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The Tudors - Poverty, 1485-1603

2. How were the poor perceived?

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About this Lecture


In this lecture, we think about how perceptions of the poor changed during the Tudor period, focusing in particular on: (i) the continuance of medieval ideas about ‘holy poverty’; (ii) the intensification of stories about fake beggars and frauds; and (iii) the development of a new view of the poor as a resource to be reformed for the benefit of society.


In this course, Dr Brodie Waddell (Birbeck University of London) looks at poverty during the Tudor period, 1485-1603. In the first module, we look at the reasons for why poverty was growing during this period. In the second module, we turn to consider perceptions of the poor and how these changed over the course of the period. In the third and fourth modules, we look at responses to poverty, in the former looking at the responses of the central authorities and in the latter looking at the responses of the general population. In the fifth and final module, we consider the legacies that the Tudor response to poverty left behind, and the extent to which it survived in the following centuries.


Dr Brodie Waddell is a Senior Lecturer in History at Birbeck University of London. His research focuses on English history from c.1550 to c.1750, specialising in social and economic life. His recent publications include, God, duty and community in English economic life, 1660-1720 (2012) and Landscape and society in the Vale of York, c.1500-1800 (2011).

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Waddell, B. (2023, February 02). The Tudors - Poverty, 1485-1603 - How were the poor perceived? [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Waddell, B. "The Tudors - Poverty, 1485-1603 – How were the poor perceived?." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 02 Feb 2023,

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