Author Topic: Pauper or labourer ?  (Read 1687 times)

Offline stanmapstone

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Re: Pauper or labourer ?
« Reply #9 on: Friday 01 February 19 17:08 GMT (UK) »


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

It was not benefits from the Church, it was money (poor relief) from the Poor Rate levied on the rate payers of the Parish, the church had nothing to do with it.
See http://www.workhouses.org.uk/poorlaws/oldpoorlaw.shtml#PoorRate
Stan
Mapstone, Mapston.
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Offline Greensleeves

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Re: Pauper or labourer ?
« Reply #10 on: Sunday 03 February 19 19:19 GMT (UK) »
That's really interesting Brian - and welcome to Rootschat.  So things haven't changed much, since people nowadays are on zero hours contracts and receive working tax credits or other benefits to bring them up to what is claimed to be a living wage.  Even after all this time, the taxpayer is subsidising the employer by allowing him/her to pay starvation wages with the balance met by the public purse.

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GS
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Offline Andrew Tarr

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Re: Pauper or labourer ?
« Reply #11 on: Monday 04 February 19 09:39 GMT (UK) »
I wonder if my immediate family realise what our ancestors 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.

We may be imagining that there was strong stigma in becoming a 'pauper'.  That suggests it may have been a modest insult, while perhaps it was just a standard reference to say someone had no income.  Even Mozart (and Vivaldi I believe) had pauper burials, in Mozart's case because he tended to spend more than he got.

Being an Ag.lab. must have worn a person down, especially during weather like we have just had in the UK.
Tarr, Tydeman, Liversidge, Bartlett, Young

Offline Maiden Stone

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Re: Pauper or labourer ?
« Reply #12 on: Monday 04 February 19 17:53 GMT (UK) »
When did he die? Agriculture had depressions, like other industries. Mechanisation put ag. labs out of work in late 19thC Britain.
He may not have been fully employed all year, every year, depending on type of agriculture.

Offline suey

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Re: Pauper or labourer ?
« Reply #13 on: Monday 04 February 19 18:07 GMT (UK) »
When did he die? Agriculture had depressions, like other industries. Mechanisation put ag. labs out of work in late 19thC Britain.
He may not have been fully employed all year, every year, depending on type of agriculture.


I have a couple who seem to be regulars at the workhouse.  In during the winter months and occupied in 'field work' the rest of the year.  Living on the very border of Kent I guess they were reliant on the fruit and hop crops.

I also have a man aged 82 when he died and recorded as an ag lab, I often wonder if he was in fact still working up to the time of his death.
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Sussex - Knapp. Nailard. Potten. Coleman. Pomfrey. Carter. Picknell
Greenwich/Woolwich. - Clowting. Davis. Kitts. Ferguson. Lowther. Carvalho. Pressman. Redknap. Argent.
Hertfordshire - Sturgeon. Bird. Rule. Claxton. Taylor. Braggins

Offline Maiden Stone

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Re: Pauper or labourer ?
« Reply #14 on: Monday 04 February 19 18:09 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.

Read instructions for completing census for the year in question. Try National Archives site - census.
Unemployed or retired people were to include their usual or former occupation in some years.
The grannies may not have had a former paid occupation. I assume that the man put ag. lab. and pauper on census form and the women put "Receiving Relief" or "Parish Recipient" on their forms.

Offline Maiden Stone

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Re: Pauper or labourer ?
« Reply #15 on: Monday 04 February 19 18:40 GMT (UK) »
I have a couple who seem to be regulars at the workhouse.  In during the winter months and occupied in 'field work' the rest of the year. 
"Plough Monday", the first Monday in January after the end of Christmastide, was a begging event by ag. labs to help them over the weeks until they became fully employed again.
An enquiry into poverty in Ireland in 1830s showed that a large proportion of the male rural population were fully employed for only half a year. Many were seasonal migrant labourers in Britain, returning to Ireland for winter. Browsing marriage register in a parish of one of my Irish families shows hardly any marriages June-September. Most single young men would have been away for the summer. February was a very popular month for weddings (4 on the day my gt. grandparents married) as it traditionally was for English ag. labs. too, one reason being that there wasn't much farm work, apart from feeding animals and mucking-out.  Anglo-Saxons called February "mud-month".

Offline suey

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Re: Pauper or labourer ?
« Reply #16 on: Monday 04 February 19 19:25 GMT (UK) »
I have a couple who seem to be regulars at the workhouse.  In during the winter months and occupied in 'field work' the rest of the year. 
"Plough Monday", the first Monday in January after the end of Christmastide, was a begging event by ag. labs to help them over the weeks until they became fully employed again.
An enquiry into poverty in Ireland in 1830s showed that a large proportion of the male rural population were fully employed for only half a year. Many were seasonal migrant labourers in Britain, returning to Ireland for winter. Browsing marriage register in a parish of one of my Irish families shows hardly any marriages June-September. Most single young men would have been away for the summer. February was a very popular month for weddings (4 on the day my gt. grandparents married) as it traditionally was for English ag. labs. too, one reason being that there wasn't much farm work, apart from feeding animals and mucking-out.  Anglo-Saxons called February "mud-month".


Interesting reply, thank you. 

February - mud month, it's certainly that here in Sussex at the moment.  In days past we were renowned for our mud  ;D
All census lookups are Crown Copyright from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
Sussex - Knapp. Nailard. Potten. Coleman. Pomfrey. Carter. Picknell
Greenwich/Woolwich. - Clowting. Davis. Kitts. Ferguson. Lowther. Carvalho. Pressman. Redknap. Argent.
Hertfordshire - Sturgeon. Bird. Rule. Claxton. Taylor. Braggins

Offline Maiden Stone

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Re: Pauper or labourer ?
« Reply #17 on: Monday 04 February 19 23:22 GMT (UK) »

February - mud month, it's certainly that here in Sussex at the moment.  In days past we were renowned for our mud  ;D

As well as being renowned for your Saxons.  :) Solmonoth (with accents) = February.
One of my Irish lines that went to England began as ag. labs. and later moved into factory work but reverted to agriculture occasionally. One of my English lines was similarly flexible. Both families moved to Preston in Lancashire to work in mills. Farm workers in predominantly rural counties may not have had alternative employment opportunities.
Spinning and weaving in Lancashire and Yorkshire were winter jobs for farming families until the Industrial Revolution took hold and squeezed out handloom weavers and put an end to a cottage industry. Some early small mills employed ag. labs. in winter when they were first set up.