The first Board meeting of the Guardians of the Hollingbourne Union took place in October 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 Hollingbourne Union became part of the Maidstone and District Area under the control of the Kent County Council Public Assistance Committee.
PARISHES WITHIN UNION
- Boughton Malherbe
- Chart Sutton
- East Sutton
- Sutton Valence
The parish poorhouses continued to be used until the new Union Workhouse was built at Hollingbourne with the first inmates being admitted to the new Workhouse towards the end of 1836.
The Workhouse closed in 1921 and the remaining inmates were sent to the Maidstone Union Workhouse and the Workhouse buildings sold.
The workhouse buildings have now been demolished except for the mortuary.
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 Hollingbourne Union was Hollingbourne. 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. This was the case at Hollingbourne from 1837. Baptisms could also take place in the parish church closest to the Workhouse, in this case Hollingbourne, 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 “Whiteheath House, Hollingbourne”.
The children were educated in the Union Workhouse until 1888 when the children attended the local National Schools.
From December 1886 orphaned and deserted children were boarded out with foster parents where possible.
From April 1915 the children were removed from the Hollingbourne Workhouse and sent to the Cottage Homes run by the 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
On closure of Workhouse in 1921 inmates removed to Maidstone Union.
LOCATION OF SURVIVING UNION RECORDS
Kent History and Library Centre, Maidstone, Kent
DOCUMENTS WHICH HAVE BEEN TRANSCRIBED
Register of Baptisms – 1837 to 1841
Correspondence Out Letters – 1835 to 1841
– SEE “LIST OF SURNAMES”