Greenstead: Poor relief

Page 62

A History of the County of Essex: Volume 4, Ongar Hundred. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1956.

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No parish records are known to survive except the registers. A few figures of poor relief are available from Parliamentary returns but these are probably not very reliable. (fn. 1) In 1776 expenditure on poor relief was £11. (fn. 2) For the three years 1783-5 the average annual expenditure was £29. (fn. 3) By 1800-1 the annual expenditure had risen to £150, but in 1802-3 it was only £74. (fn. 4) Figures of expenditure on poor relief alone are missing for the years 1803-11; the poor rates, which also include administrative expenses and county rates, rose from £91 in 1803-4 to £255 in 1810-11. (fn. 5) The cost of relief rose from £174 in 1811-12 to £486 in 1819-20. (fn. 6) The cost for 1820-1 was, however, only £144. (fn. 7)

There was a parish poorhouse by 1776. (fn. 8) In 1841 there were 'almshouses' belonging to the parish, situated at Greenstead Green, opposite Greenstead House. (fn. 9) These had probably been provided by the parish for the accommodation of its poor: there is no evidence that they were a privately endowed charity. They had disappeared by 1873-4. (fn. 10)

In 1836 Greenstead became part of Ongar Poor Law Union.

For an account of Petit's Charity see Stanford Rivers.


  • 1. The parliamentary returns can often be checked for parishes with surviving poor law records; for other places in Ongar hundred they have been found inaccurate.
  • 2. E.R.O., Q/CR 1/1.
  • 3. Ibid.
  • 4. E.R.O., Q/CR 1/9.
  • 5. Ibid.
  • 6. Ibid.; Q/CR 1/12.
  • 7. Q/CR 1/12. A remarkable drop, if the figure is correct; but it may be an error.
  • 8. Rep. Sel. Cttee. on Overseers Retns. 1777, H.C. Ser. 1, vol. ix, p. 350.
  • 9. E.R.O., D/CT 153. The almshouses, apparently 4 in number, were in a terrace.
  • 10. O.S. 6 in. Map (1st edn.), sheet 1 (1873-4).