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The Old Poor Law Workshop

For Family and Social Historians

With tutor - Joan Dils

Many family historians have ancestors whose lives were touched at some point by poverty. The Old Poor Law (1597-1834) was a system of poor relief devised by Tudor politicians which was still in use until the eve of Queen Victoria’s reign. Administered by unpaid parish officials and financed by parish ratepayers, it was tough but not without some compassion. Dealing with tens of thousands of young, aged, poor and sick people, as well as incorrigible rogues, it generated innumerable records of individual lives and misfortunes, leaving an invaluable legacy for social and family historians to explore.

This workshop will explain how the system worked and evolved over the centuries, and discuss the records such as settlement examinations and bastardy bonds which it created and their usefulness for researchers. 

11am - 1pm

Ticket price includes tea/coffee and biscuits. Places limited, pre-booking required.

Book online using the link on this page, or face to face in The Centre for Heritage and Family History during opening hours.

About Berkshire Family History Society

This workshop is organised by Berkshire Family History Society, a registered charity number 283010.