Definition of Poor Law in English:

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Poor Law


British historical
A law relating to the support of the poor. Originally the responsibility of the parish, the relief and employment of the poor passed over to the workhouses in 1834. In the early 20th century the Poor Law was replaced by schemes of social security.
Example sentences
  • Brought before him in court one day was a destitute woman, another child, who was accused of contravening the Poor Laws and falsely seeking parish charity.
  • In 1834, major reforms of the Poor Law were effected by a Poor Law Amendment Act 1834 which abolished outdoor relief, stipulating that relief was to be provided only in the workhouse.
  • In nineteenth century Britain, the infamous Poor Laws gave little support to the poor and the elderly unless they were prepared to give up their homes and enter workhouses.

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