Systems of Outdoor Relief

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  • Created by: Isabella
  • Created on: 15-05-13 18:18

Speenhamland System

  • Widely used, though mostly in the South, rarely used in the North
  • Introduced in 1795 by magistrates
  • In town of Speenhamland, Berkshire (which is where the name comes from)
  • Way of providing relief by subsiding low wages
  • It established a formal relationship between the price of bread and the number of dependents in the family
  • Adopted in the South and East of Britain at the beginning of the 19th century
  • Often abandoned/modified out of all history, as overseers struggled to cope with economic conditions, especially after 1815
  • Was given a huge bashing in the the 1832 Royal Commission
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The Labour Rate

  • .Overseers did not directly top up low pay
  • They instead levied a parish rate to cover the relief of the able bodied poor
  • And set a wage for each unemployed labourer
  • Ratepayers who employed these labourers and paid them the rate set by the parish, didn't have to pay into the poor rate
  • By 1832, about 1 in 5 parishes were operating on some sort of Labour Rate system
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Roundsman System

  • Common variant on the Labour Rate system
  • Able bodied pauper labourers were sent round the parish until they found a parish rate payer to employ them
  • The ratepayer paid the pauper a wage agreed with the overseer
  • And they made up the rest from the poor rate
  • Nicknamed as ticket/billet system
  • Because the overseer signed a ticket for the pauper to take a potential employer
  • Which authorised the pauper to work under the parish relief system
  • Work completed- pauper returned the ticket to the overseer, signed by employer to show the work had been completed
  • The overseer would then make up the difference from poor rates
  • In some parishes, based on bread and the size of the pauper's family
  • In other parishes, a flat rate would be paid
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