Remembering the dead poor in the Midlands, 1750s to 1880s

King, S.A. ORCID: 0000-0002-9152-9190, 2022. Remembering the dead poor in the Midlands, 1750s to 1880s. Midland History, 47 (3), pp. 292-312. ISSN 0047-729X

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The deaths of ordinary poor people are, in both the popular imagination and much of the historiography, indelibly linked with pauper funerals, mass graves, anatomization in British medical schools and the striking absence of any of the structures and symbols of remembrance (headstones, death notices, etc.) that we often associate with other classes in 18th and 19th-century England. The dead poor under the Old and New Poor Laws were not remembered except in the sense of leaving behind poor families that might require poor relief, poor children who needed apprenticing or a life story that had to be rehearsed by surviving family members so that their place of settlement could be determined in disputed relief cases. In 2005, Elizabeth Hurren and Steven King talked about the grave and the pauper body but not about the mourners, memorialization and the memory of the dead poor. For this article, a remarkable midland’s dataset has been used to argue that remembrance of the dead poor was more systematic, sustained and meaningful than the current literature allows.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Midland History
Creators: King, S.A.
Publisher: Routledge
Date: 2022
Volume: 47
Number: 3
ISSN: 0047-729X
Rights: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.
Divisions: Schools > School of Arts and Humanities
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 25 Nov 2022 11:21
Last Modified: 25 Nov 2022 11:21

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