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The history of the Poor Laws: with observations.
London: printed by H. Woodfall and W. Strahan. for A. Millar 1764 - 8vo., (4) + 295 + (1)pp., contemporary calf with original gilt label. A fine copy. First, and only edition. Higgs 3291. Goldsmiths 10030. Kress 6160. Sweet & Maxwell I, p.386(#2). This important work was not only, according to Beatrice and Sidney Webb, 'the first history of the Poor Laws', it was also a critical and comprehensive review of the pamphlet literature on the subject and was a vehicle for Burn's own ideas on the development of the Poor Laws and provision for the poor. It certainly contains the best summary of the pamphlet literature on the subject before Eden's State of the Poor> and is many times referred to by Sidney and Beatrice Webb in The Old Poor Law.> Richard Burn (1709-1785), was justice of the peace for the counties of Westmoreland and Cumberland. Burn was the author also of the classic work of legal authority, The justice of the peace and parish officer, upon a plan entirely new.> (1755). The History of the Poor Laws> contains Burns's well-known account of the Overseer. 'And this leads to the other great fundamental defect . in our present Poor Laws, and that is that the whole in a great measure (and indeed, in practice altogether) is left to the management of those annual officers called Overseers of the Poor . In practice the office of an Overseer of the Poor seems to be understood to be this . to maintain their Poor as cheap as they possibly can . to hang over them in terrorem> if they shall complain to the justices for want of maintenance . to pull down cottages; to drive out as many inhabitants, and admit as few as they possibly can . to depopulate the parish in order to lessen the Poor Rate.' [Attributes: Hard Cover]
      [Bookseller: John Drury Rare Books ABA ILAB]
Last Found On: 2017-07-25           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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