Before 1834 there was no explicit legal requirement for parish overseers to provide medical relief but even by the 18th century most parishes were doing so. Sickness relief began to swallow up a sizeable chunk of Poor Law resources. So parishes considered medical relief to be cost effective. The sooner the poor could be cured and restored to independence the better.
In this one-hour talk Dr Judy Hill looks at the parishes that gave medical relief to the aged and the chronically sick, the help that was given and how doctors dealt with the parish poor.
It is evident that administrators of the old Poor Law tried to cope in a humane manner with the problems of unemployment, illness, old age and death. Judy examines the role of the unreformed workhouse which tended to be responsible for the elderly, sick, pregnant, young, impotent poor and ‘worn out’ people. In fact parishes were miniature welfare states and the system did offer some measure of protection against sickness and utter destitution. However after 1815 it became more difficult to accomplish as parish vestries faced increasing relief bills and a sharp rise in the number of poor relief recipients.
30/09/2020 14:00 - 15:00
Books & Courses Search
Search our catalogue and buy securely online.