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Social Reformers

Octavia Hill

Octavia Hill

Octavia Hill, social reformer and one of the founders of the National Trust. Octavia Hill was born in 1838 into a family of social reformers, her grandfather was Thomas Southwood Smith a public health reformer and her father was a friend of Jeremy Bentham so from an early age she was exposed to the need…

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The Midland Revolt 1607

Midland Revolt 1607

The Midland Revolt 1607, a period of failed harvests, enclosure, famine and despondency. Shakespeare writes about this in his play Coriolanus and refers to other uprisings and tensions in his plays Henry IV and 2 Henry VI.

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Old Poor Law

This entry is part 3 of 7 in the series Poor Law through the Ages

The Old Poor Law was the codified series of statutes that predated the draconian Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834, the timeline of this law casts some light on the origins of welfare and the plight of the poor in England for many years. If you have any reason to want to better understand the basis of society during the 19th century then some reference to these legal orgins will be helpful.

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Charles Dickens – supporter of Ragged Schools

In 1843, Charles Dickens visited the Field Lane Ragged School and was so shocked and moved by what he saw there, he decided to write a pamphlet about it. Instead though he penned ‘A Christmas Carol’ as he thought he could reach more people through a novel. An intriguing connection is that John Pounds set…

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