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I have an assessment soon, and part of my revision is on poverty in Elizabethan England. This includes Explaining why Elizabethans were worried about Vagabonds. I am unsure on this topic, but I have researched some possible reasons:

  • The Mass groups worried Elizabethans due to the peasants revolts becoming a possibility.
  • They were worried about the spreading of disease.

However to answer the question I must provide a third reason and also back each point up with evidence. Furthermore, I am familiar with the reasons for Poverty, and the existing help that was there, and I also understand that the Vagabonds act of 1572 persecuted these 'rogues' but I am still unsure of why they persecuted beggars without a licence or vagabonds, and what it was that worried them, particularly the gentry and nobility in the Early years of Elizabeth's reign (1558-1588). I would be grateful for any help that can be offered.

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    Welcome to History! You need to start about by showing us what research you have done yourself. – called2voyage Jul 3 at 15:33
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    Serfdom was on the decline, which meant that many people had to wander the country looking for work - or charity. Undoubtedly many of them turned to crime as well. Go to Wikipedia and read about the old poor law – Ne Mo Jul 3 at 15:33
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    Poor harvests, the loss of monastic charity, enclosure of common land for sheep rearing - some of the reasons for rising poverty. This might be a starting point. – TheHonRose Jul 3 at 15:38
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    @NeMo - Would you consider fleshing that out into an answer? – T.E.D. Jul 3 at 16:19
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    Also, I know this is for an assignment, but you also need to show why you think Elizabethans were worried about vagabonds. If your textbook mentions this, you can cite it. Otherwise, that may be part of your research toward the question. – called2voyage Jul 3 at 16:49

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