Powys Digital History Project

Care of the poor
Treatment of a sturdy beggar

  Punishment for "behaving improperly"
Those who were regarded as being fit enough to work for a living but who chose instead to try to beg for food or money were branded as "sturdy beggars", and were given a very hard time if caught.
The example below from the records of the Quarter Sessions gives some idea of the ruthless treatment given to one female beggar in 1783.

Quarter Sessions
Easter 1783

County Archives

Quarter Sessions extract

The extract above from the Breconshire Quarter Sessions Order Book reads as follows:
"County- Ordered that Elizabeth Thomas who was taken up as a Sturdy Beggar and having behaved improperly be confined in the House of Correction for one month and whipped during that time."

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