By Ethel Mary Hampson
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year:2009
Online Publication Date:September 2010
Original Publication Year:1934
Subjects: British History after 1450
First published in 1934, this historical survey of the application of the Poor Law in Cambridgeshire covers the period from its codification under Queen Elizabeth I to the Amendment Act of 1834. Resulting from the author's extensive analysis of parish records, accounts and court proceedings, the examination of a largely agricultural county marks it out from many other such studies. Cambridgeshire is a unique area; although under a strong metropolitan influence due to its geographical proximity to London and its links to the capital via the University of Cambridge, it contains few towns or large villages. The scattered population meant efforts to group areas for the purposes of administration during the period in question were largely unsuccessful. Instead, E.M. Hampson's study reveals that local autonomy led to large variations in the application of the Poor Law.