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Economic change, poverty and poor relief: the able-bodied pauper and the new poor law in North Yorkshire, 1834 - 1900

Potter, Yvonne Joyce (1980) Economic change, poverty and poor relief: the able-bodied pauper and the new poor law in North Yorkshire, 1834 - 1900. Masters thesis, Durham University.



The frame of the Poor Law amendment Act of 1834 envisaged that, under the reformed relief system, with its tenet of 'less eligibility', the problem of able-bodied pauperism would disappear. The thesis investigates the relief of able-bodied poor in North Yorkshire, in the period c 1834-1900, and asks whether the New Poor Law, as it operated in this rural northern region, was successful in terms of the aims of 'l834'. The interest of such a regional study lies in the unique problems of poverty, associated with do-industrialisation, which were typical of neither the rural south nor the northern industrial towns - areas which have received considerable attention from both contemporary poor law commentators and historians. The first chapter is concerned with the process of de-industrialisation - the timing and extent of the decline of rural industries, the size and distribution of their labour force, in addition to their rates of wages and employment. The interaction between central and local poor law authorities in the administration of able-bodied poor relief in North Yorkshire forms the subject of chapter two, while chapter three examines in more detail the pressure exerted on the poor relief system by different groups of able- bodied poor in the period of de-industrialisation. Finally, the relative importance of poor law relief in the lives of the able-bodied poor is considered. Concentrating on just one aspect of the new Poor Law and attempting to relate socio-economic developments to the administration of poor relief necessitated sifting through much primary poor law material for only a modest return and analysing; de-industrialisation in more detail than is possible from secondary sources alone.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1980
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:15 Jul 2013 14:42

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