Link back to main ROSSBRET websiteCambridgeshire Workhouses


Ely Workhouse
North Witchford
Wisbech Workhouse

The County Of Cambridge 

Cambridge is one of the eastern counties, and is inland, though its borders reach within a few miles of the sea and the great inlet called the Wash, and include the ports of Wisbech and Ely. Cambridgeshire runs very nearly north and south, the shape is oblong, the southern part being wider than the northern. The greatest length is about 51 miles from north to south, and the greatest breadth 32 miles, but at Ely the breadth is not more than about 15 miles. On the north it is bounded by Lincolnshire, on the east by the Wisbech Canal and by the Welney, Croft, Ouse and Lark, and the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk. On the south by Essex, Herts and Bedfordshire. On the west by Huntingdonshire, and on the north-west by Northamptonshire and the Catwater Stream.

Cambridgeshire Poor Law Unions and Workhouses

The poor law unions classified within the County of Cambridge are Cambridge, Caxton and Arrington, Chesterton, Ely, Linton, Newmarket, Peterborough, Royston, Whittlesey, Wisbech and Witchford, North.

Commissioners Reports

Workhouses, List of those visited in 1867 With Name of the Workhouse and numbers of insane, idiotic, and imbecile inmates p255 J
Cambridgeshire MALE FEMALE TOTAL
Cambridge 4 2 6
Caxton and Arrington 4 2 6
Chesterton  3 4 7
Linton 2 0 2
Newmarket 1 3 4
North Witchford 2 3 5
From PP 1867/68 Vol XXXI pp 1-301 Twenty Second Report of the Commissioners in Lunacy to the Lord Chancellor. 
Submitted by Alan Longbottom

Summary of Results.
Pauper inmates of Workhouse establishments in the Registration County number 1,084 persons of all ages, 689 Males and 395 Females. 
These represent approximately 0.54% of the general population.
At advanced ages the proportion is far higher; at 55 years and upwards the % is 2.36% and at 65 years and upwards is 3.94%.

Prisoners in the Prison at Chesterton number 80.
76 Males and 4 Females.

The Blind, Deaf and Dumb
The number of persons returned as Blind is 170, and of these 10 suffer from some other Infirmity also.

Deaf and Dumb persons including 9 returned simply as Dumb, number 81, and of these 4 suffer from some other Infirmity also.

Lunatics number 472, including 3 afflicted with some other Infirmity also; and the Imbecile and Feeble-minded 307, including 7 otherwise afflicted. The total of these classes is 779.
It may be noted that, of the 779 persons returned as mentally deranged, 566 were the inmates of institutions, including 526 in Public and Private Lunatic Asylums, 35 in Workhouses, and 5 in other Institutions, the remaining 213 were residing with relatives 
or in unlicensed houses.

The 35 mentally deranged persons enumerated in Workhouses, were all returned as Imbecile, or Feeble-minded; and of the 213 not enumerated in Institutions, 4 were returned as Lunatics and 209 as Imbecile or Feeble-minded.
County of Cambridge in PP 1903 Cd 1,323
Submitted by Alan Longbottom

Link to Genuki Pages
Poor Law Records held in Cambridgeshire. 

Cambridge Record Office
Shire Hall
Castle Hill
Telephone:- U.K. 01223 717281

Publications Available
"In and Out of the Workhouse: the coming of the new poor law to Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire"  by Carolyn Allen et al.  Published at Ely: EARO for the Workers Educational Association, Eastern District, 1978.

Page updated December 19, 2006 by Rossbret

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