Timeline of the English Poor Law system
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The following article presents a Timeline of the Poor Law system from its origins in the Tudor and Elizabethan era to its abolition in 1948.
- 1344- Royal Ordinance stated that lepers should leave London.
- 1388- Statute of Cambridge passed.
- 1494- Vagabonds and Beggars Act 1494 was passed.
- 1597 - The Act for the Relief of the Poor 1597 provides the first complete code of Poor Relief
- 1601 - Old Poor Law passed. This would remain the basis of the Poor Law system until 1834
- 1662 - Poor Relief Act 1662 passed to deal with the problems of settlement
- 1723 - Workhouse Test Act passed to encourage the building of workhouses.
- 1782 - Relief of the Poor Act 1782 passed.
- 1815 - The French Wars come to an end.
- 1830 - The Swing Riots highlight the possibility of agricultural unrest.
- 1832 - The Royal Commission into the Operation of the Poor Laws begins its investigation into the Poor Law system
- 1834 - Poor Law Amendment Act passed
- 1842 - Outdoor Labour Test Order allows outdoor relief despite the Poor Law Amendment Act's ban on it
- 1844 - Outdoor Relief Prohibitory Order issued to further discourage outdoor relief
- 1847 - The Poor Law Commission is abolished and replaced by the Poor Law Board
- 1848 - The Huddersfield workhouse scandal occurs.
- 1865 - The Union Chargeability Act 1865 is passed
- 1867 - The Second Reform Act
- 1871 - The Local Government Board takes the powers of the Poor Law Board
- 1905 - Royal Commission on the Poor Laws and Relief of Distress 1905-09 set up by the outgoing Conservative government.
- 1906 - The Liberal Government is elected and begins an ambitious programme of welfare reforms.
- 1909 - The Minority report
- 1929 - The workhouse system is abolished by the Local Government Act 1929.
- 1948 - The Poor Law system abolished by the National Assistance Act 1948.