The Tudors - Elizabethan Poor Law 1601
Before the Reformation it had always been considered Christian duty to carry out the instructions laid down in Matthew chapter 25 - that all Christians shall:
- Feed the hungry
- Give drink to the thirsty
- Welcome the stranger
- Clothe the naked
- Visit the sick
- Visit the prisoner
- Bury the dead.
After the Reformation, many of these values disappeared and the poor were left without help. It became increasingly clear that something had to be done to help those who were genuinely in need, and something else had to be done about the increasing numbers of those who chose to beg and steal rather than work.
In 1552 Parish registers of poor were introduced. This meant that there was now an official register of poor in a parish.
In 1563 Justices of the Peace were given the power to raise funds to support the poor. Categories were also drawn up for the different types of poor and beggars that were found on the streets.
Deserving Poor This category was for those people who wanted to work but were unable to find suitable employment. These people were to be given help in the form of clothes, food or maybe money. (Outdoor Relief)
Those who were too old, young or ill to work. These people were to be looked after in almshouses, orphanages, workhouses or hospitals. Orphans and children of the poor were to be given an apprenticeship to a tradesman. (Indoor Relief)
Undeserving Poor Also called idle beggars or sturdy beggars, this category was for those who could work but chose not to. They were to be whipped through the town until they learnt the error of their ways.
In 1572 it was made compulsory that all people pay a local poor. The funds raised were to help the deserving poor.
In 1597 It was made law that every district have an Overseer of the Poor. The overseer had to do the following things:
- Work out how much money would be needed for the numbers of poor in that district and set the poor rate accordingly
- Collect the poor rate from property owners
- Relieve the poor by dispensing either food or money
- Supervise the parish poor house
In 1601 An act of Parliament called The Poor Law was passed by Parliament. The Act brought together all the measures listed above into one legal document.
Spying became an integral part of the Cold War. Both sides went out of their way to acquire as much knowledge as they could about each other. While Hollywood has romanticized the whole image of espionage, the real thing is far from romantic. It is a dangerous cat and mouse game that typically results in torture, prison, or execution if caught by the opposing team.
During the Cold War, spies had to prepare... Read More
The seafaring Vikings were a group of people that came from the Scandinavian countries of Norway, Denmark, and Sweden. They made an enduring name for themselves through the 8th and 11th century for being tactical warriors, smart traders, and daring explorers. In fact, they arrived in America way before Columbus ever did, and archeologists have found some of their remnants scattered as far East as Russia.
... Read More
The Middle Ages is full of historical myths. Many historians blame this on the rise of Humanism and the Renaissance movement that appeared in the early Modern Period. Both of these cultural shifts encouraged society to look back at Medieval times in disgust. Gothic architecture from the Middle Ages was abandoned in the beginning of the Modern era, and replaced by classic Greek and Roman architecture. In other... Read More
1. The First Thanksgiving
What they told you: Escaping religious prosecution, the pilgrims left England on sailboats and landed on Plymouth Rock, barely surviving their first winter. With the graceful help of a nearby Indian tribe, who taught the settlers how to fish and hunt the land, the early colonists succeeded in establishing a foothold in the vast North American Wilderness. Thus, the pilgrims held their... Read More
How World War II Began
World War II was one of the most destructive conflicts in all of human history. More than forty-six million civilians and soldiers died, many in cruel and horrifying circumstances that lasted for years. The majority of them were unknown faces, lost in time and history, and only recognized by the people who loved them. Their lives, culture, and livelihood were swept away from one day to... Read More