Sam Barrett
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Kinship, poor relief and the welfare process in early modern England
in The poor in England 1700–1850

This chapter utilizes family reconstitutions linked to a range of supplementary data for six communities in the West Riding during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This utilization of family reconstitutions is done to reconstruct the depth of local and regional kinship networks. Historiographical writing on the depth and functionality of kinship in early modern England is limited. The chapter elaborates the place of kinship in the economy of makeshifts. The collection of townships makes an ideal framework for the study of the role of kinship in welfare provision for several reasons. The commentators such as D. Cressey, M. Fissell, S. A. King and Pat Thane suggest that kin must have been an important part of the economy of makeshifts. A way for poor people to avoid poor relief or a means to supplement poor relief which, as King shows, was always and everywhere inadequate to hold body and soul together.

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The poor in England 1700–1850

An economy of makeshifts


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