View Full Version : Workhouse records - St Pancras

24-02-2006, 1:29 PM
I have a Henry Gawler who was in prison in 1813. He wrote a letter pleading his case, in which he mentions that his wife and children are at the workhouse at St Pancras (Iíve included the relevant paragraph from his long submission at the end of this posting).

Iíve searched the web, and found that the London Metropolitan Archives has poor law records for St Pancras Parish Church, Euston Rd, Camden, including the Register of Workhouse Inmates.

Iím a little confused Ė is this what I need? Did the church administer the workhouse? Or is this a different workhouse?

Thank you for your help.

ďI humbly trust also, when Your Lordship considers my unhappy case, my long sufferings, having been already in confinement Eleven Months, the poignant grief under which my broken hearted Wife lingers out her miserable existence with an infant babe scarcely two months old at her breast, and my other two babes reduced from my inability to support them, to the Work House at St Pancras, that you will be pleased humanely to grant me such lenient sentence as to your Lordships humanity may seem meet and am may it please your lordship between anxious hope and awful despairĒ

02-04-2006, 10:23 AM

Sorry I've no answers for you , but just to say I visited the LMA the other week to look at the original St Pancras Workhouse registers for 1918- they were facinating & in very good condition . There were over 1000 people registered there - my grandmother & her first child being 2 people. She was just there for a month thankfully to have the child .

Peter Goodey
02-04-2006, 11:13 AM
This site has a brief history of the poor laws and something on St Pancras.


Before the 1834 Poor Law, parishes were responsible for administering th poor laws. After 1834 'Unions' - groupings of parishes - were formed. Larger parishes eg St Pancras carried on as parish administrations. In 1837 the original registration districts were based on poor law unions. If you think in terms of registration districts, this is usually a good clue about how the poor law was administered.

This is why the records covering 1813 at LMA are classified under St Pancras Parish Church.

02-04-2006, 11:26 AM
Thank you for your replies.

Duckies, Iím glad your grandmother didnít stay there long. It must have been such a hard life, particularly with a baby.

The workhouse site is very interesting. I look forward to reading it in more detail.

In fact, I have now finally visited the LMA, and found the "Gawler babes" being admitted to the workhouse. One was Phillippa, my gggrandmother, thereby proving that convicted fraudster Henry Gawler is, in fact, my ggggrandfather. Yet another black sheep in the family.

Phillippa went from being brought up in the workhouse, unable to read and write, to having a death notice placed in The Times on her death. I think that she must have kept her background a secret from her children, because they wrote "only child of the late Henry Gawler, of R.N. and Admiralty, and Margaret, his wife". If only theyíd known the truth, they wouldnít have been so keen to mention Henry Gawlerís name. :)

Thank you for your help.

Peter Goodey
02-04-2006, 12:17 PM
Well done, Sue. You must be feeling very chuffed with yourself for uncovering that really interesting story.

This calls for a drink!

04-04-2006, 7:54 AM
Yes, I was absolutely delighted :)

I knew it was him the moment I saw him in The Times - he had escaped in a boat to Newcastle. However, a fellow passenger recognised him from his description in the newspaper, as he had red hair, but was wearing a black wig as disguise. It slipped, and he was spotted!