Baildon Local Board of Guardians

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From 1852 to the end of 1894 various aspects of Baildon were administered by what started as the Baildon Local Board of Guardians. From 1895 administration was in the hands of Baildon Urban District Council.

Local Boards of Guardians were formed as a result of the Poor Law Amendment Act 1834 and replaced the parish Overseers of the Poor. The Boards administered the workhouses within a defined group of parishes.

Petition under Public Health Act 1848

In 1851 a petition from Baildon residents was presented under the Public Health Act, 1848, by Rev. Joseph Mitton, Incumbent and an Inquiry[1] was conducted was conducted by William Lee, Superintending Inspector, The General Board of Health. The recommendations of the inquiry were:-

  1. That the Public Health Act, 1848, except the section numbered 50 in the copies of that Act printed by Her Majesty's printers, be applied to the township of Baildon, in the parish of Otley, in the west riding of the county of York.
  2. That the Local Board of Health to be elected under the said Public Health Act, shall consist of nine persons, and that the entire number shall be elected for the whole of the said district.
  3. That the first election of the said Local Board of Health shall take place on a day to be named in the Order in Council for applying the said Act.
  4. That one third in number of the said Local Board shall go out of office on the 25th day of March in each year, subsequently to that in which the said first election shall take place.
  5. That every person shall, at the time of his election as a member of the said Local Board, and so long as he shall continue in office by virtue of such election, be resident as in the said Public Health Act, 1848, is required ; and shall be seised and possessed of real or personal estate, or both, to the value or amount of not less than £300. ; or, shall be so resident, and rated to the relief of the poor of the said township upon an annual value of not less than £6.

Election of BLBG

These recommendations were acted on and Baildon Local Board of Guardians was formed in 1852.

The notes from the minutes start 16 Sept 1852 with mention of the elections. This could be an indication of it being the time for the elections to the Board of Guardians or it could indicate that this is when the Board of Guardians started. More information is required.

The Baildon Board of Guardians also concerned themselves with nuisance, water supply, planning applications, street lighting, sanitation and sewerage. This would suggest that the legislation involved was that of the Local Board of Health - these being formed as a result of the Public Health Act 1848.

Elections for the Local Board of Guardians were held on 16 Sept. 1852 and their first quorate meeting was on 9 Oct 1852. The last meeting took place 18 Dec. 1894. As a result of the Local Government Act 1894 Baildon became an Urban District on 1 Jan 1895 and was then administered by Baildon Urban District Council.

There is a transcript of a letter from the Clerk of the Shipley Board of Health (Mr Thompson) to the Clerk of the Baildon Local Board of Health (Mr Brooke) dated 14 Jan 1862. As a result of the Public Health Act 1875 the boards of guardians became rural sanitary authorities for areas outside a municipal borough or town with a local board.

The Local Government Act 1894 resulted in the formation of rural district councils who became guardians for their areas. The rules for the election of the Board of Guardians members were different to those for the rural district council but as can be seen at the end of the notes the members of the Board became Councillors.

See here for the powers of a Local Board of Health

Notes taken from the minutes of the Board of Guardians' meetings

Below are links to notes taken from the minutes of the Baildon Local Board of Guardians. The notes were made by Arthur Edwick, Baildon and signed 27 October 1977. They were transcribed so that they were available electronically by Paul Marfell, Baildon in February 2009. Some footnotes have been added by Paul Marfell. Any use of this document must acknowledge the source and mention the name Arthur Edwick.

Notes from the minutes of meetings - 1852-1859, 1860-1869, 1870-1879, 1880-1889, 1890-1894

Board of Guardian Clerks

Clerks for the Baildon Local Board of Guardians
Dates Name
1852 – 1860 Thomas Holmes
1860 – 1878 Jeremiah Brook
1878 – 1879 Lewis Foulds
1879 – 1880 Mr Grayson
1880 Mr Grayson. Joint post – Inspector of Nuisance
1881 – 1886 Mr Hines
1886 – 1894 Mr Ward

1893 Local Board Members

Meetings held at their offices, Westgate, the 1st and 3rd Tuesday in each month at 7:30pm.[2]

  • Thomas Michael Holmes (chair)
  • Jesse Crabtree
  • George Beck Metcalfe
  • Oliver Firth
  • William Nutt
  • William Gill
  • William Holmes
  • John Walker
  • William Samule Hardacre
  • Clerk and Collector: Joseph Henry Ward, Westgate
  • Medical Officer of Helath: Adam Macvie, MD. Temple Rhydding
  • Engineer & Surveyor: Benjamin Walker, Bradford
  • Inspector of Nuisances: Benjamin Batley

Letter Transcript 1862

Transcript of a letter. Paper embossed with “Shipley Local Board of Health”. Original document fastened to the inside back cover of Arthur Edwick notes.

