Fonds PLU - York Poor Law Union and Workhouse records (including records of the York Public Assistance Committee)

Identity area

Reference code



York Poor Law Union and Workhouse records (including records of the York Public Assistance Committee)


  • Late 17th century-1960s (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

318 linear metres

Context area

Name of creator

(?mid-19thc-1906; 1914-1930)

Administrative history

By the 1920s this committee comprised 18 elected members plus quarterly members (the remaining 65 Guardians were divided into 4 groups and each group sat on the committee for three months of the year). There was a changing array of sub-committees that reported directly to the Workhouse Committee, for example: the Farm and Garden Committee; Provisions and Clothing Committee; Timber Committee; Works and Repairs Committee; and Entertainment Committee.
Replaced by the Workhouse Visiting Committee (1906-1914); then reinstated in 1914 to replace the Workhouse Visiting Committee.

Name of creator


Administrative history

Founded in 1929 under the Local Government Act 1929 administrative scheme for the county borough of York. It had 24 members, consisting of 16 members of the corporation and 8 non-members (of which a minimum of two had to be women). For a short period from 17 July 1947 until August 1948 it was renamed the Social Welfare Committee. The Public Assistance Committee effectively replaced the York Poor Law Union/Board of Guardians as the principal administrators of the Poor Law in the York City area. Areas of the York Poor Law Union that lay in the North, East or West Ridings became the responsibility of the Public Assistance Committee for their relevant county.
Inherited administration of poor relief in the York City area from the York Poor Law Union and Board of Guardians, which were abolished in 1930 by the Local Government Act 1929. Also carried out functions relating to unemployment previously carried out by the Distress Committee (1905-1911). It was replaced by the Welfare Committee (1948-1970).

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Includes records relating to governance of the Union; indoor relief (workhouse relief); outdoor relief; the collection of relief; settlement and removal; child welfare; hospitals and asylums; public health; assessment and rating; civil registration; the general administration of the Union (including staffing); financial records; legal case paper and summonses; and records relating to properties and buildings owned or tenanted by the Union.

Many of the records relating to indoor relief and outdoor relief contain information on individuals.

Includes records of the York Public Assistance Committee, which was responsible for the administration of the Poor Law from 1930-1948.


No further accruals likely

System of arrangement

Owing to the disrupted nature of the accessions and the changing administration of the Poor Law we have catalogued this collection using a functional classification system. Records were catalogued into the following 14 subfonds, with each subfonds representing a primary function of the Poor Law Union and Public Assistance Committee:

PLU/1 Governance
PLU/2 Indoor relief
PLU/3 Outdoor relief
PLU/4 Collection of relief
PLU/5 Settlement and removal
PLU/6 Children
PLU/7 Hospitals and asylums
PLU/8 Public Health
PLU/9 Assessment and rating
PLU/10 Registration
PLU/11 General administration
PLU/12 Finance and accounts
PLU/13 Legal
PLU/14 Property and buildings

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access


Material is available subject to the usual terms and conditions of access to Archives and Local History collections.

Conditions governing reproduction

Images are supplied for private research only at the Archivist's discretion. Please note that material may be unsuitable for copying on conservation grounds. Researchers who wish to publish material must seek copyright permission from the copyright owner.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

    Language and script notes

    Finding aids

    Allied materials area

    Existence and location of originals

    Existence and location of copies

    Related units of description

    See also: EPH/2/1108;

    Related descriptions

    Notes area

    Alternative identifier(s)


    Acc 2; Acc 122 and Acc 400 (part,4 volumes only)

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    Accession area