From this act parish was understood to mean a place maintaining its own poor. A body of legislation from the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries was known collectively as the poor law or, after 1834, the old poor law. An act for the relief of the poor, 1601 anno xliii regin. Poverty was mostly considered to be your own fault in elizabethan times, but attitudes started. Several laws were enacted in the 16th century, but it was the 1601 act which became the basis of the poor law for over 200 years. Poor law henry the viiith may well have been a tyrant and his legacy is rife with terror, but that same record does seemingly include an example or two of good. Under the new poor law, parishes were grouped into unions and each union had to build a workhouse if they did not already have one. There is an extension question underneath the chart for the. Be it enacted by the authority of this present parliament, that the churchwardens of every parish, and four, three or two substantial householders there, as shall be thought meet, having respect to the proportion and greatness of the same parish and parishes to be nominated yearly in easter week, or within one month after.
Shortly thereafter, the elizabethan poor law of 1601. Poor law amendment act of 1847 and the gregory clausethe poor law amendment act of 1847 marked a major shift in british government policy with respect to famine distress in ireland. The 1601 act did not enunciate any radical departure from earlier arrangements but is chiefly noteworthy because it survived as the basis of the welfare and rating system for more than 300 years. Video interview with rachel gadsden about the 1601 poor law banner henry viiis dissolution of the monasteries removed the main source of charity for those who could not support themselves. The old poor law was finished and this new system took over, but not always at once. Interesting facts and information about elizabethan england and the poor law, the acts of acts of 1552, 1563, 1572, 1576 and 1597 related to provision for the poor on a parish basis whilst the 1601 poor law created a national system to provide for the poor. The later poor law acts of 1597 and 1601, together with the act of settlement of. The poor law small bills and petty finance 1700 to 1834. The elizabethan poor laws, as codified in 159798, were administered through parish overseers, who provided relief for the aged, sick, and infant poor, as well as work for the ablebodied in.
In 1601 an act of parliament called the poor law was passed by parliament. Finally, the poor law of 1601 provided a clear definition of the poor. Be it enacted by the authority of this present parliament, that the churchwardens of every parish, and four, three or two substantial housholders there, as shall be thought meet, having respect to the proportion and greatness of the same parish and parishes, to be nominated yearly in easter week, or within. Old poor law term refers to a body of law which had been codified since the statute of cambridge in 88 which had been the first english legislation to address specifically the legal means of dealing with poverty. It completely replaced earlier legislation based on the poor law of 1601 and attempted to fundamentally change the poverty relief system in england and wales similar changes were made to the poor. The poor law commissioners were in charge and the government paid for union workhouses to be built to house the poor. A poor law commission a new government department, in effect was set up in london employing inspectors to. Poor law amendment act of 1847 and the gregory clause. It created the framework for poor relief in england that was to last until the great 1834 poor law amendment act. The poor law 1601 sought to consolidate all previous legislative provisions for the relief of the poor. The 1601 poor relief act full text c peter higginbotham. In 1841, seven years after the enactment of the new poor law, when a whole series of amendments were being proposed to it by various members of parliament, nassau senior, in an anonymous pamphlet signed merely a guardian, came to the defense of the original act, and explained its rationale perhaps in some ways better than did the original report. Queen elizabeth proclaimed a set of laws designed to maintain order and contribute to the general good of the kingdom.
In england and wales, therefore, the poor law function belonged to each parish and the 1601 act formalised and codified a system of poor relief where a duty. It implemented a major overhaul of the old poor law by adopting all the commissions main recommendations. The poor law amendment act and tackling poverty the poor law of 1601 was the first to codify the idea of the state to provide for the welfare of its citizens. It relates to all law between 1552 and the poor law amendment act of of 1834 the problems to be addressed. The act for the relief of the poor 1601, popularly known as the elizabethan poor law, 43rd elizabeth or the old poor law was passed in 1601 and created a national poor law system for england and wales. The poor law amendment act was quickly passed by parliament in 1834, with separate legislation for scotland and ireland. The 1601 act for the relief of the poor workhouses. The 1601 elizabethan poor law continued with further adaptations for example the 1662 settlement act, gilberts act 1782 and the speenhamland system of 1795 until the passing of the 1834 poor law amendment act and formed the basis of poor relief throughout the country for over two centuries.
