early period the tenders were requested quarterly except for clothing which was annually. The meeting of 12th December 1840 concluded which suppliers had been chosen: Mr. John Jefferson to supply bread to be made from seconds flour, at 1 3/4d per pound; Mr. James Metcalfe to supply seconds flour at 2s 2d per stone and fire coals at 15s 6d per ton, and to supply the poor in the towns of New Malton, Old Malton and Norton with seconds flour at 2s 2d per stone; Mr. Robert Stabler to supply candles at 6d per lb; Mr. Robert Clegg to supply sugar at 9 1/2d per lb, tea at 5s 4d per lb, soap at 6s 9d per stone, rice at 2s 4d per stone and salt at 5d per stone; Mr. John Crawford to supply paupers in the workhouse with men’s and women’s shoes at 7s per pair and boys and girls above 9 years at 4s 6d and below 9 years at 2s 6d per pair; Mr. Robert Clegg to supply the poor in the workhouse with articles of clothing for the next 12 months [5].
Invariably, on Christmas Day, the inmates of the workhouse would be ‘treated’ to ‘roast beef and plumb pudding, with ale to wash it down and tobacco for those who use it’ and in the afternoon ‘good cake and tea.’ This would be funded by subscription among the Guardians [6].
[1] York Herald, 28 January 1837
[2] Yorkshire Gazette, 14 January 1837
[3] Yorkshire Gazette, 21 January 1837
[4] Yorkshire Gazette, 22 August 1840
[5] Yorkshire Gazette, 19 December 1840
[6] York Herald 30 December 1837

MALTON DISTRICT
The Malton Board of Guardians have decided to purchase from the Earl Fitzwilliam the leasehold land and buildings at the Workhouse held from his lordship, the lease of which expires in eight years. The sum agreed upon is £700.
Yorkshire Gazette, 5 September 1896

Scandal at the Workhouse

In October 1901, the Board of Guardians revealed that the Workhouse Master, Mr. William Copley, had 'falsified accounts and submitted fictitious receipts' [1] Unsurprisingly he was suspended, and pleaded guilty at York to three charges of falsifying accounts. He was sentenced to three years' penal servitude and on hearing that broke down [2]
[1] Sheffield Daily Telegraph, 21 October 1901
[2] Yorkshire Evening Post, 28 November 1901

MALTON WORKHOUSE
At the Malton Board of Guardians' Meeting on Saturday, an application was received on behalf of a woman aged 86 years of age to be admitted to the Workhouse as a paying guest. She is a native of Malton and her daughter wrote that she wanted a room to herself.
The Clerk said the Workhouse was not a lodging-house, and there was no accommodation.
The application was refused.
The Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer, 21 June 1920

Happenings at the Workhouse

In 1899, an inmate of the Malton Workhouse, named Edward Medd, 72 years of age, has just had £200 left him by a deceased sister. On hearing the good news Medd forthwith discharged himself from the house, and the guardians have resolved to claim from him the cost of his maintenance therein [1].

In 1909, the then Workhouse Master, Mr. William Sherwood, committed suicide and was found dead in the store cupboard, having taken carbolic acid. He left a note to his wife in which he regretted his gambling. The jury at the inquest found he had committed suicide during temporary insanity [3].
[1] The Midland Daily Telegraph 28 February, 1899
[3] Dundee Courier, 16 October 1909

State of the Workhouse 1818

Proceedings of Committee appointed to enquire into the state of Spring Hall, Malton - Spring Hall 5th November 1818
The above committee inspected the state of the bedrooms and found all clean neat and in order … … The present inmates of Spring Hall consist of, the Master, his wife, and four children, one of whom is 12 years of age, the others 10, 5 and 3 years old. Also 37 Paupers … … The Master is also allowed a salary for the support of himself and family of £35 per year. The Master and his family also earn at his Trade of a Weaver about 5/- per week.
[Then a list of the Master’s expenditure over the last year including Clothing of the Master, his wife and family £12]
[Then a menu for the week, Breakfast, Dinner, Supper]
The present Master has had the management of the workhouse during 11 years and was ? of £20 in money ? furniture on entering to the ? and during that time he has incurred a debt of £180 towards which the Parish have allowed him at various times the sum of £70, and he is now indebted to sundry persons to the amount of £100.
The 37 Paupers are listed together with their ages as:
Men: Robinson 91, Watton 83, Yeoman 82, Watson 78, Hawkswell 77, Wray 77, Fenton 76, Eller 74, Cave 71, Gibb 70, Atkinson 68, Taylor 62
Women: Kinber 70, Atkinson 58, Wilson 49, Walkington 35, Gordon 21, Daltree 60, England 13, Steward 11, Steward 6, Bradley 9, Bradley 7, Moore 62, Frank 67, Farrer 28, Steward 3, Bradshaw 13, Allan 14, Welbank 14, Walkington 9, Wilson 9, Walkington 2, Turner 28, Turner 3, Turner ¼
(Transcribed and published with permission of the North Yorkshire County Record office ref: ZPB X11 8)

