Cumberland is bounded North by Scotland and part of Northumberland, East by Westmorland and Durham, South by Lancashire, and West by the Irish Sea. It is 80 miles long, and about 40 broad. It is divided into 5 Wards; it has one City, one Borough, and 14 Market Towns. Rivers, the Eden and the Derwent. It is in the Province of York, in the Dioceses of Carlisle, Durham, and Chester, and in the Northern Circuit. It contains 1478 square miles, or 945,920 acres. Population, 178,038
Source: Leonard’s Gazetteer of England and Wales; Second Edition; C. W. Leonard, London; 1850.
The Earldom of Carlisle was divided into baronies, but on the creation of the county these were replaced by wards. These took the place of hundreds found in most other English counties, and originated in military subdivisions organised for the defence of the county from incursions by Scottish troops1. Each ward was composed of a number of parishes, areas originally formed for ecclesiastical administration. In common with other counties of northern England, many parishes in Cumberland were very large, often consisting of a number of distinct townships and hamlets. Many of these subdivisions were eventually to become civil parishes and form the lowest level of local government. The wards and their constituent parishes in 1821 were2:
Allerdale above Derwent Ward
Allerdale below Derwent Ward
Poor Law Unions in Cumberland
The Poor Law Amendment Act 1834 provided for the grouping of parishes into poor law unions, each with a central workhouse and an elected board of guardians. Cumberland was divided into nine unions: Alston with Garrigill, Bootle, Brampton, Carlisle, Cockermouth, Longtown, Penrith, Whitehaven and Wigton.
Alston with Garrigill Poor Law Union
Bootle Poor Law Union
Brampton Poor Law Union
Carlisle Poor Law Union
Cockermouth Poor Law Union
Longtown Poor Law Union
Penrith Poor Law Union
Whitehaven Poor Law Union
Wigton Poor Law Union
W L Warren (1984). “The Myth of Norman Administrative Efficiency: The Prothero Lecture”. Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 5th Ser., Vol. 34. Royal Historical Society. Retrieved 2009-06-19.
Youngs, Frederic A, Jr. (1991). Guide to the Local Administrative Units of England, Vol.2: Northern England. London: Royal Historical Society. pp. 648–649. ISBN 0-86193-127-0.Whillier, Thomas (1825). A General Directory to all the Counties, Hundreds, Ridings, Wapentakes, Divisions, Cities, Boroughs, Liberties, Parishes, Townships, Tythings, Hamlets, Precincts, Chapelries &c. &c. in England. London: Joseph Butterworth & Son. pp. 28–31.