The ecology of poor relief
in Sickness, medical welfare and the English poor, 1750–1834
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At the core of this chapter is the development of Old Poor Law historiography after 1750. The chapter argues that the thrust of such historiography has moved inexorably to a greater understanding of the lives and words of the poor. In this context, medical welfare has been sadly neglected. Historians have felt that sickness was so ubiquitous that the sick poor themselves cannot and should not be the subject of discrete study. The chapter disagrees.

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