Life for the Poor in Elizabethan England Essay

Life for the Poor in Elizabethan England Essay

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Life for the poor in Elizabethan England was very harsh. The poor did not share the same luxuries and items as the wealthier families. There was no way for the poor to get help that they needed. Unlike today, welfare was not available to give help and support.
The government in Tudor England became concerned about the poor that lived in their community. They soon noticed the changes in agriculture during this time period. Do to this people were led away from the country and village life to find employment in the towns. Wool trade increases significantly. They had noticed that there was a vast increase of the poor. There were more of the poor than there were the rich. In the city along, with the farmland they were having a difficult time finding a job.
If that wasn’t enough, a series of poor harvest had occurred. This meant the price of food would increase dramatically. This took effect on people dying of starvation and malnutrition. Homeless and malnutrition citizens were becoming a danger to society, due to the dangerous measures they were enduring to find food. This was becoming more of a danger to the society. The government was becoming more and more concerned for them, and acted as fast as they could. They decided to make every parish in charge of the poor and unemployed.
The justice of peace (JP’s) was allowed to take tax from those who owned land in the parish. This had two benefits for the poor. It made them feel as if something was being done for them finally. It also made them feel less upset about their current situation. Secondly, it could benefit the parish by the good work the poor does for the parish.
The poor were divided into three different groups by the government. The first group was labeled the “helpless...


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...the act was described as “the poor should be set to work”. That relief was the poor would be left in their own homes and given money and kind offerings of food and clothes and other items that might be needed. Most of the poor population chose that option over the Indoor law.
The 1601 law stated, that the poor and unemployed parents that had children were responsible for themselves. Elderly parents were expected to live with their children and be taken care of to the best of their ability by their children.
The Elizabethan laws was considered as a religious duty of feeding the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, welcoming the strange, give clothing to the naked, visiting the sick, visiting the prisoners, and burying the dead. The legislation was intended to help settle the poor by providing them with jobs, food, clothes and other generally offered gifts.









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