Author Topic: Pauper or labourer ?  (Read 1691 times)

Offline BattyB

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Pauper or labourer ?
« on: Saturday 14 March 09 18:09 GMT (UK) »
A few of my distant relations "died a pauper" yet according to the census forms they were listed as Agricultural labourers which I took to be that they were working.

Could you be a labourer and still die a pauper. :( :( :(
Doble.  North. Garrish. Jewell. Gillard.
Vincent.  Spiller. Collings. Board.   
Harris. Manfield. Manning. Salter. Eveleigh.
Strawbridge. Matthews. Sweetland.
Devon. NZ. Australia.

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Offline kerryb

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Re: Pauper or labourer ?
« Reply #1 on: Saturday 14 March 09 19:24 GMT (UK) »
Hi Batty

I have a number of Ag Labs who died paupers too.  I believe thinking about it logically it could simply be that they were too old to carry out many of the tasks that would have been required on the farm of an Ag Lab and often ended up in the workhouse. 

Being an Ag Lab would have included various farming jobs and was very hard physical labour that maybe older ancestors would have not have been able to do any more and probably the children if they were also Ag Labs may well not have been able to support them. 

Kerry
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Offline Barbara348

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Re: Pauper or labourer ?
« Reply #2 on: Saturday 14 March 09 19:49 GMT (UK) »
Hi BattyB,

Yes, I agree with Kerryb because I also have a few relatives who had recognised useful employment but once they were too old to work and had to enter the Workhouse( if they had no family to care for them), they appeared to then be classed as Paupers.

It's pretty sad really.

Barbara.

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Offline stanmapstone

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Re: Pauper or labourer ?
« Reply #3 on: Saturday 14 March 09 21:28 GMT (UK) »
A pauper was a person having no property or means of livelihood and was a recipient of relief under the provisions of the Poor Law or of public charity.

Stan
Mapstone, Mapston.
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Offline Greensleeves

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Re: Pauper or labourer ?
« Reply #4 on: Saturday 14 March 09 23:16 GMT (UK) »
For the first time, I have also come across this, in that the grandfather of the family is listed as Ag Lab, but has Pauper written over the top of this.  In the same family (though not the same family group) the grandmothers have 'Receiving Relief' or 'Parish Recipient' written in the Occupation column.  Wonder why the women escaped the Pauper label in these  instances.
Suffolk: Pearl(e),  Garnham, Southgate, Blo(o)mfield,Grimwood/Grimwade,Josselyn/Gosling
Durham/Yorkshire: Sedgwick/Sidgwick, Shadforth
Ireland: Davis
Norway: Torreson/Torsen/Torrison
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Offline BattyB

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Re: Pauper or labourer ?
« Reply #5 on: Monday 16 March 09 18:21 GMT (UK) »
It makes me realise the reason why many of the females moved further afield to work and in some cases, married and moved to USA and Australia.

I wonder if my immediate family realise what our ancesters went through as we have all been Ag. Labourers over the years.  Never made a fortune but at least we never had that stigma of being paupers. :( :( :(
Doble.  North. Garrish. Jewell. Gillard.
Vincent.  Spiller. Collings. Board.   
Harris. Manfield. Manning. Salter. Eveleigh.
Strawbridge. Matthews. Sweetland.
Devon. NZ. Australia.

Offline LizzieW

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Re: Pauper or labourer ?
« Reply #6 on: Monday 16 March 09 21:52 GMT (UK) »
Interestingly in 1871 my 3 x g.grandmother was on Parish Relief living next door to one of her married daughters.  In 1881, she is shown as a widowed annuitant and living with her, at least on the day of the census, was her 8 year old granddaughter, (the child of the married daughter living next door).

I wonder how you can go from being on Parish Relief aged 71 to being a widowed annuitant at age 81, especially as she called herself a widow in 1851, although  I've yet to find her husband's death.

Lizzie

Offline stanmapstone

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Re: Pauper or labourer ?
« Reply #7 on: Tuesday 17 March 09 15:08 GMT (UK) »
The term annuitant could also be used for institutionalised pensioners.

Stan
Mapstone, Mapston.
Census Information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline Brian Morgan

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Re: Pauper or labourer ?
« Reply #8 on: Friday 01 February 19 16:41 GMT (UK) »
From a House of Commons debate:

HC Deb 12 May 1825 vol 13 cc571-3 571
Mr. Monck moved for leave to bring in a bill to prohibit in certain cases, the payment of any part of the Wages of Labourers out of the Poor Rates. The hon. gentleman observed, that this practice of rendering every agricultural labourer partially a pauper, went not only to annihilate all independency of principle among the lower classes, but to incumber the country with a population which it had no means of providing for. The law, as it stood, amounted absolutely to a bounty upon idleness. A labourer who, by day-work, earned, say 8s. a-week, was unable, if he had a family, to live on this, and received, perhaps, 6s. therefore in aid from the parish. If he was a man industriously inclined, and by task-work or other extra exertion, raised his 8s. earnings to 12s., what was the consequence? He had his toil for his pains: for then the parish gave him 2s.

So if a worker did not earn enough to support himself he would receive a 'top up' from the Church (Parish). This also meant that if he worked more and earned more the amount he received from the Church was reduced by the same amount. So there was no incentive to 'work harder'.

There is an old phrase in England of 'going on the parish' or receiving benefits from the church.