You are not currently logged in. Please create an account or log in to view the full course.

History   >   The Tudors – Poverty, 1531-1601


  • About
  • Transcript
  • Cite

The Tudors – Poverty, 1531-1601

In this course, Dr Jonathan Healey (University of Oxford) provides a source-rich account of the lived experience and legislation affecting the English poor during the 16th and 17th centuries. In the first lecture, we provide an introduction to poverty in early modern England. In the second lecture, we survey the poor law legislation which was passed in 16th-century England, before in the third lecture moving on to look at the legislation passed in the 17th century. In the fourth lecture, we look at who the poor actually were, before in the fifth and final lecture looking at the creation of a poor law system.


In this module, we provide an introduction to poverty in early modern England, focusing in particular on: (i) the lived experienced of the English poor, as is recorded in the parish registers of Greystoke, County Cumberland, in 1623; (ii) the factors contributing towards increasing rates of poverty in England, including population increase, the dissolution of the monasteries, the abolition of the chantries, and the enclosure of land; (iii) responses to poverty, including popular uprisings and the spreading fear of social disorder; (iv) the switch from customary land tenures to market rents, and the impact that this had upon poverty in England; (v) the factors contributing towards the growing visibility of poverty, including the expansion of London’s population and the need to import goods to feed this population; (vi) grain riots, in particular that led by “Captain” Ann Carter; (vii) the growing wealth of England’s class of yeoman, and the consequences that this had for the poor.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Healey, J. (2023, September 22). The Tudors – Poverty, 1531-1601 - Introduction [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Healey, J. "The Tudors – Poverty, 1531-1601 – Introduction." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 22 Sep 2023,

Image Credits


Dr Jonathan Healey

Dr Jonathan Healey

University of Oxford