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THEME The Law and History

Act of Settlement 1701

Act of Settlement 1701 ensures that preference is given to Sophia and her issues as Elector of Hanover if William or Anne die without a surviving heir. In effect it bypasses the stronger hereditary claim of the Stuarts and ensues that the Enligh Monarch will remain Protestant.

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Treaty of Troyes 1420

Treaties for peace, to resolve conflict, seal a marriage, create trade opportunities or simply to fuel naked ambition of a king? Treaty of Troyes a wedding and a truce for England or does it seal the fate of the House of Lancaster, see the sun set on York and an early dawn for a new dynasty the Tudors? Sounds far-fetched? Read-on since when did a Treaty actually create the conditions for lasting peace? Part 1 of a series of posts on Treaties and the Trouble that lies ahead.

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Witchcraft Act 1562

The Witchcraft Act of 1562 replaced an earlier act to deal with the fear people had that witches were prevalent in society. They took the blame for all manner of ills in society.

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Anatomy Act 1832

Anatomy Act 1832
This entry is part 2 of 9 in the series Statutes of Law

Body Snatching could make your body worth more dead than alive and the Anatomy Act was one way of starting toa ddress this dreadful and workhouse Regime fuelled fear by legislating to protect the corpses of the poor, this act lasts into the 20th Century so it was certainly significant well-beyond it’s original foundation,,,

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Hampshire ‘Feet of Fines’

‘Feet of Fines’ documents for Hampshire date back to 1199 and give surnames and placenames of people living in Hampshire in the Medieval period. These are important resources for Hampshire History and help to build a picture of community and settlement…

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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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The Peasants Revolt Summer 1381

The peasants revolt took place in June in 1381 but a better name for it is probably the peoples revolt. It was the beginning of the end for the feudal system and a pivotal episode in English history.

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Edward VI and Vagrancy Act 1547 Poor Laws


The Vagrancy Act 1547 was an uncaring response to a complicated social and economic situation after the death of King Henry VIII. The poor were penalized for a series of poor decisions by the Privy Council.

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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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