How far were the problems of poverty in England successfully addressed in Elizabeths reign


How far were the problems of poverty in England successfully addressed in Elizabeths reign


  • 1561- inflation act where they tired to introduce good coinage.- 400% inflation- decreasing the price of food
  • 1563- Act reaffirming Policy of whipping ablebodies- saw increase in punishment meant that decrease crime and begging
  • 1563- statue of Artificers- by decreasing ability to move it decreased the spread of poverty- 7 years apprenticeship meant people could get a job- this also meant that it would be less likely to have a widespread rebellion- mean that it is contained.
  • 1570- census- could locate peoples name and age this is need as a rising population meant it an overview was an necessity- 3 million 1550- 4 million 1603  London- 130,000 and 150,000 inhabitants
  • 1572- National Poor tax- meant there was a clear distinction between underserving and deserving poor- citizens had to pay.
  • 1601- Poor law Acts- introduce fines for those who didnt pay, appointed each official to each parish- overseers could control poverty and thus help to decrease it


  • result- didn't work as household's would try to hoard the money and give old money as payment- not effective in the short term
  • however, many able body people  couldn't find work subsequently punished when they had no other choice,
  • However, difficult to impose as magistrates would not regulate wages,
  • 1572- However,those who were just scrapping an income that were seen as deserving were not eligible and thus still remained within the cycle of poverty
  • 1601- had no real long-term effect- failed to be imposed
  • 1594-7- poor harvest never really established + the fact that gentry classes increase


Overall, it is clear that the Elizabeth's government become predominately invested in poverty as rebellion such as the northern and Irish rebellion convey however, social upheave must be contained and thus by in order to decrease this they had to find its catalyst- poverty. However, the problems of poverty in England were to a degree only partially successful in addressing poverty as the policies were of short term tactics and never really imposed a dramatic success in the long term. The fact that the majority of these policies are towards the end of Elizabeth;s reign convey how it was only substainal at this particle point and thus with regards to her whole reign it is not wholly successful.


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