The poor in England 1700-1850

An economy of makeshifts

Edited by Alannah Tomkins and Steve King

The poor in England 1700-1850
Paperback -
  • Price: £19.99
  • ISBN: 9780719080432
  • Publish Date: Apr 2010
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    Book Information

    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN: 978-0-7190-8043-2
    • Pages: 296
    • Price: £19.99
    • Published Date: April 2010


    This fascinating study investigates the experience of English poverty between 1700 and 1900 and the ways in which the poor made ends meet. The phrase 'economy of makeshifts' has often been used to summarise the patchy, desperate and sometimes failing strategies of the poor for material survival. In The poor of England some of the leading, young historians of welfare examine how advantages gained from access to common land, mobilisation of kinship support, resorting to crime, and other marginal resources could prop up struggling households. The essays attempt to explain how and when the poor secured access to these makeshifts and suggest how the balance of these strategies might change over time or be modified by gender, life-cycle and geography. This book represents the single most significant attempt in print to supply the English 'economy of makeshifts' with a solid, empirical basis and to advance the concept of makeshifts from a vague but convenient label to a more precise yet inclusive definition.


    1. Introduction - Alannah Tomkins and Steven King
    2. 'Not by bread only'? Common right, parish relief and endowed charity in a forest economy, c.1600-1800 - Steve Hindle
    3. The economy of makeshifts and the poor law: a game of chance? - Margaret Hanly
    4. 'Agents in their own concerns'? Charity and the economy of makeshifts in eighteenth-century Britain - Sarah Lloyd
    5. Crime, criminal networks and the survival strategies of the poor in early eighteenth century London - Heather Shore
    6. Pawnbroking and the survival strategies of the urban poor in 1770s York - Alannah Tomkins
    7. Kinship, poor relief and the welfare process in early modern England - Sam Barrett
    8. Making the most of opportunity: the economy of makeshifts in the early modern north - Steve King
    9. Conclusion - Steve King and Alannah Tomkins


    Steven King is Professor of History at Oxford Brookes University. Alannah Tomkins is Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Keele

    The poor in England 1700-1850

    Edited by Alannah Tomkins, Steve King

    Paperback £19.99 / $29.95

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