The first Board meeting of the Guardians of the Hoo Union took place in September 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 Hoo Union became part of the Gravesend and District Area under the control of the Kent County Council Public Assistance Committee.
PARISHES WITHIN UNION
- High Halstow
- Hoo St Werburgh
- St James (Isle of Grain)
- St Mary Hoo
The parish poorhouses continued to be used until the new Union Workhouse was built at Hoo St Werburgh with the first inmates being admitted to the new Workhouse in October 1836.
In May 1918 the Workhouse Infirmary was closed and the sick inmates were sent to the Strood Union Workhouse Infirmary.
The Workhouse closed in June 1923 and the remaining inmates were sent to the Strood Union Workhouse.
In July 1924 most of the Workhouse was sold by public auction with a portion being retained as Offices for the use of the Union and the Hoo Rural District Council.
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 Hoo Union was Hoo St Werburgh. 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 “Star Elm House”.
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 Hoo St Werburgh, or the parish of settlement.
From 1 January 1905, at the request of the Registrar General, the address recorded on the birth certificates of children born in the Workhouse was entered as “Star Elm House”.
The Master and Matron of the Workhouse were also employed as Schoolmaster and Schoolmistress until early 1840 from which date the children attended the local National Schools.
From February 1903 orphaned and deserted children were boarded out with foster parents where possible. Other children were 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
May 1918 – Sick inmates sent to Strood Union Workhouse Infirmary
June 1923 –Inmates sent to Strood Union Workhouse on closure of the Workhouse
LOCATION OF SURVIVING UNION RECORDS
Medway Archives Centre, Strood, Kent
DOCUMENTS WHICH HAVE BEEN TRANSCRIBED
Register of Births – 1838 to 1841
Register of Deaths – 1837 to 1841
Indoor Relief List – 1837 to 1841
Poor Law Commissioners Letters – 1835 to 1837
Minutes of the Board of Guardians – 1835 to 1841
– SEE “LIST OF SURNAMES”