The Poor Law in Rural Lancashire 1820-50.

Jackson, Betty Lee (1996) The Poor Law in Rural Lancashire 1820-50. PhD thesis, UNSPECIFIED.

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This study is concerned with the implementation of the New Poor Law in the rural unions in Lancashire. It explores the effects of the legislation upon policies for poor relief and concludes that they can be most appropriately summarised as resulting in change. However, where attitudes towards the poor are concerned, there was continuity, for in both the pre- and post-1834 period, children, the infirm, the elderly, but never the able-bodied, were regarded with indulgence. The prevailing view of Lancashire as a hostile county which resisted, occasionally violently, the introduction of the new law is not borne out by the rural region. Initial apprehension and prejudice was relatively slight. Nowhere was it orchestrated and the region was unionised, and the reform system put into operation, peaceably and without untoward incident. With only minor irritations, the central and local authorities sustained a harmonious working relationship throughout the period. Consideration of the power structure suggests that the magistrates gained in power under the New Poor Law, either directly as ex-officio guardians, or indirectly through the influence upon members of the Board who were relatives, tenants or employees. Their power was moderated in degree according to the number of magistrates resident within a union.

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Thesis (PhD)
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02 May 2019 16:29
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01 Oct 2023 00:01