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Manchester Overseers of the Poor
Manchester Overseers of the Poor
The records from the chest of the Churchwardens and Overseers of the parish of Manchester, consist of an accumulation of records arising mainly from the responsibilities of the Churchwarden and Overseers in administering the poor law, including the workhouse, and the various charities for the poor, but partly from the churchwardens' other parochial and ecclesiastical duties. There are other records closely akin to these in the Muniment Room of Manchester Cathedral (see A E J Hollander's description in 274.273 M10) and one Overseers' Account book 1664-1711 has found its way into John Rylands Library (English MS No 97, edited in Chetham Society M S v 80). These records were listed and numbered in several ancient lists (see GB127.M3/1/1) and this old archival numeration has been retained with the additions made to it by successive keepers of the chest. The arrangement is roughly chronological for the listed items (GB127.M3/2/1-137). A number of unlisted items from the chest have been added at the end of the calendar. They are arranged chronologically within each section. GB127.M3/3 comprises records of the Churchwardens and Overseers concerned mainly with their poor law functions; GB127.M3/4 is concerned with the workhouse and its administration; GB127.M3.5 deals with the various charities; and GB127.M3/6 consists of records concerned with the Collegiate Church and its property. After 1841 the Overseers were concerned only with the raising of the various rates for the Corporation and the poor rate, the administration of the poor law being then in the hands of the Guardians of the poor of the various unions (GB127.M4).The chest itself was stored wherever the Churchwardens and Overseers, later the Overseers alone, had their offices, and was presumably taken over by the Rating and Valuation Department of the Corporation under the Rating Sub Committee, following the Rating and Valuation Act of 1925, when they took over the Overseers' responsibilities. The City Treasurer transferred the chest to the Central Library in 1954. The Overseers' Library of works of reference and reports concerned with the poor law, containing many valuable local items (see GB127.M3/10) was transferred by the Rating Sub Committee in 1937. Included in this archive group are c.700 apprenticeship indentures (available on microfilm), mainly for children put out by the Churchwardens and Overseers, which were stored with the records of the Manchester Guardians of the Poor in their offices at All Saints, Manchester. These records (see GB127.M4) descended eventually to the Social Welfare Department of Manchester Corporation, who transferred them to the Central Library in 1947. The apprenticeship records, since they go back to the period when the Churchwardens and Overseers were responsible for poor law administration have been placed with the Overseers' records at GB127.M3/9. The apprenticeship indentures are available on Findmypast.Related Material:Records of the Guardians of the Poor of Manchester, Chorlton and Prestwich Unions, 1842-1948 (GB127.M4).The Library of the Manchester Overseers of the Poor is now a Special Collection (old ref: GB127.M3/10)Place:Manchester/Manchester/Manchester/Lancashire/England
Manchester Overseers of the Poor
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