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Tyne and Wear HER(16406): Newcastle, St. John's Poor House - Details

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Newcastle, St. John's Poor House



Health and Welfare


Post Medieval


Documentary Evidence

A parliamentary report of 1777 recorded a workhouse at Westgate in St. John's for up to 12 inmates. There was also a St. Johns workhouse at Elswick for 40 inmates. In 1831 Thomas Oliver states the present number of inmates of St. John's Poor House was 35. Children were sent to Sunday School. Each pauper cost 3s 1d a week for food. The apothecary to the infirmary dispensed medicine to the sick. Smokers were allowed half an ounce per week. Newcastle upon Tyne Poor Law Union came into existence on 26th September 1836. Its operation was overseen by an elected Board of Guardians (34 in number, representing the 11 parishes and townships (County of the Town of Newcastle: All Saints 9, Byker 3, Elswick, Heaton, Jesmond 1 each, St. Andrew's 6, St. John's 5, St. Nicholas 4, Westgate 2. Northumberland: Benwell and Fenham 1 each). The average poor-rate expenditure for the period 1834-36 had been £15,049 or 5s 6d per head of the population. In 1839 the existing poor houses were replaced with a new purpose built workhouse on Westgate Hill (HER 6342). In 1914 the union was reconstituted as the Newcastle upon Tyne Poor Law Parish.




The Workhouse, The Story of an institution,

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