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Tudor goverments Essay

What caused Tudor poverty and what did Tudor goverments do to reduce the number of the poor

In Tudor England at the time of Edward V1 there was a huge diffrerence between the lives of poor people and the rich. There were many reasons for this. The lords were changing from growing wheat to farming sheep. Needing fewer men for work. Henry V111 had closed down all the monestries and the monks had no jobs. Also the poor people who relied the monks to feed them couldn’t get food from the monestries any more. A lot of the lords had had private armies. The Tudors wanted to make the lords weak and made them pay lots of money to the king so they couldn’t have huge armies and that meant to alot of soilders were unemployed. Many people who had not got jobs had to go round the country begging and robbing as there was no social sucurity like we have.

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The poverty was a big problem for Henry V111 who was Edward V1’s father Henry divided the poor into deserving and undeserving. People who Henry felt couldn’t help being poor he helped. This included giving them license to beg. If they were caught begging and they didn’have a license they would be whipped. This would leave great scars, so if they if they were caught again they would have the lobe of thier ear cut off, and the ear doesn’t grow back so if they were caught they would be hung. In Edward V1’s time the vagabonds would be branded on the tongue. These punishments didn’t do anything to help the poor. In Elizabeth’s time minsters tried various ways, like the House of Correction, which was a bit like a prison in our days. This took some of the poor of the streets.

We know the reasons why people became poor but the King or Queen didn’t know. If they knew the real causes they might of done things to prevent poverty. In Elizabeth’s reign things got a bit better for some.

For example a man called Robert Wheller who gave his attic to the poor and gave them two shirts,waistcoats a hankerchief each and free food. But most people were stiil poor and they had to beg

People tried to get licenses to beg by pretending to be the deserving poor. They put soapy water into their mouths and it would look like they had epilepsy. Some poor people were tricked into joining the army.Agents from the army would put a coin into a persons drink and when it touched their lips they would have to join the army. This at least stopped the poor being beggers.

I would not like being a begger in those days because the poor couldn’t afford to have a doctor and many were disabled. There was no one to turn to for help and you wouldn’t of lived for very long. Other poor people might of attacked you. At the beginning of the Tudor time the goverment just punished you for being poor. Things got a bit better when people like Robert Wheller helped the poor.

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