Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Material lives of the poor and their strategic use of the workhouse during the final decades of the English old poor law
Authors: Harley, Joseph
First Published: 5-May-2015
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Citation: Continuity and Change, 2015, 30(1), pp. 71 - 103
Abstract: This article is the first to use a combination of three different types of inventories from Dorset to examine the material lives of paupers inside and outside Beaminster workhouse. It argues that life was materially better for paupers on outdoor relief, compared with workhouse inmates and with paupers in the moments before they entered the workhouse. The article also examines how the poor used admission into the workhouse as part of their economy of makeshifts. The evidence demonstrates that the able-bodied poor used the workhouse as a short-term survival strategy, whereas more vulnerable inmates struggled to use this tactic. This article therefore furthers our understanding of the nature of poor relief and adds further weight to recent historical work that has emphasised pauper agency.
DOI Link: 10.1017/S0268416015000090
ISSN: 0268-4160
eISSN: 1469-218X
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © the authors, 2015. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( ), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, School of Historical Studies

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
download.php.pdf498.02 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

Items in LRA are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.