Resistance to the new poor law

Monday, 13 December Opposing the Poor Law Act Resistance to alterations in the provision of poor relief was not uncommon in the early-nineteenth century and grievances about the operation of the poor laws formed a significant feature of disturbances in southern England between and

Resistance to the new poor law

The movement brought together Tories who opposed centralisation and radicals who opposed the inhumanity of the 'poor law Bastilles'. In Bradford the Poor Law Guardians had to be protected by troops when rioting broke out; the Huddersfield Guardians defied the law for over a year and at TodmordenJohn and Joseph Fielden led a rate-revolt.

Other tactics of the Anti-Poor-Law movement included attempting to prevent the election of Guardians electing as Guardians, men who opposed the PLAA intimidating the new Boards so that they did not elect clerks — without whom no business could be conducted physical harassment of Poor Law officials fighting with police and troops who were sent to assist with the implementation of the law Oastler and his colleagues addressed anti-Poor Law meetings and wrote pamphlets and letters to sympathetic newspapers like the Leeds Intelligencer and the Sheffield Iris in which they denounced the Poor Law Amendment Act as being cruel, unChristian and dictatorial.

Most of these speeches and writings consisted of highly charged emotional outbursts full of prophetic violence and often of lurid tales of cruelties inflicted on the paupers in workhouses in the south of England.

Most of the alleged cruelties were investigated by the Poor Law Commission which found that although some of them were true, many were at best half-truths and others — like the Marcus affair of — were total fabrications.

The anti-Poor Law agitators were determined to portray the Poor Law Commissioners as inhuman tyrants.

Resistance to the new poor law

Emotional speeches and tales of cruelty, such as those published by George Wythen Baxter in his Book of Bastiles, roused northern workers to fury. In some areas, attempts to put the new system into operation were met with riots.

The job of the Assistant Commissioners was made more difficult because many overseers, magistrates and members of the new boards of guardians were determined to obstruct the operation of the new system. InAlfred Power claimed that press reports of resistance in the north to the Act were greatly exaggerated and said that the Leeds Mercury overplayed the incidences of violence in Huddersfield.

There was much evasion of the PLAA in the north of England and outdoor relief continued because it was a much cheaper way of giving help to the poor.

The Poor Law Guardians did not build workhouses and they paid the Oversees very poor wages, to discourage applicants for the jobs. The PLAA was unsuited to northern conditions where existing forms of relief were adequate.

Chadwick was blind to the social problems that made the workhouse test irrelevant: Most workhouses were erected in the s and s and until then the 'workhouse test' did not operate.

In the West Riding, the new Unions were not set up as geographical entities until the s although the PLAA was implemented after on local initiative as a way of discouraging applications for relief from the 'mobile poor' — especially the Irish who had come to Britain in huge numbers during the Famine.

In Wales, there was some physical resistance to the Act from labourers but also the farmers and gentry opposed the PLAA and maintained their opposition to directives from the Poor Law Commissioners.

The main reason for resistance in Wales was because of the dislike of control by central government. The ratepayers also claimed exemption to the Act on the grounds that the economic structure and poor relief systems were different in Wales from that in England.

You cannot know the miseries of thirty or forty Welsh Guardians who won't build a workhouse, and consequently meet in the parlour of a pot-house twelve feet by fourteen and keep all the windows shut and spit tobacco on your shoes — to say nothing of knowing not a work of what they are talking of in an unknown tongue.Wells, R.

() Resistance to the new Poor Law in the rural south. In: Rule, J. and Wells, R., eds. Crime, Protest and Popular Politics in Southern vetconnexx.com, UK: Hambledon Continuum. pp. ISBN Full text not available from this repository.

May 18,  · Resistance to alterations in the provision of poor relief was not uncommon in the early nineteenth century and grievances about the operation of the poor laws formed a significant feature of disturbances in southern England between and The New Poor Law was a deeply controversial piece of social legislation.

Very little work, however, has explored how debates over the implementation of the system at . Dec 18,  · Resistance to alterations in the provision of poor relief was not uncommon in the early-nineteenth century and grievances about the operation of the poor laws formed a significant feature of disturbances in southern England between and Dec 13,  · Resistance to alterations in the provision of poor relief was not uncommon in the early-nineteenth century and grievances about the operation of the poor laws formed a significant feature of disturbances in southern England between and n the Poor Law Amendment Act [PLAA] was passed by the Whig government headed by Earl Grey: the legislation replaced the Elizabethan Poor vetconnexx.comgh it was called an 'amendment' Act, in reality it completely replaced the earlier legislation.

The main feature of the new Poor Law was the establishment of deterrent workhouses.

The anti-Poor Law campaign