The first Board meeting of the Guardians of the Faversham Union took place in March 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 Faversham Union became part of the Faversham and District Area under the control of the Kent County Council Public Assistance Committee.
PARISHES WITHIN UNION
- Buckland near Faversham
- Goodnestone next Faversham
Prior to the erection of the new Union Workhouse the inmates of the existing parish poorhouses were removed to the poorhouses of Faversham and Selling. Later on those in the Selling Poorhouse were also removed to Faversham. The new Union Workhouse was built at Faversham 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 Faversham Public Assistance Institution. At a later date it was also known as Bensted House.
The workhouse buildings have now been demolished.
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 Faversham Union was Faversham. 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.
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, in this case Faversham, 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 “Gravel Pit House, Gravel Pit Road”.
The children were educated in the Union Workhouse until 1887 when the children attended the local National Schools.
From April 1901 orphaned and deserted children were boarded out with foster parents where possible.
From June 1916 the children were removed from the Faversham Workhouse and sent to the Cottage Homes belonging to Medway Union.
Children were also sent to other specialist institutions run by other Unions, charities or private individuals.
INMATES RECEIVED FROM OTHER UNION WORKHOUSES
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 Deaths – 1835 to 1841
Admission and Discharge Registers – 1835 to 1841
Minutes of the Board of Guardians – 1835 to 1841
Correspondence Out Letters – 1835 to 1841
– SEE “LIST OF SURNAMES”