The Workhouse | Hoghton Workhouse

These rules and regulations for the workhouse would have been stringently adhered to.  The regime was very strict, and all for being poor. Is it any wonder that people would only enter the workhouse as a last resort?
Abbott and Handy, who published these rules, also published the Blackburn Mail from an office in Water Street from July 22nd 1807 to 19th Febuary 1808.
By Stephen Smith
Blackburn Mail Printing Office, Water Street,



I. That the Gates shall be kept constantly fastened, so that there can be no passing without the knowledge of the Master or House-keeper.
II.  Strangers shall not be admitted into any part of the Buildings without leave of the Master; or, in his absence, the House–keeper.
III.  That no Pauper shall be permitted to go out at the Gates without leave from the Master or House-keeper.—The Servants shall be subject to this rule; but it does not extend to Paupers who go out to work.
IV.  That all persons upon admission shall deliver to the Master their household furniture and linen; also clothes which are not in wearing, with a true account of such as are.
V.  That on coming in they shall be examined with respect to cleanliness; and if filthy, shall be kept separate until they are well washed, and made fit for associating with others.  If they be likely to remain in the House, they may be completely clad at first; and their clothes, when cleaned, may, at the direction of the House-keeper, either be laid by or returned, and the new clothes taken back for another occasion.  If they be not likely to remain long in the House, washing clothes must be lent to them until they go out, or, until their own are cleansed, if they be worth the labour.
VI.  That no person shall be allowed to have more than a full change of clothes in wearing; if more be brought in, they must be laid by under the care of the House-keeper, and either given to the owner as they are wanted, or returned when he or she goes away, and no person shall be allowed to have more than one box in the lodging room.
VII.  That every person shall have one complete change, and shall put on clean linen and stockings every Sunday morning; and the bed linen shall be regularly changed, at least once a month.
VII.  That all persons shall be set to some employment as soon after they come in as circumstances will permit; and, if possible, to the occupation to which they have been accustomed; and all are required to attend diligently to their own proper business.
IX.  That the Bell shall be rung at seven o’clock in the evening in Winter, and at eight o’clock in Summer, for all the children under ten years of age to go to bed; at eight o’clock in Winter, and nine o’clock in Summer, for all from ten to fifteen; and at half past nine o’clock every night for all those above fifteen years of age.
X.  That all the lights shall be extinguished by ten o’clock, except when sickness renders a light necessary.
XI.  That all shall rise at the ringing of the Bell, which shall be as follows: -- From
The twenty-first of March to the twenty-first of September, at half past five o’clock; from the twenty-first of September to the first of November, at six; from the first of November to the fourteenth of February, at seven; and from the fourteenth of February to the twenty-first of March, at six o’clock.
XII.  That all the beds occupied by women shall be made by those who sleep in them, when able; and they shall not be allowed to have their breakfast until the beds are made.
XIII.  That the following shall be the Bill of Fare, subject to such alterations by the Committee, as economy may from time to time point out;