Shipley. 1862. January 14th

Dear Sir,

I have been directed by the Shipley Local Board of Health to communicate with you respecting Mr. Steads being supplied with water from the Shipley Works, and, for the satisfaction of your Board, we state that the taking of such supply will not at all affect the present position of the two Boards nor give the Shipley Board any claims upon, or advantage over the Baildon Board, directly on indirectly; nor will it prevent the Baildon Board from supplying Mr. Stead themselves, whenever they may be in a position to do so. I do not exactly see the necessity of this apurance but have been directed to give it for the supposed requirement of your Board.

To Mr Brooke, Clerk of the Baildon Local Board of Health, Baildon

I remain, Dear Sir, Yours very truly, Mr Thompson, Clerk of the Shipley Local Board of Health

apurance = assurance

Transcript of payment notes. Date unknown.

Original document fastened to the inside front cover of Arhtur Edwick notes.

Rent for Reservoirs.

Paid to W.W. Maude Esq. 1st Wednesday

in February and 1st Wednesday in August

at Angel Inn

Half year £8-0-0


Rent for Rushcroft Staith

£5-0-0 per annum

Paid to Joseph Greenwood for W.W. Maude Esq. half yearly.


Dr. H. J. Walker's term ends in August

Salary £10-0-0 per annum


Rent for Store House Westgate

£6-10-0 per annum. Commencing 1st May

Paid to F.W. Oddy'

Paid Half Yearly


Rent for Shipley Stone Staith

£18 per annum

To Shipley Gas Company

Transcript of tender acknowledgement

Original document fastened to the inside front cover of Arhtur Edwick notes.

August 16 1851

Tender for Clearance

(??) Board Offices

in Westgate, Baildon s d
for the sum of 2 6
per week

Ruth haliday

July 1892 - Kelcliffe Well Closure & Kelcliffe Sewer

Wharfedale & Airedale Observer - Friday 08 July 1892 had a report on the BLBG meeting where, after receiving reports from the Bradford Borough Analyst and the Medical Officer for Health of West Riding County Council that the water from Kelcliffe Well was unsuitable for domestic use or drinking, Baildon Local Board agreed that the well should be closed. From reading the report on the meeting and also the report in the same paper of the inquest into a death at Kelcliffe it seems that houses in Kelcliffe have recently been connected to a new sewer but that it only reaches the bottom of Kelcliffe. They now need to agree things with the Lord of the Manor so they can get the sewer over his land from the bottom of Kelcliffe to Brook Hill.

July 1892 - Foul Smells and An Extraordinary Death at Kelcliffe

Another article for the same date, Friday 08 July 1892, in the Wharfedale & Airedale Observer reports on the inquest into An Extraordinary Death at Kelcliffe. (Full text at that link.) The Doctors death certificate attempted to say that the death of a 75 year old Mrs. Walker in Kelcliffe was due to blood poisoning caused by foul smells from the sewage and blood running down the beck only yards from her cottage. The jury decided that death was caused by blood poisoning but that the cause of the blood poisoning was not known.[3]

August 1893 Cliffe Lane gate & well. And low pressure mains.

The Shipley Times and Express on Saturday 26 August 1893 reported on the Baildon Local Board meeting where they agreed that a gate at Cliffe Lane should be removed, and also remove stones covering its well, so that the public could exercise their right of access. Water supplies appear to be low and so access to wells is beneficial.

At the same meeting they discussed their decision to turn mains water off such that it was only supplied on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Because the supply was not good enough to reach the higher districts it was to be shut off for the lower districts too. Mr Roberts, of The Knoll, complained about the supply and said that it was similar to a man with only 4 fingers on one hand having a finger removed from the other so that it didn't have an advantage.


  1. Report To The General Board Of Health On A Preliminary Inquiry Into The Sewerage, Drainage, And Supply Of Water, And The Sanitary Condition Of The Inhabitants Of The Township Of BAILDON, dated 1852. William Lee.
  2. 1893 Kelly's Directory for Leeds. Accessed via website
  3. Wharfedale & Airedale Observer Friday 08 July 1892 An Extraordinary Death