The ‘Old’ Poor Law in Shrewsbury

Volunteer Bob Kiernan reports upon some details he happened upon relating to the ’old’, i.e., pre 1834 Poor Law. MI5531 comprises two pieces of local legislation relating to Shrewsbury ’and liberties’ in 1784 and Atcham ’and Salop’ in 1792. Bob highlights the following relaBeadleting to children:

  • Children taken in as apprentices: it seems that all children aged 14 and in the care of the corporation should be apprenticed to ’any reputable person in England or Wales’ for up to 7 years or until males were 21 or females 18 or married. There did not seem to be any limitation on what art, trade or occupation  they could be taught.
  • Children could be discharged or hired out. From the age of 14 children could be hired out to be servants in husbandry, housewifery or otherwise for at least one whole year. Those under 14 could also be hired out at harvest time or ’at any other time for the benefit of the said corporation…and for such time and terms as the corporation and the person or persons hiring said poor shall agree and determine.



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