Vagabonds in the Early Modern Period

  • Created by: Valle
  • Created on: 18-09-18 17:42
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  • Vagabonds
    • Problem
      • Crimes
        • Theft
        • Abuse
        • Mock beggars
      • Faking beggars
        • Counterfeit crank
          • dressed up in old rags and pretended to have epilepsy. would eat soap so his mouth would foam up when someone walked past
        • The angler
          • Spent the day dressed up in old rags and kept an eye out for things to steal. steal clothes off washing lines at night
        • Clapperdudgeon
          • Tied arsenic to his skin , making it bleed. Then tied dirty bandages around it.
        • Tom O'Bedlam
          • Walk around half naked making strange noises so people would thing he was mad.
      • Puritan religion taught that everyone should work hard so they did not have time to commit sins
    • not a problem
      • When printing press was invented, "fake" news might have been spread on leaflets influencing peoples thoughts on vagabonds.
      • When Henry VIII shut down all the monasteries many people were left without aid and so travelled only looking for work.
      • when the harvest failed, people were left without money and so only travelled looking for work
      • Up until 1598, oxford JPs only dealt with 12 vagabonds a year
        • Salisbury JPs dealt with around 20 per year.
    • the law
      • 1531
        • Unemployed m and W found begging or vagrants, should be whipped until their bodies be bloody and returned to their birthplace
      • 1547
        • First offence = 2 years slavery.
          • Second offence= Slavery for life or execution.
      • 1550
        • 1547 act repealed as it was too severe. 1531 act put in place
      • 1572
        • First offence = whipping and burning of the ear.                 Second offence execution
    • The law PART 2
      • 1576
        • House of correction to be built  to punish and employ persistent beggars.
      • 1593
        • 1572 act repealed as thought to be too severe. 1531 act put in place.
      • 1598
        • Vagrants to be whipped and sent home. If they did not mend their ways, the JPs could send them to a house of correction, banish them from the country or execute them.


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