Poverty and Welfare in England, 1700-1850

A regional perspective

By Steve King

Poverty and Welfare in England, 1700-1850

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-4940-8
  • Pages: 304
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £16.99
  • Published Date: September 2000
  • BIC Category: Humanities / History, Humanities / Social & cultural history, Poverty & Unemployment, BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / International / General, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Poverty & Homelessness, History, International business, History, Modern History
  • Series: Manchester Studies in Modern History


The first comprehensive and up-to-date overview of the literature on poverty, communal welfare systems and alternative welfare strategies. Offers a new perspective on how we should conceptualise poverty and how ordinary families and communities responded to that poverty.. Indicates the need for new directions in the study of poverty and welfare using previously unpublished results form one of the biggest poor law databases in existence.. Argues that welfare historians have paid too little attention to the complexities of defining and measuring poverty, and a variety of primary source material is used to reconsider the extent of poverty in the period 1700-1850.. Provides the first systematic attempt to discuss the regional dimensions of the welfare system in an English context.


List of figures, tables and maps
1. Introduction
2. Poverty and welfare: the legal framework
3. The welfare debate
4. Defining and measuring poverty
5. Alternative worlds of poverty
6. Welfare in the south and east, 1700-1820
7. Welfare in the north and west, 1700-1820
8. Welfare under the new poor law, 1821-1850
9. Conclusion: old and new perspectives in welfare history
Appendix one - Places
Appendix two - A legal chronology of the poor laws


Steven King is Senior Lecturer in History at Oxford Brookes University

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