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By L. A. Botelho

Outdated Age and the English terrible legislations, 1500-1700 explores the almost unknown global of the elderly bad in 16th- and seventeenth-century England. It asks a query of nationwide importance - how the aged negative controlled to outlive in a pre-industrial financial system - yet solutions it on the point of the village. via a comparability of 2 Suffolk villages, the numerous elements that make up the event of outdated age (status, future health, wealth, and native tradition) are totally acknowledged, said, and factored into the translation. Botelho argues that the major to survival for those contributors was once their very own efforts, over and above that of a weekly pension. In different phrases, even for the elderly, if one didn't paintings, one didn't consume.

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If that had been done here, Poslingford and Cratfield would be cross-county cousins: they are not. Third, in all but the poorest parishes, the churchwarden may have played an important role in aid to the poor throughout the early modern period. Traditionally the source of charity, they continued in this role long after the establishment of the overseer of the poor. In parishes such as Cratfield, the 24 THE PARISH’S RELIEF OF THE POOR churchwarden was the source of a wide range of miscellaneous relief, as well as employment.

164–207 for a discussion of the function and status of early modern churchwardens. Of related interest is Andrew Foster’s essay, ‘Churchwardens’ Accounts of Early Modern England and Wales: Some Problems to Note, but Much to be Gained’ in K. L. French, G. G. Gibbs and B. Kumin, eds, The Parish in English Life (Manchester, 1997), pp. 74–93, which discusses a number of methodological concerns associated with their use. 13 The intermingled efforts of churchwarden and overseer to solve a common problem was part of a long-standing blurring between the boundaries of the civil and ecclesiastical parish, 20 THE PARISH’S RELIEF OF THE POOR The decision-making process of parochial poor relief reflects its dual provenance as both a legal obligation and a voluntary act.

Burstein, ‘Care of the Aged in England from Mediaeval Times to the End of the Sixteenth Century’, Bulletin of the History of Medicine 22 (1948), pp. 738–46. Old age arrangements made on behalf of an elderly widow are typically found in last wills, with Margaret Spufford’s Contrasting Communities: English Villagers in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries (1974; repr. Cambridge, 1987) being hugely influential, but see my ‘“The Old Woman’s Wish”: Widows by the Family Fire? Widows’ Old Age Provision in Rural England’, Journal of Family 7 (2002), pp.

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