《文本簡介》Elizabethan Poor Law (An Act for the Relief of the Poor)

台灣西洋古典、中世紀暨文藝復興學會
Taiwan Association of Classical, Medieval, and Renaissance Studies
文本簡介
Introduction to Texts Before 1800

主題 Topic
Elizabethan Poor Law (An Act for the Relief of the Poor)
書刊名 Title
Poor Law: English Poor Laws, Workhouse, Liberal welfare reforms, Act for the Relief of the Poor 1601, Poor relief, Opposition to the Poor Laws, Poor … scandal, List of poor law unions in Dorset
作者 Author
出版社 Publisher
University-Press.org
出版年 Year
語言 Language
裝訂 Binding
□   平裝 Paperback    □ 精裝 Hardcover
頁數 Pages
ISBN (10 / 13)
Bibliography Reference
 (STC, Duff, GW . . .)
來源網址Web Link
2)      modern version:
撰稿者 Writer
撰寫日期Date
A.   簡介 Introduction (within 100 words, Chinese or English)
文藝復興運動所涉及的藝文發展,基本上只呈現在貴族及社會階級較高的階層。若要瞭解當時和政府社會底層的關係,一則可以從法律着手,二則從旁觀的記錄或生命書寫的文字瞭解民生概況。以下文字節錄自1601年英國立法保障社會底層人民的法條。然而此舉是否有效,則視地區及時代氛圍不一。
B.   文本摘錄 Extracts (4-6 Pages)
  Be it enacted by the Authority of this present Parliament, That the Churchwardens of every Parish, and four, three or two substantial Housholders there, as shall be thought meet, having respect to the Proportion and Greatness of the Same Parish and Parishes, to be nominated yearly in Easter Week, or within one Month after Easter, under the Hand and Seal of two or more Justices of the Peace in the same County, whereof one to be of the Quorum, dwelling in or near the same Parish or Division where the same Parish doth lie, shall be called Overseers of the Poor of the same Parish : And they, or the greater Part of them, shall take order from Time to Time, by, and with the Consent of two or more such Justices of Peace as is aforesaid, for setting to work the Children of all such whose Parents shall not by the said Churchwardens and Overseers, or the greater Part of them. be thought able to keep and maintain their Children: And also for setting to work all such Persons, married or unmarried, having no Means to maintain them, and use no ordinary and daily Trade of Life to get their Living by : And also to raise weekly or otherwise (by Taxation of every Inhabitant, Parson, Vicar and other, and of every Occupier of Lands, Houses, Tithes impropriate, Propriations of Tithes, Coal-Mines, or saleable Underwoods in the said Parish, in such competent Sum and Sums of Money as they shall think fit) a convenient Stock of Flax, Hemp, Wool, Thread, Iron, and other necessary Ware and Stuff, to set the Poor on Work : And also competent Sums of Money for and towards the necessary Relief of the Lame, Impotent, Old, Blind, and such other among them being Poor, and not able to work, and also for the putting out of such Children to be apprentices, to be gathered out of the same Parish, according to the Ability of the same Parish, and to do and execute all other Things as well for the disposing of the said Stock, as otherwise concerning the Premisses, as to them shall seem convenient:
  Which said Churchwardens and Overseers so to be nominated, or such of them as shall not be let by sickness, or other just excuse, to be allowed by two such Justices of peace or more, as is aforesaid, shall meet together at the least once every month, in the Church of the said Parish, upon the Sunday in the afternoon, after divine Service, then to consider of some good course to be taken, and of some meet order to be set down in the premises, and shall within four days after the end of their year, and after other Overseers nominated as aforesaid, make and yield up to such two Justices of Peace as aforesaid, a true and perfect account of all sums of money by them received, or rated and assessed, and not received, and also of such stock as shall be in their hands, or in the hands of any of the poor to work, and of all other things concerning their said office, and such sum or sums of money as shall be in their hands, shall pay and deliver over to the said Churchwardens and Overseers, newly nominated and appointed as aforesaid, upon pain that everyone of them absenting themselves without lawful cause as aforesaid, from such monthly meeting for the purpose aforesaid, or being negligent in their office, or in the execution of the orders aforesaid, being made by and with the assent of the said Justices of Peace, or any two of them before mentioned, to forfeit for every such default of absence or negligence, twenty shillings.
