Wednesday 9 May 2012

Civil Registration in Yorkshire - update

TNA Ref: MH 12/15063
I haven't had time to do any real research on this yet, but yesterday I mentioned what I had found to some colleagues, including the wonderful Dr Paul Carter, who knows a thing or two about the Poor Law! If you haven't already discovered this for yourself, try listening to his podcasts. He confirmed that Huddersfield was one of the places kicking hardest against the imposition of Poor Law Unions. Once they had been forced to set up a Union, they simply refused to elect a Clerk to the Guardians, which effectively meant that the Union could not conduct any business. It seems that there was nothing in the Act that compelled them to do so. Ingenious.

I managed a quick peek at the first volume of Poor Law Union Correspondence for Huddersfield (Ref: MH 12/15063) and I immediately came across this letter from an applicant for the post of registrar of births and deaths for Holmfirth:
'Understanding that it is your intention to appoint Registrars of Births and Deaths for the Districts within the Huddersfield Union, I beg leave again most respectfully to offer myself as a Candidate for the Holmfirth District'
The letter is dated 29 November 1837! I only had a few minutes to spare so I just had time to make a quick copy of the letter - I didn't even have time to turn it over and find out the name of the writer, or whether he was successful - oh, the suspense! I will go back and have a proper look as soon as I can.

As an addendum to my previous post, when I checked my notes I found that for the March quarter of 1838 there is only ONE birth entry for Huddersfield, but that has the volume reference 19, while Huddersfield is in volume 22. This is quite clear in the index page itself (the indexes for this quarter are typed) but I think it is probably a mistake, either on the part of the typist, or of the clerk who wrote the original index page in 1838. Volume 19 includes the registration district of Macclesfield, and the page reference (99) does indeed relate to Macclesfield. According to FreeBMD, there are nine entries on that page giving Macclesfield as the district, and since there can be up to 10 entries on a page, my theory is at least plausible. There is also a rogue entry for Bolton, but I don't know what explanation is for that!


No comments:

Post a Comment