Dying, being buried and leaving people behind
in Sickness, medical welfare and the English poor, 1750–1834
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This chapter focuses on the attitudes of parishes to those whose treatment failed and who thus spiralled into a last illness and death. It suggests that officials responded positively and even generously to last illnesses and that they erred on the side of caution when alerted to serious sickness. Where their efforts failed, the chapter explodes the myth that pauper funerals were miserable and punishing affairs. Rather they happened across a rich spectrum and were probably little different from those afforded to the independent labouring classes.


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