St James Workhouse

The St James Workhouse opened in 1725 on Poland Street in the Soho area of London, England, in what was then the parish of Westminster St James, and continued well into the nineteenth century.[1]

An illustration of the workhouse in the St James parish in Microcosm of London, Volume 3

Higginbotham conjectured that the infirmary at St James Workhouse was the one referred to in the American song "St. James Infirmary Blues", on the basis that that song dates from 'at least the early 19th century'.[1]

Inhabitants included the painter Charlotte Mercier, who died there in 1762.[2]

The site of the workhouse is now the Q Park parking garage occupying the space between Poland Street and Marshall Street.[3]


  1. ^ a b Peter Higginbotham. "The Workhouse in Westminster (St James), London: Middlesex". Retrieved 8 September 2013.
  2. ^ Profile of Claude Mercier in the Dictionary of Pastellists Before 1800.
  3. ^ 'The burial ground and workhouse', Survey of London: volumes 31 and 32: St James Westminster, Part 2 (1963), pp. 209-218. URL: Date accessed: 1 October 2014.

Coordinates: 51°30′51″N 0°08′15″W / 51.5141°N 0.1374°W / 51.5141; -0.1374