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Title: The operation of the Poor Law in the North-East of Scotland, 1745-1845
Author: Lindsay, Jean
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 1962
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The Scottish Poor Law as it functioned in the North-East in the period 1745-1845 was largely based on an act of 1579. The authorities legally responsible for the administration of poor relief were the kirk sessions anti heritors in rural parishes, and the magistrates in burghs. Poverty was the result of economic as well as of natural causes, but refill or assistance was given only in cases of physical or mental disability, and allowances were generally small. In Aberdeen several funds for the poor were merged in 1768 to form a United Fund, which was controlled by the kirk sessions and magistrates until 1838, and thereafter by the magistrates alone. Various charitable, organisations, such as the Public Kitchen, were incorporated in the United Fund. Money for the support of the poor was raised mainly by voluntary means, but a system of assessment was introduced in some parishes after 1800. Voluntary associations gave relief to those outside the legal system, including the unemployed. Changes in industry and apiculture in the early 19th century caused an increase in the number requiring help, but voluntary offerings declined. Controversy over the efficiency of the system reached a peak in the 1840s and a Commission of Inquiry was appointed. Its Report was published in 1844, and was followed in 1845 by the Poor Law Amendment Act, which set up a Board of Supervision for the Scottish poor, but made little change in the method of administration.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available