XIV.  The Breakfast shall be ready every morning at eight o’clock; Dinner at twelve o’clock; Supper for the Children at six o’clock; and the rest at seven.
XV.  That the Bell shall be rung before every meal; when all, except those who are prevented by sickness, or have leave from the Committee to be absent, shall attend punctually, come regularly into the Dining-room, make a solemn pause immediately after sitting down, whilst some one asks a blessing; behave orderly and solidly during all the time they are at Table; and, when they have finished, make another solemn pause, whilst some one returns thanks, as it becometh those who look up with thankful hearts, to a bountiful God for his goodness in protecting and feeding them.
XVI.  That the Servants shall be selected out of the most regular well-behaved, and trusty people in the House, that confidence may be placed in their integrity.
XVII. That they shall sit down in the dinning-room, and have their meals in an orderly way, after the others have finished.
XVIII.  That when they have done their proper Business they may be allowed to work for their own emolument, and may receive any additional reward which the Committee thinks their services merit.
XIX.  That all persons in sickness shall steadily follow the orders of the medical Attendants, be attentive to the directions of the Nurse, endeavour to keep themselves as clean as possible, and as soon as they are able, (if it be necessary,) assist about others.
XX.  That all persons in health, and of ability of body, shall make themselves clean and decent in their apparel, and collect every Sunday morning and afternoon, when the weather will permit, in due time for the Calling of the Roll, previous to their going to Church, and they shall go in regular order with the Master, from the Workhouse to the Church, (if they have not leave from the Committee to attend other places of worship,) and, after Divine Service, return with same regularity.
XXI.  That, in Order to put a stop to the absurd and profane practice of Cursing and swearing, Every person guilty of it shall forfeit One Penny for each oath; one half to be given to the informer, and the other half, with any other fines, for the reward of the sober, orderly, and diligent.
XXII.  That each bed shall be furnished with one chamberpot, and if broken, the lodgers in the bed to which it belongs shall make it good out of their encouragement-money, or over-earnings; and if any dispute arise about the person who broke it, the charge shall fall equally on all the workers who sleep in the room.
XXII.  That where several females lodge in a room, each of those who are able shall, in her turn, take care of the room for a week, sweeping it clean every morning before breakfast, wash it once a week in the Winter, and twice a week in the Summer, and pay every attention necessary to keep it clean and orderly; she shall collect all the washing cloths every Sunday morning, deliver them to the Laundry-maid by nine o’clock, and stay whilst she examines them.  The name of the woman who has the care of the room for the week shall be hung upon the room door; and, when her week is expired, and she has delivered the cloths to the Laundry-maid, as above directed, she shall then bring the paper, upon which her name is to the Master, and he shall give her the name of the woman who shall take care of the room the ensuing week, to be hung in its place.
XXIV.  That the Chamber-maid shall take care of all the lodging-rooms which are occupied by men, or by infirm women only; and shall make the beds, sweep and wash the rooms, and collect the washing-cloths, as directed in the Rules.
XXV.  That no lodging-room shall be used for a sitting-room when it can be avoided.
XXVI.  That the Nurse cause all the Children under their care to have their hands and faces washed, and their hair combed every morning by the hour appointed for beginning to work.
XXVII.  That all shall keep their own persons as clean as their work will permit.  They shall keep to their own rooms, and preserve exact neatness and constant cleanliness therein, as well as upon every other part of the premises; and they shall be submissive to the Master and Housekeeper, and strictly follow their directions.
XVIII.  That when any person thinks himself aggrieved, complaint must be made, in  a becoming manner, to the Visitors; and, if they cannot redress it, they must bring it before the Committee.
XXIX.  That any person, who shall be found up stairs with clogs on, shall be fined One Penny, half to go to the informer.
XXX.  That all under thirteen years of age shall have their hands and faces washed every night before they go to bed, and their necks, ears, and feet every Saturday night, and shall be carefully combed every Wednesday and Saturday, and oftener when necessary.
XXXI.  That all who directed to attend the Schoolmaster, shall attend two hours every day, to learn reading, t&c.

