The Relief of the Salthouse Poor 1792-1810
|by Derek Schofield|
Among the documents recently rediscovered in St Nicholas. Church was the 'Account Book of the Overseers of the Poor of the Parish of Salthouse, 1792-1810'.
This supplementation of the workers' earnings, by the parish, resulted not surprisingly in the employers having no need to pay a proper living wage and being content to leave the parish to pick up the shortfall. Wages became further depressed and the incentive to work diminished.
In the years covered by this Account Book,
responsibility for 'poor relief' (i.e. helping the
poor) rested with each parish. Although 'poor
houses' existed, much of the help given was
in the form of 'out relief'—the recipients of help
continued to live in the cottages or elsewhere
in the parish. 'Overseers of the Poor' (usually
two) were appointed annually from among the
substantial householders in each parish and
they had responsibility for the proceeds of a
local tax, the 'poor rate'.
|© Val Fiddian 2005|