‘I think we ought not to acknowledge them [paupers] as that encourages them to write’: the administrative state, power and the Victorian pauper

Carter, N. and King, S. ORCID: 0000-0002-9152-9190, 2021. ‘I think we ought not to acknowledge them [paupers] as that encourages them to write’: the administrative state, power and the Victorian pauper. Social History, 46 (2), pp. 117-144. ISSN 0307-1022

[img] Text
1436520_a1678_King.pdf - Post-print
Full-text access embargoed until 3 December 2023.

Download (297kB)

Abstract

At the heart of this article stand three questions that we believe are crucial to an understanding of the character of the poor law and its role in the lives of the poor who had to navigate its rules. First, what was actually ‘new’ about the central administrative structures and processes required to make the New Poor Law function? Second, how did those processes change over time and, in particular, how far did the central authority itself engage with the poor directly? Third, did the processes and structures of the central authority afford a space in which the poor could learn to better navigate the New Poor Law and exercise their own agency? Using a sample of letters written directly to ‘the Centre’ by paupers in the English midlands, and the subsequent epistolary responses of the central authorities, we trace a situation in which the Centre was duty bound to respond to poor letter writers much as they did to everyone else. Rights to contest local welfare regimes remained strong in the post-1834 period, and the central authorities, through their responses, afforded a space of agency that came to be well known.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Social History
Creators: Carter, N. and King, S.
Publisher: Informa UK Limited
Date: 3 April 2021
Volume: 46
Number: 2
ISSN: 0307-1022
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1080/03071022.2021.1892301DOI
1436520Other
Divisions: Schools > School of Arts and Humanities
Record created by: Laura Ward
Date Added: 20 May 2021 15:14
Last Modified: 03 Jun 2021 13:53
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/42896

Actions (login required)

Edit View Edit View

Views

Views per month over past year

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year