A village history in West Sussex


Westbourne History Group

Bygone Series

No1. Trades People 1845-1938

No2. Village Schools 1819-1984

No4. Westbourne Then & Now

No5. Westbourne Union Life

No6. Westbourne Church Guide

No7. Cleaning up Westbourne        

No8. Westbourne Worthies

No9. The Bastards of  Westbourne

No10. Westbourne’s War 1939-1945

No11. A Millenium in Tandem

No12. Sindles Farm

No13. Westbourne Memorials

No14. Cottage Economy

No15. The Village Schools 1810-2011

No16. Westbourne and the Great War

No17. Tradespeople of Westbourne

Bourne in the Past

Other Publications

Sindles Farm

The River Ems

The Westbourne Story

Any Comments?

Numbers 1 to 5 inclusive out of print, further information on details and costs visit:


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The Bastards of Westbourne” relates to the days when a parish was responsible for its own poor and thus illegitimacy caused great concern to the churchwardens and overseers of the poor.  Various laws were passed for the regulation of bastardy, and documents developed to enable individual cases to be processed in accordance with these laws.  It may appear surprisingly up-to-date that fathers could be committed by “ Bastardy Bond” (later “ Bastardy Order”) to support their illegitimate child and other procedures for “ Bastardy Examinations” (of the mother) and “Removal Orders” (to remove a pregnant single mother) existed.  The latter in particular was designed to move financial responsibility out of the parish.

This booklet demonstrates the use of these documents using actual historical examples and produces lists of available documents and a listing of illegitimate children and their parents, as can be found.