Act for Punishment of Sturdy Vagabonds and Beggars 1536

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The Act for Punishment of Sturdy Vagabonds and Beggars 1536 (27 Hen VIII c. 25) was an act passed in Tudor England by Henry VIII. It is part of the Tudor Poor Laws. It was the earliest English Poor Law to provide for structured collections for the poor.

The 1536 act provided that “sturdy” vagabonds should be set to work after being punished.[1] It also provided that local mayors, bailiffs, constables, and other officers were responsible for ensuring that the poor in their parish were cared for such that they need not beg.[2] Although they could nor use municipal funds not levy a compulsory tax on the parish to raise this money, they organized collections in a common box.[3] In addition, voluntary contributions to the poor other than through the common box were made illegal; the goal of this latter provision was to control discriminatory giving.[4]

Although this act lapsed later in 1536, its designation of the parish as the administrator of charitable giving lasted into future poor law reforms.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Paul Slack, The English Poor Law 1531-1782 17 (1990)
  2. ^ Sidney & Beatrice Webb, English Local Government: English Poor Law History Part 1. The Old Poor Law 46 (1927)
  3. ^ Sidney & Beatrice Webb, English Local Government: English Poor Law History Part 1. The Old Poor Law 46 (1927)
  4. ^ Paul Slack, The English Poor Law 1531-1782 17 (1990)
  5. ^ Paul Slack, The English Poor Law 1531-1782 59 (1990)