Death Registers, Wandsworth and Clapham Union Workhouses 1836-1840

The earliest surviving death registers for the Wandsworth and Clapham Union Workhouse date from 1866 but it is clear from reading the board of guardian’s minutes (National Archives: MH12/12689 and 12690) that a suite of registers were kept from the earliest establishment of the workhouse. There are references to admissions registers and registers of ‘sickness and mortality’. However, amongst the Board of Guardians’ Minutes for 1841 is a transcript of death entries reportedly taken from the latter set of registers. These were copied in response to a query by the Poor Law Commissioners in London to provide information on mortality rates and were delivered to them on the 14th of August 1841.  These entries are of particular value since the originals are now lost. The Poor Law Union, which included the six parishes of Wandsworth, Clapham, Putney, Battersea, Tooting Graveney and Streatham, was founded in 1836. Its purpose was to centralise the provision of poor relief into a single authority, providing more consistent management (which could be monitored more effectively by the Poor Law Commissioners) and in anticipation of cost savings through economies of scale. However in the earliest years covered by this document, the Union had inherited and still managed a workhouse in each parish. The account presented must therefore be an amalgamation of returns from five workhouses – Putney workhouse had closed in 1836, presumably transferring its paupers to another institution (although which is unclear). By 1840, plans were advanced to build a single Union Workhouse on land purchased on East Hill, Battersea but that institution was not yet open.

The following document is a pdf listing the deaths in the Union workhouse in those years: Register of Deaths Wandsworth and Clapham Union Workhouse 1836-1840.

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