Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Poor Law
(1,204 words)

1. Terminology and chronology

The term Poor Law refers to the legal regulation of poor relief in England and Wales from the 16th through the 19th centuries along with its practical embodiment in the context of local administration, including residence and settlement law. It came into being against the background of the social problems accompanying the expansion of the free labor market (Work) in the “long” 16th century (insecure employment, cyclically increasing unemployment and mobility…

Cite this page
Sokoll, Thomas, “Poor Law”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 30 May 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_025724>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20210107

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