This chapter explores the often neglected labour and employment schemes in the Elizabethan relief statutes. It explains the problems which led to the abandonment of experiments to set the poor on work in rural parishes; suggests that the imperative to labour discipline enshrined in the legislation was more successfully met by apprenticing the children of the labouring poor than by setting their parents to work; and reconstructs the attitudes of children, parents, parish officers, magistrates, and employers to this often controversial project.
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