I am hoping this is a general easy question. I have an ancestor who was born in the Leeds Union Infirmary. I understand that does not mean her parents were living in the workhouse at the time of her birth and that the births of many children of poorer families took place in the union infirmary. However, she was baptised in the Leeds Industrial School, St James Hospital just shortly after her birth. Would that give an indication that she was indeed living in the workhouse or the industrial school? Her birth certificate gives an address to where the mother was living at the time of her birth. So, I am a little confused.
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Thread: Leeds Union Infirmary
21-02-2012 7:14 PM #1
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Leeds Union Infirmary
21-02-2012 7:46 PM #2
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An industrial school was no place for an infant! Can you provide details of the resource where you found this baptism? There was presumably just one chapel for whole site.
Have you read the potted history on the Hospital Records Database? Does it help to clarify matters?
The Leeds Board of Guardians established a Moral and Industrial Training School in Beckett Street in 1848 and in 1861 opened a new workhouse and infirmary on an adjacent site. In 1876 a Hospital Management comittee was set up to administer the infirmary separately from the workhouse. In 1925 the various Boards of Guardians in the City of Leeds were amalgamated into one Board, the Leeds Union Infirmary in Beckett Street was renamed as St James's Hospital and the adjacent Poor Law Institution became known as North Lodge. At the same time the former Holbeck Workhouse was renamed as South Lodge. In 1930 the Leeds City Council Public Assistance Committee took over both the hospital and the poor law institutions from the Board of Guardians, but the hospital was transferred to the Health Committee in 1934. In 1944 the hospital took over the former workhouse buildings at St James's Hospital (North), a medical faculty was established in 1945 and in 1948 it was placed under the Leeds 'A' Group Hospital Management Committee. This Committee also administered St Mary's, Cookridge, Herzl Moser and Chapel Allerton Hospitals and the Leeds Public Dispensary.
21-02-2012 8:38 PM #3
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There's some more history on the Workhouses website at www.
As Peter has quoted, the first institution to be built there was the Leeds Moral and Industrial Training Schools in 1846-8, followed by the workhouse in 1858-61, and there have been many additions since. The whole complex now forms St James's Hospital.
I wonder if the chapel registers might have been pre-printed with the name of the Industrial School, and remained in use unaltered after the school closed and the buildings were incorporated into the hospital - the Workhouses site suggests this was in 1904.
As for the address - if it was 123 Beckett Street, this may indicate that the mother was a resident of the workhouse. Because the whole site carried a kind of stigma, this was sometimes used instead to try to mask the location. (I have it on a death certificate from 1937.)