Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)
Carlow Poor Law Union
The Early Years
The first meeting of the Guardians was held in the Court House on Thursday, November 5, 1840 where Colonel Bruen was elected Chairman, Sir Thomas Butler Vice-Chairman and William Fishbourne Deputy Vice-Chairman. At the December Meeting George Wilson, Graigue was appointed Valuator with responsibility to value all the rateable property in the Union, which comprised about 188,304 statute acres (County Carlow 151.935 acres. Queen's County 35,491 acres and Kildare 878 acres). Robert Davies, Dublin Street was appointed Clerk of the Union.
The Guardians preoccupation, following their establishment was centered on the erection of the workhouse at the Kilkenny Road, and dealing with the valuation of the Union, which took over two years to complete, followed by many objections and appeals, which had to be adjudicated upon. The Guardians were also required to provide a small-pox vaccination scheme and appoint medical practitioners to operate same. Mr. Henry Montgomery, Dr. Payne and Dr. Bolton were engaged to administer the scheme.
Elections were required to be held annually in the month of March. As the first election was held in late 1840 the next election did not take place until March, 1842. The election was uncontested as the Liberal Party showed little or no interest, and those nominated were declared elected. This resulted in the constitution of the Board being Conservative in the proportion of 36 to 4.
During the months of June. July, and August, 1842 distress again visited Carlow when prepared rice was sold at a reduced rate, with approximately twenty six thousand quarts being distributed. In addition to alleviate the prevailing poverty the Poor Fund Committee provided employment, during the period, with men engaged in repairing streets and roads at Hanover, Pollerton, Green Lane. Gallipot, Athy Road, Montgomery St. Graigue, The Quays and Kilkenny and Dublin Roads.
While each Electoral Division was required only to support the destitute from the area, the first rate to be struck in December, 1843 a general rate of 5d to cover the following expenditure:
At the January Meeting 1844 the following Poor Rate Collectors were appointed to the under-mentioned areas.
Matthew Griffin - Carlow, Kellistown, Fenagh and Nurney
Joseph Malone - Tullow and Grangeforth
John Moulton - Barragh and Myshall
John Cummins - Kiltennel. Borris, Bagenalstown
Martin Hughes - Idrone West
Matthew Farrell - Shrule, Graigue and Arles
It was also agreed at the January Meeting to appoint a Workhouse Master £60 p.a. Matron £30 p.a. School Master £25 p.a., Mistress £15 p.a., Porter £12 p.a. and Medical Officer £60 p.a. staff the workhouse which was nearing completion. Subsequently following interviews conducted by the Guardians the under-mentioned were appointed.
Master - William Baird, Waterford
Matron - Mrs. Mary Anne Rose, Dublin St., Carle
School Master - Mr. Murphy. Parochial School, Graigue
School Mistress - Miss Maryanne Noblett. Hacketstown
Porter - Mr. Ward, Cariow
Medical Officer - Dr. Porter, Carlow
The Clerk of the Union Robert Davies took charge of the Workhouse which was completed on 18th October, 1844, and made arrangements for the reception of inmates. The first applicants for admission were interviewed by the Guardians on Thursday the 21 November.