Poor Laws

Events

Royal Ordinance stated that lepers should leave London.

1344

Ordinance of Labourers issued by King Edward III of England.

June 18, 1349

Ordinance of Labourers revised.

1350

Statute of Cambridge passed.

1388

Vagabonds and Beggars Act 1494 was passed.

1494

Vagabonds Act of 1530

1530

London instituted the first definite Poor Rate.

1547

Poor Act of 1552 passed by King Edward VI.

1552

The Act for the Relief of the Poor 1597 provides the first complete code of Poor Relief

1597

ELizabethan Old Poor Law passed ending the Tudor Poor Laws.

1601

Poor Relief Act 1662 passed to deal with the problems of settlement

1662

Poor Act 1697 passed.

1697

Workhouse Test Act passed to encourage the building of workhouses.

1723

Relief of the Poor Act 1782 passed.

1782

The French Wars come to an end.

1815

The Swing Riots highlight the possibility of agricultural unrest.

1830

The Royal Commission into the Operation of the Poor Laws begins its investigation into the Poor Law system

1832

Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834 passed.

1834

Outdoor Labour Test Order allows outdoor relief despite the Poor Law Amendment Act's ban on it

1842

Poor Law Amendment Act passed

1843

Outdoor Relief Prohibitory Order issued to further discourage outdoor relief

1844

Andover workhouse scandal

1846

The Poor Law Commission is abolished and replaced by the Poor Law Board

1847

The Huddersfield workhouse scandal occurs.

1848

The Workhouse Visiting Society was formed.

1858

The Union Chargeability Act 1865 is passed

1865

The Second Reform Act

1867

The Local Government Board takes the powers of the Poor Law Board

1871

Royal Commission on the Poor Laws and Relief of Distress 1905-09 set up by the outgoing Conservative government.

1905

The Liberal Government is elected and begins an ambitious programme of welfare reforms.

1906

The Minority report

1909

The term "Workhouse" is replaced by "Poor Law Institution".

1911

The workhouse system is abolished by the Local Government Act.

1929

The Poor Law system abolished by the National Assistance Act.

1948