Billericay Poor Law Union, Essex Genealogy

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Constituent Parishes[edit | edit source]

Basildon, Essex Genealogy

Billericay, Essex Genealogy

North Benfleet, Essex Genealogy

South Benfleet, Essex Genealogy

Bowers Gifford, Essex Genealogy

Brentwood, Essex Genealogy

Great Burstead, Essex Genealogy 

Little Burstead, Essex Genealogy

Childerditch, Essex Genealogy

Downham, Essex Genealogy

Dunton Waylett, Essex Genealogy

East Horndon, Essex Genealogy

Hutton, Essex Genealogy

West Horndon with Ingrave, Essex Genealogy 

Laindon, Essex Genealogy

Mountnessing, Essex Genealogy

Nevendon, Essex Genealogy

Pitsea, Essex Genealogy 

Ramsden Bellhouse, Essex Genealogy

Ramsden Crays, Essex Genealogy

Shenfield, Essex Genealogy

Thundersley, Essex Genealogy

Vange, Essex Genealogy

Little Warley, Essex Genealogy

South Weald, Essex Genealogy

Wickford, Essex Genealogy

Later Additions: Basildon, Lee Chapel (from 1858).Lee Chapel was an extra parochial place See England Jurisdictions 1851 for surrounding ecclesiastical and civil parishes.

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Essex Record Office, Wharf Road Chelmsford CM2 6YT. Holdings include: Guardians' minutes (1835-1915, 1920-30); Ledgers (1835-1930)

The surviving records are held at Essex Record Office reference G/Bi Title [BILLERICAY UNION]
The Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834 removed responsibility for the poor from parishes (see D/P.../11-18) and transferred administration to Boards of Guardians of the poor. The Guardians administered groups of parishes or Poor Law UNIONs. Each UNION had its own workhouse. In 1872 the Public Health Act created urban and rural sanitary authorities, with the Guardians constituted as the rural sanitary authority for those parts of each UNION not in an urban sanitary authority. The Local Government Act of 1894 replaced rural sanitary authorities with rural district councils (see D/R). The Local Government Act of 1929 abolished the Boards of Guardians and transferred their powers to the Public Assistance Committees of County Councils (for minutes of Essex County Council Public Assistance Committee 1929-1948 see C/Ma 1-22).
Many of the workhouse infirmaries continued as hospitals after 1930, continuing after the introduction of the National Health Service in 1948.
For other records illustrating the work of the Guardians see D/P.../19.
For orders, directions and declarations of poor Law Commissioners responsible for grouping parishes into UNIONs, 1835-1837, see Q/RSw 2-5.
For catalogue of correspondence between poor Law UNIONs and Poor Law Commissioners responsible for grouping parishes into UNIONs, 1835-1837, see Q/RSw 2-5.
For catalogue of correspondence between Poor Law UNIONs and Poor Law Commission (later Poor Law Board and Local Government Board) 1834-1900 see List and Index Society vol. 56.
G. Cuttle The Legacy of the Rural Guardians (Heffer, 1934 E.R.O. Library 362.50942) provides a good account of the work of the Guardians in six mid-Essex UNIONs, together with the newscuttings he collected and used in writing the book (T/P 181).
For analysis of ledgers see Journal of the Society of Archivists II, pp. 367-369.
For copy of calculation of Poor Law Board of average annual expense of each parish in the Rochford UNION 1858, see T/P 83/3 pp. 13-15 and for balance sheet of Rochford UNION, 1868, see T/P 83/3 pp. 92-96.

The BILLERICAY UNION consisted of the parishes of Basildon, North Benfleet, South Benfleet, Bowers Gifford, Brentwood, Great Burstead, Little Burstead, Childerditch, Downham, Dunton, East Horndon, West Horndon, Hutton, Ingrave, Laindon, Mountnessing, Nevendon, Pitsea, Ramsden Bellhouse, Ramsden Crays, Shenfield, South Weald, Thundersley, Vange, Little Warley, Wickford.

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  •  Andrews, D.D. (2002) Historic Buildings Notes and Surveys - St. Andrew's Hospital, formerly the Billericay Union Workhouse, Essex Archaeology 33, 414-442
  • Grounds, W .M. (1968) The Old Billericay Workhouse (in Essex Journal, vol.3, no.4, pp.218-22)
  • Jackson, QM (1983)A Brief History of St Andrew's Hospital 1840-1982.

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For more information on the history of the workhouse, see Peter Higginbotham's web site: and