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The 1845 Poor Law Scotland Act

The Poor Law Scotland Act of 1845 — An Act for the Amendment and better Administration of the Laws relating to the Relief of the Poor in Scotland — updated the poor relief system in Scotland. Compared to the sweeping changes brough about by the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act in England and Wales, the Scottish Act made relatively few changes. Its main provisions were:

  • The continuing administration of poor relief through the parish.
  • Parishes to be able to raise funds for poor relief through an assessed property rate.
  • The ability of parishes to combine for the administration of poor relief.
  • The power to set up of poorhouses for parishes, or combinations, whose population was a least 5,000.
  • No poor relief for the able-bodied.
  • A central Board of Supervision, constituted as a department of the Home Office, which had a largely advisory role.

To read the full text of the 1845 Act, just click on the accompanying picture of its introductory paragraphs.

[Poor Laws] [Workhouse Home Page]

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