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  What was life like for poor people before 1834 ? Glossary

From Queen Elizabeth I's reign in 1597 poor people were cared for by a system Drawing of homeless familycalled poor relief.

Every parish was responsible for its own inhabitants and an overseer of the poor was appointed to collect money from the wealthier landowners. This was used to feed, clothe, house and find work for the poor.

In times of need many families relied on poor relief to help them survive. Paupers became known as "Badgers" because of the prominent "P" badge they were forced to wear.

Queen Elizabeth I - reigned from 1558-1603.
Poor Relief - money given to poor people.
Parish - an area having its own church and vicar.
Overseer of the poor - a person appointed to look after the poor in his parish.

  A case of abandoned children in 1743  
  In 1743 Rees Davies of the parish of Llandevalle, in the County of Breconshire ran off and abandoned his three children.
As the children were left with no means of support, the overseers of the poor would have helped to provide food, clothing and a home for them.
  Entry from Quarter Sessions records  

The official record shown here reads:
"Rees Davies Late of the Parish of Llandevalle in the County of Brecon Labourer who Ran away Leaving Three Children upon the Charge of the said Parish"

Property belonging to Rees Davies was sold to help pay for the support of his children, as shown on the next page ...

More about the abandoned children ...


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