The Laws of Settlement : Their impact on the poor inhabitants of the Daventry area of Northamptonshire, 1750-1834


The aim of this thesis has been to analyse the Laws of Settlement. It is based on a collection of documents at the Northamptonshire Record Office which originated in the offices of several long-established firms of solicitors.;It is obvious that the firms were deeply involved with settlement appeal cases. From the large number of barrister's briefs and case summaries found, it has been possible to reconstruct much of the work undertaken, not only by the solicitors, but also by the magistrates and the overseers of the poor.;The method used has been to analyse a number of cases, to demonstrate the various points of law and to show how these were interpreted in practice. To explain the points of law correctly, much use has been made of the eighteenth and early nineteenth century books written as aids for the justices, solicitors and overseers.;With the additional use of some of the parish collections for the county, the last chapter of the thesis deals specifically with the work of the justices, solicitors and overseers, with the final section given over to the study of the effects the settlement laws had on the paupers themselves.;The first four chapters deal in turn with the four most common ways in which a man or woman could gain a new settlement, while the fifth chapter deals with the settlement certificates and how they were used.;Chapter six is a study of a number of cases where the complexity of the settlement laws either led to parish officers making mistakes in their interpretation of the legislation, or where it seems that deliberate attempts were made to 'bend' the laws to benefit for their own parishes.







Vialls, Christine Mary, “The Laws of Settlement : Their impact on the poor inhabitants of the Daventry area of Northamptonshire, 1750-1834,” Centre for Regional and Local History Theses and Papers, accessed May 20, 2024,