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Identify four causes of the increase in poverty and vagrancy in the Tudor period.

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Introduction

History Coursework a) Identify four causes of the increase in poverty and vagrancy in the Tudor period. Due to factors such as good weather and a good harvest prior to Tudor times the population had grown dramatically. From the 1350's the farming methods had changed, the manor system of farming was no longer available to fall back on. There was a price rise. Due to such factors as the population rise, gold bullion being brought across the Atlantic flooding the market and local attempts to de base the coinage. The collapse of the English wool trade in 1553 to 1554 affected local employment. b) Explain briefly why poverty and vagrancy aroused so much concern. Poverty and Vagrancy aroused so much concern mainly through the fears that contemporaries had about the poor and vagrants. The fear of personal attack, the fear of uprisings, the fear of the spread of disease and the fear that conditions would spread to them were the main factors contemporaries had for concern The main concern was arisen by the fear of personal attack. Dismissed armada servicemen and men dismissed from personal armies after Henry VII's ban on retaining under the statute of livery and maintenance in 1504 causes grave concern for contemporaries. Such servicemen had been dismissed from service after the threat from the Spanish armada had passed, they swelled the numbers of vagrants and poor as there were not enough jobs to go round. ...read more.

Middle

Other cloth trading cities such as Ipswich, York and Lincoln also often had very sympathetic solutions to the problems of poverty and vagrancy. For example the 1569 survey and licensing of the poor in Ipswich in order to receive a poor rate. Ipswich also had a hospital, a house of correction and a youth training scheme. York had three hospitals and also brought in raw materials for the poor. Lincoln also brought in raw materials for the poor, beggars were licensed by the master of beggars. All of this suggests a much more sympathetic era than that of the previous hundred years. One of the leading cities in local legislation, sympathetic and helpful towards the poor was Norwich. From 1549 Norwich implemented compulsory contributions to the poor and from 1557 had a permanent grain stock with which to feed the poor. From the 1570's 2,300 people were classified as poor, begging was forbidden and an organisation to deal with the poor was established. In 1570 the poor rate trebled. However, the poor were not allowed to languish. A Bridewell was established for vagrants to work in, St. Giles hospital was established as well as a school to educate the young poor. From 1574 all the unemployed could gather in the Market Square between certain times each day with the tools of their trade to find employment. ...read more.

Conclusion

From the 1560's and 1570's poor law legislation tended to be more aimed towards the relief of the poor and vagrants than their suppression. The legislation mainly came from committees in parliament often headed by John Aldrich, the former mayor of Norwich. Although such legislation is often used to exert a certain amount of control over the population it is generally a lot more sympathetic and relieving than that of the early Tudor period. By 1576 poor law legislation included the import of raw materials and the creation of work creation schemes. This type of legislation was not however a free ride, it was not particularly concerned with the relief or the suppression of the poor and vagrants but to help them help themselves. The 1578 and 1586 printed council edicts included practical measures that could be taken in time of dirth, bad harvest or plague. In Elizabethan times coercion to pay was also stronger, those with money had to pay the poor rate and failure to do so was punishable with imprisonment. In the 1590's there were many small acts that also presented relieving measures the suppression of the poor and vagrants was passing as more practical measures were being introduced. All these small acts were codified in 1598 and then streamlined in 1601 into the Tudor poor laws. These acts were fair and stayed on the statute book until 1834. The suppressive early Tudor times were gone and the more forward looking Elizabethan times present new relieving, forward thinking solutions to help the poor and vagrants help themselves. John Fuller ...read more.

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