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Towcester Union Settlement Records 1848 - 1861

                                                                                                                   Names of those listed


The Poor Law Act of 1601 had declared that every parish was responsible for its own poor. Parishes did not want to be liable for the relief of poor from another parish also, and so the concept of 'settlement' arose. Anyone 'settled' in a parish had a right to relief from it, and others did not.


After the Settlement Act of 1662, people could obtain a settlement in any parish through:


  • marriage,
  • apprenticeship,
  • domestic service for over a year
  • occupying property worth more than £10 per annum (well beyond the means of a labourer)
  • birth


Anyone not fulfilling these criteria was liable to be removed to their original parish. 


After 1697, poorer people had to carry a settlement certificate with them to show that their parish of legal settlement would take them back if necessary. Anyone who applied for relief and was not accepted as legally 'settled' in the parish would have their origins investigated to discover where their true place of settlement actually was. This process was known as a 'settlement examination'. This was conducted before two magistrates, who questioned the person about their life-history.


Many of the cases were the result of illegitimacy, or the death of a father followed by the re-marriage of the mother.


Typically, a legitimate child would take it's father's place of settlement, and an illegitimate child would be settled in its place of birth until:


  • He served an apprenticeship elsewhere, or
  • He rented property worth over £10 per year in another parish, or
  • He was unmarried and had worked a full year in a parish.
  • He held public office in a parish, or paid the parish poor rate.
  • She married a man of the parish.

It is noticeable that many of those who worked were hired by the day, week, or month. Longer periods of employment would be 51 weeks. These were stratagems to avoid making a man potentially chargeable on the parish. No-one wanted to put the Poor Rates up.


Those deemed to be settled elsewhere could be Removed back to their place of settlement, by a Removal Order. This could in theory take them back to a parish they had last lived in as a small child. But if they had lived in the parish for 5 years, they were deemed “irremovable”, and could not be returned, although their parish of Settlement was still expected to pay for them.


This book covers a wide area around Towcester.


Names of those examined in this book:

Elizabeth Adams of Silverstone (wife of George), Elizabeth Adams (single) of Silverstone,
Mary Ann Adams of Towcester, George Ager of Litchborough, William Armstone of Grimscote, Cold Higham,
Elizabeth Ashby of Astcote, Pattishall


James Barnes of Blakesley, Naomi Barron of Fosters Booth, Thomas Basford of Towcester,
Thomas Bass of Shutlanger, George Bennett of Silverstone, Jane Blunt of Lois Weedon, Amelia Botterill of Litchborough


William Carter of Shutlanger, Henry Cartwright of Silverstone, Richard Causeby of Pattishall,
Ann Chapman of Pattishall, Michael Clements of Greens Norton, William Coles of Astcote, Pattishall, Edward Colson of Whittlebury, Sarah Cook of North Crawley, John Cowley of Whittlebury, William Croxford of Pattishall


John Dove of Towcester, Sarah Drinkwater of Blakesley, John Dudley of Whittlebury


Mary Eales of Towcester, John Ellis of Blisworth, William Evans of Towcester


George Farey of Stoke Bruerne, Esther Foster of Abthorpe, John Foster of Duncote


Joseph Gardiner of Meridan, Richard Gardner of Eastcote, Pattishall, William Gardner of Stoke Bruerne, George Grantham als Judge, Robert Grantham of Silverstone, Thomas Greaves of Wappenham, Richard Green of Blisworth


Mary Hall of Hulcote, Thomas Harris of Towcester, Thomas Haynes of Heathencote, Paulerspury, George & Ann Humphrey of Maidford, George Humphrey of Weedon Lois, William Hutchings of Pattishall


Lucy Inns of Blakesley


Charles Cook James of Pattishall, Jane Johnson of Towcester, Elizabeth Jones of Bury, Lancs and India


John Kendall of Greens Norton, Mary Kent of Silverstone, Joseph Key of Greens Norton, James Kinder of Eastcote, Pattishall, Mary King of Gayton, Robert King of Silverstone, James Kingston of Towcester,
James Kirby of Towcester


Anna Maria Lovell of Whittlebury, Job Loveridge of Towcester


Eli Maul of Whittlebury, Catherine Mawby of Weston by Weedon, Winifred Mott of Bradden


Jane Oldham of Whittlebury


William Packwood of Wappenham, Richard Pinckard of Cold Higham, Thomas Polkey of Blisworth,
Ann Powell of Towcester


John Quinney of Silverstone


John Richardson of Blisworth, Jemima Rickards of Towcester, Jesse Roberts of Cold Higham


Richard Sanders of Blakesley, Joseph Satchell of Blakesley, John Scott of Silverstone, George Shephard of Towcester, Aaron Skerry of Astcote, Pattishall, Hannah Smith of Blakesley, George Smith of Stoke Bruerne, Henry Smith of Astcote, Pattishall, Sarah Smith of Blakesley, Sarah Spurling of Towcester, William Stevens of Silverstone


Lucy Tapp of Towcester, John Thorneycroft of Blisworth, Zachariah Tibbs of Blisworth, John Tooley of Silverstone


William Varney of Silverstone


Mary Ann Warren of Cogenhoe, Sarah Webb of Paulerspury, George Welch of Fosters Booth,
George Wheeler of Silverstone, William White of Wappenham, Benjamin Whitmore of Silverstone, Richard Whitmore of Stoke Bruerne, Elizabeth Priscilla Wilcox of Towcester, Maria Williams of Stoke Bruerne, Isaac Wood of Slapton, Frances Wright of Towcester