George Sanderson (born 1798), a surveyor in Mansfield, Nottingham, is best known for his ‘Parish and Poor Law Union map of the county of Nottingham’, 25th March 1843; and the earliest printed map of Mansfield, the large circular ‘Map of the County 20 miles around Mansfield’, 1835.
Sanderson conducted surveys of the counties of Nottingham, Derby, York, Lincoln, and Leicester, in 1834 and 1835, were inspired by the introduction of the ‘Poor Law Amendment Act’ of 1834. His resulting maps capture the exponential transformation of the increasingly industrial landscape of the British Midlands, and the consequences for the population.
Very active in his local community, from 1837, Sanderson was an Auditor of the ‘Mansfield Poor Law Union’. The following year he was commissioned by the ‘Guardians of the Mansfield Poor Law Union’ to value the rateable property in the local area. In fact, the prototype for the nineteenth-century work house was built in Southwell, Nottingham, in 1824. The 1834 ‘Poor Law Amendment Act’ was introduced to administrate relief projects in local areas. As a consequence, Poor Law Unions composed of multiple parishes, were created in England and Wales, each governed by a group of Guardians. Centralised workhouses replaced smaller facilities, with the intentions of housing, providing employment for those unable to support themselves.