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Title: Christopher Waddington’s peers : a study of the workings of the Poor Law in townships of the Fylde of Lancashire, 1803 to 1865
Author: Ramsbottom, Martin
ISNI:       0000 0004 2708 5729
Awarding Body: Oxford Brookes University
Current Institution: Oxford Brookes University
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis takes up the call of historiographers for further and detailed studies into the workings of both the Old and the New Poor Law at the local level. By a close examination of three townships of an ancient Fylde, Lancashire, parish and of its successor union it seeks to answer three questions. Firstly, whilst it is accepted that there were differences in the operation of the Old Poor Law between the north and west and south and east of the country, the question is asked as to how far down the relief chain did the differences penetrate. Was their uniformity at Regional, sub-regional or county level or did the divergence penetrate to parish or even township level. The assertion here is that even the smallest townships looked after their poor as they saw fit and that there was no over-arching parish policy let alone one at county or sub-region. Secondly, to what extent did the introduction of the New Poor Law affect the poor themselves. Did they notice any difference or did they not. This thesis suggests that certainly in the Fylde they would have noticed some differences but these were more in the administration of relief rather than in the relief itself. Here again there was diversity of practice. Thirdly, the question of the alleged cruelty of the Workhouses under the New Poor Law as it operated in the Fylde is briefly considered and it is shown that inmates of the Fylde Union Workhouse were relatively fortunate as far as living conditions were concerned and that the ‘less eligibility’ arose not from these but from the fact of their being deprived of their independence. The cruelty, if there were any, was largely psychological than physical.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available