Each records contains an image and a transcript of the original record. The amount of information can vary but you can find out the following about your ancestor:
Date of death
Poor Law Union
There are 66,984 records which include, not just those who died in the workhouse but also private patients at the hospital in the workhouse grounds.
The Withington Workhouse was opened in 1855 and had accommodation for 1,500 inmates. In the mid 1860s a pavilion plan hospital was built to the north of the workhouse. The design was considered the optimum plan for a hospital at the time and Florence Nightingale praised the Withington plan saying that it was to be one of the best, if not the best in the country. The register contains death records for both workhouse inmates and private patients.
While the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act introduced Poor Law Unions, workhouses had existed for more than 100 years. But under the 1834 Act they thrived as the grim institutions familiar from Oliver Twist. While it was acknowledged, as it had been since the 17th century, that the poor must be saved from utter destitution, the 19th century workhouses were run as deterrents.
Life inside them was harsh and those who needed to enter had to prove that they were without other options. The inmates were strictly segregated, young from old, men from women, fit from the infirm. Families could only spend a few hours together each week and the days were spent in hard, monotonous industry. Women would sew while men would be engaged in tasks like dismantling old ropes for further use or grinding corn on a treadmill.
Withington was originally in the Chorlton Union. The union burial ground was also within the grounds of the workhouse. In 1910, Withington became part of the Manchester Union.
Images copyright the Manchester Archives, transcripts copyright brightsolid online publishing Ltd