1851 Harris Family St Martins in the Fields Workhouse

In December 1850 William Harris senior, now aged 54, although living in Lambeth was working as a stonemason in Central London. Records of the St Martin in the Fields Workhouse in Castle St near Trafalgar Square show when William first visited for overnight accommadation in December and was a frequent visitor over the next few months.
The admission and discharge registers detail William's story at this time.

William Harris first visited the workhouse on Friday 13th December 1850 and stayed until Christmas Day
when he absconded after dinner. We assume he prefered to spend the rest of Christmas with his family.

William was back three days later on Saturday 28th Deecember. The register below shows him and 3
others who we presume were also stonemasons. They were all discharged together on Monday morning
after breakfast. (B in the last meal before discharge column).

An early map from 1799 showing the workhouse and immediate area.

William Harris soon returned on Saturday 4th January 1851 for 2 nights accommadation. He is shown
above with his son James (Banfield Moore Harris) and 4 others. All are listed as coming from the stone
yard. The discharge shows them leaving after breakfast the following Monday.

William Harris returned the following day, Tuesday 7th Jan. He is claiming relief for want of employment.

The Admission Register below for Friday 10th January records William's son James, who now returns with
his own family, namely his wife Sophia and their 2 children James (aged 4) and Sophia (aged 2).

Four year old James was discharged to the care of his grand parents on Sunday 19th January.
Sophia stayed with her mother.


View of the St Martins Workhouse from Castle Street. The bottom illustration shows Archbishop Tenisons
Library and Grammar School which formed the centre section fronting Castle Street.

A newcomer to St Martin's was William Harris's son Walter. The record above shows he was admitted on
Saturday 1st February 1851.
He was discharged (see below) at his own request on Wednesday 26th February.


View of workhouse from Hemmings Row.

William Harris discharged himself on Saturday 1st March. His son Walter Harris readmitted himself
for want of employment on Monday 17th March 1851.

1851 Census

At the time of the Census on 30th March 1851 the Harris family were living at various locations.
William and his wife Elizabethwere living at Upper Marsh Lambeth.

His son James Banfield Moore Harris was at this time at the Workhouse at St Martins in The Fields London. The census extracts below show James (bottom) aged 30, his wife Sophia aged 26, and above her their daughter Elizabeth (Betsy) aged 2. Their only other child was James who was now aged 4 and living with his grandmother in Southwark.

On Tuesday April 8th 1851 James Harris, his wife Sophia and their daughter Sophia discharged themselves
from the workhouse and dont appear to have returned. The record for April 9th shows James brother
Walter Harris absconded.

View of workhouse from Dukes Court.

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