The Henley-on-Thames Archaeological & Historical Group’s talk next month is by Deborah Hayter on “The Poor Law in the 18th Century — the Crisis in the Parishes” on Tuesday 2 June at the Kings Arms Barn from 7.45pm.
Parishes had been made formally responsible for the relief of their own poor in 1601, and this seemed to work through the 17th century. Growing unemployment in the 18th meant that by 1800 many parishes were in crisis with large numbers claiming their parish ‘rights’. They didn’t call it ‘benefit dependency’ then but it was this idea that caused the draconian reforms of the New Poor Law and the Victorian workhouse of evil repute. Deborah Hayter is a tutor at Oxford University Department of Continuing Education and has taught many courses in local and landscape history. She has a particular interest in how the poor were looked after in the past.
Admission is free to members, £3 for non-members.