XXXII.  That the Master is required to enter in the Visitors Book the name of every person who shall in any wise behave ill, or be refractory,  disobedient, or idle, specifying the nature of the offence.  This Book shall always be laid ready for the Visitors to enter their Remarks, and shall be produced at the Committee.  But, in case of a flagrant breach of good order, which may require immediate correction, the Master is required to summon the Visitors, or, in their absence, two other members of the Committee.
XXXIII.  The master shall be the Director in the House.
XXXIV.  That he shall be the Master of all the Servants, and shall take care that they fill up their places with sobriety, economy, and diligence.
XXXV.  That he shall not go out of town without leave from the Visitors, or, in their absence, from two Members of the Committee, who will undertake the special care of the House during his absence.
XXXVI.  That he shall take particular care that the Rules for the house are punctually attended to.
XXXVII.  That he shall steadily attend to the orders of the Committee, and carry them speedily into execution, without favour or affection; and, in cases of delinquency, he shall hide the misconduct of none from scrutiny.
XXXVIII.  That he shall keep neat, regular, and true accounts, and shall always have them as much posted as possible, that they may be ready for examination whenever the Committee calls for them.
XXXIX.  That he shall, each Committee day, have all the Books and Papers ready upon the Table, at least one hour before the time of meeting, and shall attend personally to give any information required.
XL.  That he shall see all the butcher's meat, potatoes and oatmeal, weighed, and the coals measured, and keep a regular account of them, and pay no bills till they are examined and passed by the Committee.
XLI.  That he shall receive all incomers, immediately enter their names, and other necessary particulars.
XLII.  That over the door of each lodging-room he shall keep a correct list of the names and ages of all those who lodge in that room, and upon the door of each, the name of the person who has the care of the room.
XLIII.  That he read Prayers, and portions of Scripture from the New Testament, in the Dining-room, when stormy weather prevents the people going to church.
XLIV.  That he shall be watchful over his own conduct; always bearing in mind, that example goes before precept; and that steady, mild and persuasive manner, will gain more upon the refractory than terror and force.


Hoghton Workhouse

By Barrie Holden
Hoghton Workhouse existed for over 45 years but we have never known where it was built and consequently how big it was and how many people it could accommodate.
It was started before 1793, as the first record we have for it is a burial on the 1st November 1793 for a Ralph Ironfield, but it appears that it was not just Hoghton’s as in 1795 they applied to the courts for permission to raise money to erect a workhouse building and it was done by Hoghton with Wheelton and Withnell but whether it was like Brindle, taking people from other Townships, cannot be determined. It was eventually closed in March 1839, by the newly formed Chorley Poor Union, by them simply withdrawing all paupers to the Chorley workhouse.
As it closed in 1839 by the time the first Ordnance Survey map was published in 1848, its name and position is not marked as Brindle’s, Leyland’s, Chorley’s and Croston’s were but on Greenwoods map of 1818 there is a workhouse position recorded.
Looking at the buildings marked, there is only one that the map seems to indicate, which is the one at the end of the word Workhouse just above the attempt at drawing the reservoir which fed the water wheel of the factory and what is there today is Vale House Farm.

Legend has it that this was built by one of the Hoghtons, from the Tower, for one of his sons, which would seem reasonable as the first two storeys seem to have high ceilings and big windows where the third has small windows in the attic space, indicating servants quarters and it also has 13 rooms.
Brindle workhouse was also closed by the Union in 1839, by again removing all the paupers to Chorley workhouse, but in the 1841 census is still listed as the poor house and has 3 local families living in it, but in the 1841 census for Hoghton the enumerator has only written everything under Hoghton Bottoms with no distinction between different buildings.
Looking at the Tithe map for Hoghton, which was for 1841, it shows us a large, slightly T shaped building that seems to be attached to the main building that is there today.

