Map your history, make new connections and gain insights for family, local or special interest projects

THEME Social reform and change

Workhouse and Poor Law Data.

1908 children's act

What Poor Law and workhouse records can you use to add contextual colour to your family history? How can you find out more about the events that shaped our pauper ancestors. How many of your family were in the workhouse?

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Statute of Labourers 1351

This entry is part 4 of 7 in the series Poor Law through the Ages
This entry is part 4 of 6 in the series Reform
This entry is part 4 of 15 in the series Reformers and Radicals
This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series Reforming Women

In 1351 following Plague and pestilence there was a shortage of Labour and the ruling elite were not happy to have to ‘suffer’ the inflationary costs that resulted as workers for the first time had the power to refuse to work for low wages. Was this the distant start of organised labour in Britain and a capsule that reflects the uneasy relationship between the monarch, parliament and the people…Will the Peasants Revolt?

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Punishment of Vagabonds and Beggars 1536 Henry VIII

This entry is part 6 of 8 in the series Law - Poor Law

1536 Anne Boelyn executed. Dissolution of the Monasteries commences following Henry VIII’s declaration of Supremacy over the Church… Doesn’t bode well for the poor and idle if that is how you treat the people you love…Trace what happens next in the plight of the poor and the evolution of the wlefare state. It all goes back a lot further than you might think….

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Statute Punishment of Beggars and Vagabonds 1531

This entry is part 2 of 8 in the series Law - Poor Law

Was Henry VIII and his rule kind to Beggars? How does this act reflect the longer timeline of legislative events that lead to our current day Welfare State and how far back do the roots go, a snippet in a series of linked posts, designed to piece together the evidence that led to the British Welfare State. With great relevance and resonance with our current and hard pressed economic climate…

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Statute of Cambridge 1388

Statute of Cambridge
This entry is part 1 of 8 in the series Law - Poor Law

The starting point the putting down by Richard II of the Peasants Revolt of imposing order and punitive conditions on the poor in what was to become known and codified as the Old Poor Law…follow this chronology and the related law provides a great source of information and the reason why our welffare state in the UK evolves as it does…

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Old Poor Law

This entry is part 3 of 7 in the series Poor Law through the Ages

The Old Poor Law was the codified series of statutes that predated the draconian Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834, the timeline of this law casts some light on the origins of welfare and the plight of the poor in England for many years. If you have any reason to want to better understand the basis of society during the 19th century then some reference to these legal orgins will be helpful.

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The Use of Antiseptics in Operating Theatres

The problem of infection in operating theatres had been known about from the end of the C18th through the C19th. More people were dying from infections acquired in the operating theatre than were dying of their ailments. Florence Nightingale highlighted the need for a rigorous approach to hospital hygiene and Lister’s work with carbolic, changed…

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