Conclusion the poor law of 1601 set the pattern of public relief under governmental responsibility for the uk for three hundred years. Terms of the poor law are underneath you may want to cut the sheet in half so that terms and the chart are not together. In britain, the term poor law was commonly applied to various laws that provided for the sick, disabled, and unemployed. Poor law act 1601 in england social work education care. The implementation of the 1834 poor law amendment act on. The poor law made it compulsory for parishes to levy a poor rate to fund financial public assistance support for those who could not work. What minor changes were made to the 1598 poor law by the 1601 act. In 1572, to care for the poor, the first compulsory local poor tax law was passed.
An act for the relief of the poor be it enacted by the authority of this present parliament, that the churchwardens of every parish, and four, three or two substantial housholders there, as shall be thought meet, having respect to the. However, the history of the poor law in england and wales tends to be framed by two major statutes. The old poor law the basis of the old poor law was the 1601 poor law act, supplemented by laws on settlement passed in the later 17th century, and by the workhouse acts of 1723 and 1782. Historical precedents of taxsupported relief for the poor in 1601, england was experiencing a severe economic depression, with large scale unemployment and widespread famine.
The act for the relief of the poor 1601, popularly known as the elizabethan poor law, 43rd elizabeth or the old poor law was passed in 1601 and created a poor law system for england and wales it formalised earlier practices of poor relief distribution in england and wales and is generally considered a. Parishes were grouped together in unions that were administered by the following authorities. Relieve the poor by dispensing either food or money. In 1601, elizabeth is government tried to fill the gap with the poor relief act, which obliged each parish to collect taxes to support people who could. The 1601 laws allowed for indoor relief in the form of workhouses and poorhouses that would be. Be it enacted by the authority of this present parliament, that the churchwardens of every parish, and four, three or two substantial housholders there, as shall be thought meet, having respect to the proportion and greatness of the same parish and parishes, to be nominated yearly in easter week, or within one month. The ministry of health archives in the public record office include in the poor law papers a very large and valuable source for the social history of nineteenth century britain. After years of complaint, a new poor law was introduced in 1834.
The unit of local government was an always had been the parish but within an ecclesiastical parish there could be more than one poor law parish usually reflecting ancient manors or chapelries. It formalised earlier practices of poor relief distribution in england and wales and is generally. The 1535 statute in regards to the poor, the first of its kind in the common law world, though centuries after the roman laws linstitutio alimentaria. The poor law amendment act 1834 plaa known widely as the new poor law, was an act of the parliament of the united kingdom passed by the whig government of earl grey.
Poor law, in british history, body of laws undertaking to provide relief for the poor, developed in 16thcentury england and maintained, with various changes, until after world war ii. It distinguished between the deserving and the undeserving poor. The poor relief act 1601 43 eliz 1 c 2 was an act of the parliament of england. The new poor law was meant to reduce the cost of looking after the poor and impose a system which would be the same all over the country. It was arguably one of the most important and draconian pieces of legislation, definitely a measure of tough love. This act led to an attempt to discriminate between the criminal population and the poor. The act brought together all the measures listed above into one legal document. Poor law, act ii many legal historians mistakenly refer to the statute of 1601 as the first attempt within the english common law to address the needs of the poor. These culminated in the 1601 act for the relief of the poor 43 eliz. The national archives education service 1834 poor law. Under the new act irish property owners and tenants would henceforth bear the full burden of fiscal responsibility for relief, which was to be administered solely by the irish poorlaw system.
The act for the relief of the poor 1601 students match up which parts of the poor law fit to which people. It established the principle that the local community the parishhad to organize poor relief for its residents, provide sustenance to the unemployed and children, and work to the able bodied persons. The 1601 law established a poor rate that was required and collected from property owners across parishes, created the position of overseers to collect and distribute relief and made requirements for work by the poor and punishments to meted out to those who did not follow the poor laws. Introduction like other and more famous english institutions, the making and administration of the english poor law was a growth, not a creation. The poor law amendment act 1834, amending what was known as the old poor lawand reflecting concerns about the burden of a growing population and a spiraling cost of poor relief under the old poor law. Then, in 1597, the post of overseer of the poor was created. The poor law amendment act of 1834 was a measure of major importance, both as an administrative innovation and because of its social effects. They were expected, where necessary, to feed, clothe, house and find work for poor inhabitants of the parish. Regulating the working and nonworking poor by william p. Assistance depended on the residential qualification of living locally. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools.525 880 334 1473 69 102 439 102 420 525 198 343 851 672 810 1041 327 524 1239 581 588 617 1520 1367 98 1012 384 1066 1194 383 1088 692 494 624 94 1021 1256 1356 1136 266 988 1104 266 288 1252 272