GUARDIANS AND THE BIRCH-ROD
At the Malton Board of guardians on Saturday Sir William Worsley presiding, the Workhouse Master reported that a lad of 13, named Gray, had, when out of the Workhouse on leave th previous night, stolen a bicycle from a house in the town, and had taken it to the Workhouse. The owner did not wish to prosecute, and, as the lad was very unruly, the Master suggested the Guardians should order a birching for him. Colonel Legard proposed that he be given six strokes with a birch-rod and sent to the training ship “Exmouth.: Mr. Heseltine seconded. Mr. Plowman proposed and Mr. A.J. Taylor seconded, that the birching be omitted. Mr. Plowman asked if the birching would be on the bare body, or with the clothing on! The Workhouse Master said on the bare body. Mr. Plowman: “The dark ages! We are going back to the dark ages!” (Laughter.) On the voice being taken there were 20 guardians for the birching and only 6 against. The Chairman: I am afraid we have gone back to the “dark ages.” (Laughter).
York Herald, 11 December 1899

Life in the Workhouse

Many who were unable to support themselves spent time in the Workhouse. There is an excellent general account of life in the workhouse and specific information on the Malton workhouse here.
North Yorkshire County Record Office have a plan of the workhouse in 1895 reference: Malton Union Workhouse: plan 1895 (MIC 3070) (BG/ML)

One of Yours in the Workhouse?

If you suspect a family member may have spent time in the Malton Union Workhouse it may be worth looking at the following transcripts from the census:
  • 1851 Census
  • 1871 Census
  • 1881 Census
  • 1901 Census
  • 1911 Census
It is of course possible that an ancestor did reside in the workhouse in an intervening year!

It may also be worth looking at the newspaper reports of the weekly Malton Poor Law Union 'Guardians of the Poor' meeting since these are likely to mention orders for the admission and discharge to/from the Malton Union Workhouse. Such a report appears for the meeting on 31st March 1839 and mentions the orders for the admission of George Hesslewood and Mary Atkinson belonging to New Malton and that for the discharge of Thomas Welbank also belonging to New Malton [1]
[1] York Herald, 6 April 1839

MALTON WORKHOUSE
There are at present in the Malton workhouse four persons, viz., one male, and three females, whose united ages amount to the great number of 337 years, averaging above eighty-tour years each, and one of the above individuals has been an inmate in the house for the last sixty years. Another remarkable fact is that the medical attendant, is that Mr. William Rymer, surgeon, has visited the workhouse above forty years, and for that space of time it has never had a case of fever in it. There are at present in the workhouse 133 pauper inmates.
York Herald, 22nd January 1842.

Masters & Matrons

NEW MALTON WORKHOUSE
WANTED
at MICHAELMAS next,
A MASTER or GOVERNOR to the WORKHOUSE at NEW MALTON in which are usually about thirty Paupers.
A Salary of Twenty Guineas a year will be allowed, together with the occupation (Rent and Tax free) of the House, Garden and Orchard, well stocked with Fruit Trees, containing nearly two Acres of Land, and worth upwards of 20L a year, making the whole annual Allowance more than 40L a year. A fair weekly Allowance will also be made for each Pauper.
A Weaver, Wood-comber, or other Manufacturer, who would be able to readily instruct and employ the poor Persons and their Children to the greatest advantage, would be preferred; and none but married persons of good character need apply.
All applications to be made to JOHN GOODRICK, one of the Overseers of the Poor.
MALTON, Sept. 19, 1807.
York Herald, September 26, 1807

