Its operation was overseen by an elected Board of Guardians, 20 in number, representing representing its 4 constituent parishes as follows (with numbers of Guardians for each): Greenwich (8); St Nicholas, Deptford (3); St Paul, Deptford (4); Woolwich (5).The population falling within the Union at the 1831 census had been 62,009 — ranging from St Nicholas, Deptford (population 6,036) to Greenwich itself (24,553).
By May 1729, it had 70 inmates, including 26 children, all 'decently lodged, fed, cloathed, and taught.' In 1730, Deptford was divided into two parishes: St Nicholas (which included the old town) and St Paul.
In 1776, the St Nicholas workhouse was reported as being 78 feet long, 36 deep, two storeys high, and containing fifteen 'apartments' which housed up to 130 inmates who picked oakum for the Deptford shipyard.
It was written by a former inmate, who signed himself "W. R.", and who later graduated to the large district school run by South Metropolitan School District of which Greenwich was part. I should think I was not afraid, indeed, I had been too much used to water.
I was in the bath in a moment with a jump, but the next moment my screams and yells could be heard far and wide.
THAT no Money be allowed by the Overseers to be paid to any Person, but by Order of his Majesty's Justices of the Peace, and the Gentlemen of the Committee then sitting, on a Day appointed Weekly for the Relief of the Poor.
THAT no Person be admitted into the House, but on the Committee-day, except on some extraordinary Occasion.
THE Weekly Bill of Fare for this House is much the same as in other Places. By May 1729 there were 70 inmates in residence, including 26 children who were all "decently lodged, fed, cloathed, and taught." In 1753, Greenwich promoted a Local Act (26 George II, c.100) to place administration of poor relief into the hands of a Board of Guardians.
THE House Expences for one Week, when 90 were in Family, was as follows. The 1724 workhouse proved inadequate for the demands placed on it and in 1765 the Greenwich Guardians began renting land off Maidenstone Hill occupied by a building known as the Pest House.
The three-storey main block was based on a central corridor plan.
Greenwich is one of the earliest examples of this type of design which became extremely popular — around 150 corridor plan workhouses were built between 18.
So that allowing the Eatables of the Family came to 6 l. The site was subsequently purchased from the Crown and a new workhouse erected.