III. And be it also enacted, That if the said Justices of Peace do perceive, that the Inhabitants of any Parish are not able to levy among themselves sufficient Sums of Money for the Purposes aforesaid ; That then the said two Justices shall and may tax, rate and assess, as aforesaid, any other of other Parishes, or out of any Parish, within the Hundred where the said Parish is, to pay such Sum and Sums of Money to the Churchwardens and Overseers of the said poor Parish, for the said Purposes, as the said Justices shall think fit, according to the Intent of this Law : And if the said Hundred shall not be thought to the said Justices able and fit to relieve the said several Parishes not able to provide for themselves as aforesaid ; then the Justices of Peace, at their General Quarter-Sessions, or the greater Number them, shall rate, and assess as aforesaid, any other of other Parishes, or out of any Parish within the said County, for the Purposes aforesaid, as in their Discretion shall seem fit.
IV. And that it shall be lawful, as well for the present as subsequent Churchwardens and Overseers or any of them, by Warrant, from any two such Justices of Peace as is aforesaid, to levy as well the said Sums of Money and all Arrearages, of everyone that shall refuse to contribute according as they shall be assessed, by Distress and Sale of the Offenders Goods, as the Sums of Money or Stock which shall be behind on any Account to be made as aforesaid, rendering to the Parties the Overplus, and in Defect of such Distress, it shall be lawful for any such two Justices of the Peace, to commit him or them to the common Gaol of the County, there to remain without Bail or Mainprize, until payment of the said Sum, Arrearages and Stock: and the said Justices of Peace or any of them, to send to the House of Correction or common Gaol, such as shall not employ themselves to work, being appointed thereunto as aforesaid: and also any such two Justices of Peace to commit to the said Prison every one of the said Churchwardens and Overseers, who shall refuse to account, there to remain without Bail or Mainprize, until he have made a true Account, and satisfied and paid so much as upon the said Account shall be remaining in his Hands.
V. And be it further enacted, That it shall be lawful for the said Churchwardens and Overseers, or the greater Part of them, by the Assent of any two Justices of the Peace aforesaid, to bind any such Children as aforesaid to be Apprentices, where they shall see convenient, till such Man-child shall come to the Age of four and twenty Years, and such Woman-child to the Age of one and twenty Years, or the Time of her Marriage ; the same to be as effectual to all Purposes as if such Child were of full Age, and by Indenture of Covenant bound him or her self. And to the Intent that necessary Places of Habitation may more conveniently be provided for such poor impotent People ; Be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid, that it shall and may be lawful for the said Churchwardens and Overseers, or the greater Part of them, by the Leave of the Lord or Lords of the Manor, whereof any Waste or Common within their Parish is or shall be Parcel, and upon Agreement before with him or them made in Writing, under the Hands and Seals of the said Lord or Lords, or otherwise, according to any Order to be set down by the Justices of Peace of the said County at the General Quarter Sessions, or the greater Part of them, by like Leave and Agreement of the said Lord or Lords in Writing under his or their Hands and Seals, to erect, build and set up in fit and convenient Places of Habitation, in such Waste or Common, at the general Charges of the Parish or otherwise of the Hundred or County as aforesaid, to be taxed, rated and gathered in Manner before expressed, convenient Houses of Dwelling for the said impotent Poor ; and also to place Inmates or more Families than one in one Cottage or House ; one Act made in the one and thirtieth Year of her Majesty’s Reign, intituled, An Act against the erecting and maintaining of Cottages, or any Thing therein contained, to the contrary notwithstanding : Which Cottages and Places for Inmates shall not at any Time after be used or employed to or for any other Habitation, but only for Impotent and Poor of the same Parish, that shall be there placed from Time to Time by the Churchwardens and Overseers of the Poor of the same Parish, or the most Part of them, upon the Pains and Forfeitures contained in the said former Act made in the said one and thirtieth Year of her Majesty’s Reign.