The Tudor Society

The Tudor Poor and Poor Relief

It's the 21st December on Monday, the date of the feast day of St Thomas the Apostle in Tudor times, and during my research on that and the traditions associated with it, like collecting alms, my mind turned to poverty in Tudor times and how it was dealt with.

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  1. L

    The “Poor Laws” appear to be a precedent for our current welfare system in the US. We are taxed and a chunk of those federal and state taxes go to welfare, housing subsidies, food stamps, and medical care (state Medicaid programs). The difference is the amount of force and punishment involved to get the “able-bodied” to work. We don’t punish the homeless “vagabonds”, many of whom are mentally ill or addicted. People try to help, for the most part, but we are not winning in the fight over the opiod epidemic, which has started to skyrocket since the COVID-19 pandemic. Solving the ills of the society is like untangling the Gordian knot. Alexander the Great supposedly cut it, but I believe if we use swords, we’ll die by them too.

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The Tudor Poor and Poor Relief