Lancashire Record Office Ref. DRB1/107 Tithe map and Schedule 1841
In the schedule it is listed as number 288 indicating that it was all one building and it tells us that the landowner is Sir Henry Bold Hoghton Bart and Thomas Livesey occupies it and he has, House, Cottages & Garden.
          LAND OWNER                                                                                      OCCUPIER, LANDS AND PREMISES
  Sir Henry Bold Hoghton Bart                                                Thomas Livesey      284   Factory Cottages etc.
                                                                                                                                              287   House Cottages & Garden
                                                                                                                                              284a Bank, Pasture
                                                                                                                                              291   Reservoir
From the schedule it also tells us that an Ellen Thornley occupies the 2 cottages numbered 289.
Referring back to the 1841 census we have these names recorded:
Thomas Livesey
James Boocock
Cotton Printer
Nancy Bibby
Elizabeth Boocock
William Riding
Card wanner
William Boocock
Robert Baron
Ag Lab
John Boocock
Thomas Riding
Shop keeper
Henry Boocock
Thomas Thompson
Elizabeth Boocock
Nancy Thompson
Agnes Woodruff
Toby Thompson
William Parkinson
Thomas Thompson
Elizabeth Woodruff
Alice Holland
Thomas Woodruff
Mary Parkinson
Mary Woodruff
Ellen Simpson
Margaret Woodruff
Elizabeth Lang
Joseph Woodruff
Margaret Brierley
John Shortbridge
Agnes Brierley
Ellen Shortbridge
Isabella Thompson
School Mistress
Ellen Thornley
Inn Keeper
Henry Gorton
James Thornley
Ellen Gorton
William Thornley
Between Thomas Livesey and Ellen Thornley there are 32 names, which suggests that they where living in these cottages and the house that Thomas Livesey had occupancy of and they are a mixture of single people and some families which I cannot determine the situation off, except for the Woodruffs.
Agnes Woodruff ‘s husband, William had died in 1836 and as she has no occupation recorded in this census and as a 36-year-old widow at the time of his death, with 5 children would, more than likely, have been living off poor relief but it would seem that instead of sending them to the Chorley or Leyland workhouse’s after Hoghton was closed the parish have accommodated them in the old Hoghton workhouse which has been converted to cottages similar to Brindle.
Looking at the 1848 Ordnance Survey map it shows us that the tithe map is correct.

It shows the same T shaped building as recorded in the tithe map though with a slight variation in the shape of the main building that is Vale House Farm.
Jumping forward to the 1893/4-Ordnance Survey map the layout has altered.

It shows the main building with some of the cottages still connected, but with the leg of the T demolished and a large barn in their place. We know from local knowledge that the 2 cottages that are left, attached to the back of the main house, were used in the 1900’s for accommodating casual farm workers and presumably that is what they where used for at this period and this is what is shown in this photograph from the early 1900’s.

It shows the house, the back of the cottages and barn and in the back ground the run off from the water wheel of the factory to the reservoirs which where used by the print works.
From this group of photographs from the early 1900’s we also have a photograph of the water wheel that was used to drive the factory further up the valley which in 1848 is identified as Livesey’s Factory (Cotton) and in 1894 as Vale Shuttle Works.
If we look in the back ground on this picture we have this.
Image 8 Cropped water wheel.bmp
Which is the back of Vale House Farm showing the 2 cottages (unfortunately obscured by a tree) and the end of the barn.
 As to how many the workhouse could accommodate we have to compare it with Brindle, for which we have some information.
The Brindle building had a floor area of some 5800 Sq. Ft. and was a 3 storey building; though the 3rd. storey was an attic space described as being very cramped. The whole of the ground floors in both wings were weaving shops so basically it can be classed as a 2 storey building.
Hoghton has a floor area of around 4200 Sq. Ft. and from the picture of the cottages they are shown to be 2 storeys so it would have to be assumed that Hoghton was a 2 storey throughout, but we do not know if it had a weaving shop as other workhouse of this period had.
Assuming that there was no weaving shop and both can be classed as 2 storeys and knowing Brindle's capacity was for 200, this would give Hoghton a capacity to hold 140, but assuming a weaving shop, which is more than likely, it would probably be housed on the ground floor of the leg of the building and would reduce Hoghton’s capacity to 90.
The other comparison is with the burials recorded in St. James for Brindle and Holy Trinity for Hoghton. For 12 years previous to its first closure in 1839 we know how many people were in Brindle for each year and from the records how many deaths. Averaging these out we get 5 burials for 79 living in the workhouse, as the highest number of burials in Hoghton for the same period is 5 this brings its capacity down to 80.
Comparing the two workhouses together,a figure of 60 to 80 would seem more reasonable with a possibility of being up to 90.
To complete the history of this old workhouse and the farm it later became we have to refer to a further photograph taken some time in the 1920’s.
This shows the farm with a shippon added to the side of the house. The factory that was shown in the previous early photograph has been demolished and the stone used to build the shippon and the water way is no longer in use as evidenced by the missing water run off channels.
The barn and cottages where eventually demolished in 1980.
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