New
New
Year 8

The impact of the Elizabethan Poor Law

I can explain how the Elizabethan Poor Law changed the lives of those affected by it.

New
New
Year 8

The impact of the Elizabethan Poor Law

I can explain how the Elizabethan Poor Law changed the lives of those affected by it.

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Lesson details

Key learning points

  1. The 1601 Poor Law divided the poor into three distinct categories based upon their ability and willingness to work.
  2. These categories were dealt with differently, either by giving them aid, work or punishment.
  3. The 1601 Poor Law had mixed results; however, it remained a law for more than 230 years before being revised.

Common misconception

Laws are regularly scrutinised and updated by the government.

Many laws remain unchanged and in place for an exceedingly long time. Sometimes new laws are created which make the old ones redundant, but other times there is no need to replace the existing law if it is still relevant.

Keywords

  • Impotent - impotent means helpless or powerless or unable to take effective action

  • Idle - idle means avoiding work or being lazy

  • Able-bodied - a person who has a strong and healthy body is able-bodied

  • Parish - a parish is a small administrative district that has its own church and priest

As a homework opportunity, ask students to research any local almshouses. They could look for when they were built, who built them and why, and who lived there.
Teacher tip

Content guidance

  • Contains subject matter which individuals may find upsetting.

Supervision

Adult supervision suggested.

Licence

This content is © Oak National Academy Limited (2024), licensed on Open Government Licence version 3.0 except where otherwise stated. See Oak's terms & conditions (Collection 2).

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6 Questions

Q1.
Which of the following helped the most with the worst problems that the poor faced during the early Tudor period?
Correct answer: monasteries
the rich
the government
Q2.
Travelling poor people were known as .
Correct Answer: vagabonds, Vagabonds
Q3.
Which Tudor king introduced the death penalty for a second offence of begging?
Henry VII
Henry VIII
Correct answer: Edward VI
Q4.
What was the intent of the 1551 Poor Act passed by Edward VI?
Correct answer: instructed every parish to collect money from the rich to be given to the poor
people caught begging were sold into slavery for two years
the impotent poor could apply for licences to beg in certain areas of a town
Q5.
Which groups of people had to attend houses of correction following an act passed by Elizabeth I in 1575?
Correct answer: the idle
Correct answer: the able-bodied poor
the impotent poor
Q6.
Match the name of the act introduced by Elizabeth I with its action.
Correct Answer:1572 Vagabonds Act,punished beggars by burning a hole through their ear

punished beggars by burning a hole through their ear

Correct Answer:1563 Act for the Relief of the Poor,fined any rich person who did not help the poor in their parish

fined any rich person who did not help the poor in their parish

Correct Answer:1601 Poor Relief Act,divided the poor into three categories

divided the poor into three categories

6 Questions

Q1.
A person who has a strong and healthy body is .
Correct Answer: able-bodied, Able-bodied
Q2.
means avoiding work or being lazy.
Correct Answer: Idle, idle
Q3.
What happened to the impotent poor under the 1601 Poor Law?
Correct answer: They were provided with food and housing.
Correct answer: Orphaned children could become apprentices to craftsmen.
They were sent to a house of correction.
Q4.
What punishment was given to the idle poor under the 1601 Poor Law?
Correct answer: They would be whipped.
Correct answer: They were sent to a house of correction.
Correct answer: They were forced to work.
They received the death penalty.
Q5.
Why was there a great deal of variety in how the 1601 Poor Law worked?
Some people felt that it wasn't needed as charity was doing a good job.
Correct answer: The law had to be organised at a parish level and there were 15000 parishes.
Correct answer: Interpretations of who fit into each category differed from place to place.
Q6.
How long did the 1601 Poor Law last for until it was changed?
roughly 230 years
roughly 130 years
roughly 30 years

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