Truro Poor Law Union

  • Created: 12 May 1837
  • Date Abolished: 1930
  • Workhouse: St. Clement Parish
  • Poor rates in 1863, £14,064
  • Pop. in 1851, 42,270; in 1861, 43,070.
  • Houses (1870), 9,004.

Parishes in Truro Poor Law Union

Poor Law unions Adjacent to Truro

  • Falmouth
  • St Austell
  • St Columb Major
  • Redruth

Sub-districts

Truro Poor Law Union comprised the sub-districts of:

  • Kea and Feock
  • Kenwyn
  • Probus
  • St Agnes
  • St Clement
  • St Just

Health and Living Conditions within the Truro Poor Law Union Area

The 1842 Sanitary Enquiry contains reports by various medical officers that give us an invaluable insight into the general living conditions within the area covered by Truro poor law union.

Mr. Moyle, medical officer of the Kea and Feock district, Truro union:

“The decomposition of refuse vegetable and animal matter thrown from the houses is constant, and filth of every description is lodged within a few feet of the door which emit a most intolerable stench.” They have also stagnant pools near the doors “The chief object of the proprietors is to accumulate as much manure as possible for the cultivation of their gardens and for the growth of potatoes. Many persons have a heap of 20 loads of dung, most abominably shocking to the olfactory powers of strangers coming near it, within a short distance of the doors. Independent of the turnpike roads, there are no scavengers or other persons appointed to remove the soil in my district.”

Mr. Spry, medical officer of the Truro district, Truro union:

“In this road, called the Back lane (in Truro), is a lodging-house for vagrants, and some tenements adjoining, the filth from which is all cast into an open trench before the houses. From the attention paid to the sweepings of the streets by the commissioners of paving and lighting, a general show of cleanliness is preserved, but in some of the courts where the scavengers are prohibited from entering, being private property, and no thoroughfare, the stench is sometimes abominable, and instead of being desirous of having the accumulated filth removed, each resident emulates the other in filling his much-cherished pit. One such place on the western side of Culinick-street is especially remarkable for this distinction, and here two out of the four cases of typhus occurred. One of them, transferred to me by my predecessor in office, I immediately caused to be removed to the workhouse in a healthy situation, where he ultimately recovered; and the other case also did well, although kept in the same situation, by the purification of the premises and court, and liberal allowances of porter, wine, &c.”

Mr. C. Doble, medical officer, St. Just district, Truro union:

“Contagious febrile disease was very prevalent in Veryan parish. A great number of cases arise from stagnant pools, accumulations of sea-weed, &c. The labourers generally keep a stagnant pool for the purpose of obtaining dung.”

FamilySearch Catalog

Poorhouses & Poor Law Records

Poor law records, 1687-1843 Author: St. Mary’s Parish (Truro, Cornwall)