The first Board meeting of the Guardians of the Blean Union took place in April 1835 and the Union continued to be run by the Guardians until 1 April 1930 when its responsibilities were transferred under the Local Government Act of 1929 to Kent County Council. Under this new system the parishes which comprised the old Blean Union became part of the Thanet and Blean District Area under the control of the Kent County Council Public Assistance Committee.
PARISHES WITHIN UNION
- Archbishop’s Palace
- Herne Bay
- St. Dunstan
- St. Gregory
The parish poorhouses continued to be used until the new Union Workhouse was built at Herne with the first inmates being admitted to the new Workhouse in January 1836.
The workhouse buildings were taken over by Kent County Council in 1930 and became known as the Blean Public Assistance Institution. At a later date it was also known as Herne Hospital.
The remaining buildings are now privately owned.
BURIAL OF INMATES DYING IN THE WORKHOUSE
The normal practice for persons dying in the Workhouse was for them to be removed to their parish of settlement (if within the Union) for burial or in the parish where the Workhouse was situated, which for the Blean Union was Herne. If a person died in an institution which was situated out of the Union’s area they were normally buried in the parish of that institution.
Following the Burial Acts of 1852-1857 burials may also have taken place at a cemetery built and operated by the local Burial Board.
From 1 January 1920 the address recorded on death certificates for those persons dying in the workhouse was entered as “The House, Herne Common” for deaths in the workhouse and either “Glenholme” “Lyndhurst”, “Nairn Villa” or “Keith Villa”, Mill Lane, Herne for the children’s homes.
BAPTISM OF CHILDREN BORN IN THE WORKHOUSE
The Baptism of children born in the Union Workhouse would normally only take place under exceptional circumstances unless the licence given to the Chaplain of the Workhouse included permission to carry out baptisms in the Workhouse Chapel. Baptisms could also take place in the parish church closest to the Workhouse, which in this case was Herne, or the parish of settlement.
From 1 January 1905 the address recorded on the birth certificates of children born in the Workhouse was entered as “The Home, Herne Common”
The children were educated in the Workhouse until 1893 when they attended the local National Schools.
From October 1910 the children were removed from the Workhouse and accommodated at Forres Villa and Elgin Villa (Girls) at Herne and Lyndhurst and Kingsfield Villas (Boys) at Mill Lane, Herne known collectively as Glenholm (Girls) and Lyndhurst (Boys). In 1914 further accommodation was provided at Keith and Nairn Villas Mill Lane.
Children were also sent to other specialist institutions run by other Unions, charities or private individuals.
INMATES RECEIVED FROM OTHER UNION WORKHOUSES
During 1916 some of the inmates from the Isle of Thanet Union were accommodated at the Workhouse but were returned in 1917.
INMATES SENT TO OTHER UNION WORKHOUSES
LOCATION OF SURVIVING UNION RECORDS
Kent History and Library Centre, Maidstone, Kent
DOCUMENTS WHICH HAVE BEEN TRANSCRIBED
Register of Births – 1836 to 1841
Admission and Discharge Registers – 1836 to 1841
Minutes of the Board of Guardians – 1835 to 1841
Correspondence Out Letters – 1836 to 1841
Correspondence In Letters – 1835 to 1841
Poor Law Commissioner Correspondence In letters – 1837 to 1841
– SEE “LIST OF SURNAMES”