It is believed that Mr. Robert Carr was appointed as a result of the above advertisement.
There were frequent changes of staff at the Malton Workhouse:
  • 1837 - Mr & Mrs Rutter (York Herald, 30 December 1837)
  • 1839 - Mr Rutter (York Herald, 27 April 1839)
  • 1841 - Mr & Mrs William & Elizabeth Rutter (1841 Census)
  • 1841 Mr. Wright recently elected (York Herald, 27 November 1841)
  • 1844 - Mr Wright (Yorkshire Gazette, 31 August 1844)
  • 1849 - Mr. Webster (reference to his daughter, Yorkshire Gazette, 25 August 1849)
  • 1851 - Mr & Mrs John Webster (1851 Census)
  • 1852 - Mr & Mrs John Lockey (Yorkshire Gazette, 6th March 1852)
  • 1864 - Mr & Mrs Livesey, appointed Saturday 4th June 1864 (York Herald, 11 June 1864)
  • 1865 - Mr & Mrs Livesey, (Yorkshire Gazette 11th February 1865)
  • 1865 - Mr & Mrs Wm. Smith, from 25th March (Yorkshire Gazette 11th February 1865)
  • 1871 - Mr & Mrs Wm. Smith (1871 Census) Resigned August 1879 after more than 15 years (Driffield Times, 6th September 1879)
  • 1881 - Mr & Mrs J. Derbyshire (1881 Census)
  • 1893 - Mr & Mrs Derbyshire (Yorkshire Gazette 24th June 1893)
  • 1893 - Mr & Mrs Wm. Copley (Yorkshire Gazette 24th June 1893 - 73 applications for the vacancies)
  • 1901 - Mr & Mrs Wm. Copley (1901 Census)
  • 1902 - Mr Frederick Turner (Malton Gazette, 7 June 1902)
  • 1905 - Mrs Sherwood, Matron (Yorkshire Gazette, 25 December 1909)
  • 1905 - Mr HR Crewdson Yorkshire Gazette, 25 December 1909)
  • 1903 - Sherwood appointed Master 10 October 1903 (Malton Messenger, 16 October 1909)
  • 1911 - Frank Cattle, temporary master (1911 Census)
  • The above list is incomplete, please let me know if you have additions.

MALTON POOR-LAW UNION
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN, that any Person desirous of being the RELIEVING OFFICER to the above Union … … is requested to attend a Meeting of the Board of Guardians at the ASSEMBLY ROOMS, in New Malton, on SATURDAY, the 28th day of January instant, at TEN o'Clock in the Forenoon, when such Officer will be elected.
… …
AND NOTICE IS HEREBY FURTHER GIVEN
Than any Persons desirous to be the Master and Mistress of the Workhouse of the said Union are requested to attend at the time and place aforesaid, when, if the Board of Guardians think proper, such persons will be elected.
The Salary of the Master will be £40 per annum, and that of the Matron £10. They will reside in the Workhouse, and have their Board provided at the Expense of the Union. The Master will have to assist the Relieving Officer, and will be required to give security to the satisfaction of the Guardians for the due execution of his Office.
By Order,
ALFRED SIMPSON
Clerk to the Board of Guardians of the Malton Poor-Law Union.
Malton, Jan 16, 1837
Yorkshire Gazette, 21 January 1837


Advertisement

Workhouse – Malton Union
A trained schoolmaster is wanted for the Boys’ school in the Malton Union Workhouse. Candidates must be Unmarried or Widowers without incumbrance, of not less than 21 years of age, and be fully qualified to perform all the Duties connected with the Office, as set forth in the General Consolidated Order of the Poor Law Board.
The Salary will be £30 per Annum, or such further sum as the Committee of Council on Education may determine, with Board and Lodging in the House. Preference will be given to Candidates holding a Certificate not lower in its class than that of one of the Three Degrees of Competency of the Committee of Council on Education, or who may be enabled to pass an Examination entitling them to such Certificate.
Applications, in the Hand-Writing of the Candidate stating their Age, accompanied by Testimonials, as to Character and Competency, to be transmitted to me on or before THURSDAY, the 31st Day of March instant; and all Candidates will be required to attend the Meeting of the Guardians to be held at the BOARD_ROOM, in Malton, on SATURDAY, the 2nd Day of April next, at TWELVE o’Clock at Noon, when the Election will take place.
By Order of the Board.
SAMUEL WALKER, Clerk
Malton, March 15th, 1853
The Yorkshire Gazette – 26 Mar 1853




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