New
New
Year 8

Tudor attitudes to poverty and the Elizabethan Poor Law (1601)

I can explain how far attitudes to the poor changed during the Tudor period.

New
New
Year 8

Tudor attitudes to poverty and the Elizabethan Poor Law (1601)

I can explain how far attitudes to the poor changed during the Tudor period.

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Lesson details

Key learning points

  1. Monasteries supported the poor in the early Tudor period.
  2. After the dissolution of the monasteries, many people were forced to become vagrants and beggars.
  3. Tudor monarchs and the elite were unsympathetic towards vagrants and beggars.
  4. The 1601 Poor Law, issued by Elizabeth I, was the most far-reaching Act to support those living in poverty.

Common misconception

Governments and societies have generally been sympathetic to people in extreme poverty who may have been reduced to begging.

Throughout much of history, there has been little sympathy for people in extreme poverty from the majority of governments and societies, even when the circumstances that drove people into poverty are clearly out of their own control.

Keywords

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

  • Vagabond - a vagabond is someone who wanders from place to place without a home or a job

  • Act - an Act is a law passed by Parliament

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

  • Idle - idle means avoiding work or being lazy

Show students the specific laws that York and Norwich enacted to deal with the issue of poverty in their cities and see whether students can identify where Elizabeth's government took inspiration for the 1601 Poor Law.
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).

Video

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6 Questions

Q1.
Which of the following is an example of a blood sport?
Correct answer: cockfighting
archery
Correct answer: bear-baiting
Q2.
Which sport was banned by Henry VIII for being too violent?
bear-baiting
archery
Correct answer: football
Q3.
Why was there so much rural poverty in Elizabethan England?
There were not many sheep and so the lords could not profit from selling wool.
Correct answer: Sheep farming resulted in fewer jobs for the poor.
Correct answer: Population growth meant that more rural people were competing for fewer jobs.
Most people didn't want to work.
Q4.
Why did many people leave the local area without the local lord’s permission even though it was illegal?
Correct answer: to find food
Correct answer: to find work
Correct answer: to find shelter
to find sports like bear-baiting
Q5.
Why did London become the fastest growing city in Elizabethan England?
due to the opportunites such as sport and theatre
because the birth rate was higher than the death rate
Correct answer: due to the huge numbers of rural poor making their way to the city
Q6.
By how much did the price of grain increase between 1500-1650?
Correct answer: sixfold
80%
10%

6 Questions

Q1.
Match the words with their definitions.
Correct Answer:impotent,helpless or powerless or unable to take effective action

helpless or powerless or unable to take effective action

Correct Answer:idle,avoiding work or being lazy

avoiding work or being lazy

Correct Answer:vagabond,someone who wanders from place to place without a home or a job

someone who wanders from place to place without a home or a job

Q2.
A is a small administrative district that has its own church and priest.
Correct Answer: parish, Parish
Q3.
In what ways had the monasteries previously helped poor people in England?
entertainment
Correct answer: food
education
Correct answer: medical care
Q4.
Match the monarch with the punishment they imposed for vagabonds.
Correct Answer:Henry VII,put in the stocks for three days and back to their parish of birth

put in the stocks for three days and back to their parish of birth

Correct Answer:Henry VIII,public flogging (whipping)

public flogging (whipping)

Correct Answer:Edward VI ,branded for the first offence and death for the second offence

branded for the first offence and death for the second offence

Q5.
Match the the three categories of poor created under 1601 Elizabethan Poor Law with their meaning.
Correct Answer:the impotent poor,the sick, the disabled and the elderly

the sick, the disabled and the elderly

Correct Answer:the idle poor,able to work but chose not to

able to work but chose not to

Correct Answer:the able-bodied poor,wanted to work but could not find jobs

wanted to work but could not find jobs

Q6.
Which of the following acts introduced by Elizabeth I punished beggars by having a hole burnt through their ear the first time they were caught and death by hanging for a second offence?
Correct answer: the 1572 Vagabonds Act
the 1563 Act for the Relief of the Poor
the 1601 Poor Relief Act

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