Poor Law

Settlement Act
The Poor Relief Act 1662 (13&14 Car. II c.12) was an Act of the Cavalier Parliament of England. It was an Act for the Better Relief of the Poor of this Kingdom and is also known as the Settlement Act or, more honestly, the Settlement and Removal Act. The purpose of the Act was to establish the parish to which a person belonged (i.e. his/her place of "settlement"), and hence clarify which parish was responsible for him should he become in need of Poor Relief (or "chargeable" to the parish poor rates). This was the first occasion when a document proving domicile became statutory: these were called "settlement certificates".

After 1662, if a man left his settled parish to move elsewhere, he had to take his Settlement Certificate, which guaranteed that his home parish would pay for his "removal" costs (from the host parish) back to his home if he needed poor relief. As parishes were often unwilling to issue such certificates people often stayed where they were – knowing that in an emergency they would be entitled to their parish's poor rate.

The 1662 Act stipulated that if a poor person (that is, resident of a tenancy with a taxable value less than £10 per year, who did not fall under the other protected categories) remained in the parish for forty days of undisturbed residency, he could acquire "settlement rights" in that parish. However, within those forty days, upon any local complaint, two JPs could remove the man and return him to his home parish. As a result, parish bosses frequently dispatched their poor to other parishes, with instructions to remain hidden for forty days before revealing themselves. This loophole was closed with the 1685 act (1 Jam II c.17) which required new arrivals to register with parish authorities. But sympathetic parish officers often hid the registration, and did not reveal the presence of new arrivals until the required residency period was over. As a result, the law was further tightened in 1692 (3 & 4 Will & Mar, c.11), and parish officers were obliged to publicly publish arrival registrations in writing in the local church Sunday circular, and read to the congregation, and that the forty days would only start counting from thereon.

The Settlement Act was repealed in 1834 (under the terms of the Poor Law Amendment Act 1834, which introduced the Union Workhouse), although not fully. The concept of parish settlement has been characterised as "incompatible with the newly developing industrial system", because it hindered internal migration to factory towns. [Wikipedia]

Unfortunately, no documentation concerning settlement seems to have survived for Ellerton. However, there is some documentation among the records of Quarters Sessions that deal with settlement, bastardy, and the returns of pauper lunatics.

The following is a list of mainly Quarter Sessions documentation from the East Riding Archives in Beverley (and one at the beginning that deals with Almshouses), that relate to Ellerton folk:

Parish Reference Document Date Details
Ellerton NCH/46/2 Almshouses 1901-1925 Accounts of Poorsland, Sir H Bethell's Almshouses, William Bethell, Thomas Wood's Dole charity, Ellerton
Howden PLU QAL/2/14/3 Return of pauper lunatics 1856 John Carr, 29, Ellerton
Howden PLU QAL/2/15/3 Return of pauper lunatics 1857 John Carr, 30, Ellerton
Howden PLU QAL/2/16/3 Return of pauper lunatics 1858 John Carr, 31, Ellerton
Howden PLU QAL/2/17/4 Return of pauper lunatics 1859 John Carr, 32, Ellerton
Howden PLU QAL/2/18/3 Return of pauper lunatics 1860 John Carr, 33, Ellerton
Howden PLU QAL/2/19/4 Return of pauper lunatics 1861 John Carr, 34, Ellerton
Howden PLU QAL/2/20/4 Return of pauper lunatics 1862 John Carr, 35, Ellerton
Ellerton QSU/1/9/7 Bastardy recognizance 1807 Session: 1808 Christmas; Father: Robert Nutt; Father's residence: Ellerton; Father's job: servantman; Surety: Richard Nutt; Surety's residence: Selby; Surety's job: labourer; Mother: Hepah Barnet; Mother's residence: Ellerton
Ellerton QSU/1/11/15 Bastardy recognizance 1809 Session: 1810 Christmas; Father: John Carleton; Father's residence: Ellerton; Father's job: servant; Surety: John Clarke; Surety's residence: Ellerton; Surety's job: farmer; Mother: Catherine Mitchell; Mother's residence: Kilpin
Thornton QSU/1/11/15 Bastardy recognizance 1812 Session: 1812 Easter; Father: William Beckitt junior; Father's residence: Thornton; Father's job: labourer; Surety: William senior Beckitt; Surety's residence: Thornton; Surety's job: cordwainer; Mother: Ann Dunglass; Mother's residence: Ellerton
Holme upon Spalding Moor QSU/1/28/3 Bastardy recognizance 1827 Session: 1827 Midsummer; Father: Thomas Arnold; Father's residence: Holme upon Spalding Moor; Father's job: servant in husbandry; Surety: Joseph Graves; Surety's residence: Ellerton; Surety's job: farmer; Mother: Hannah Johnson; Mother's residence: Ellerton
North Duffield QSU/1/36/2 Bastardy recognizance 1835 Session: 1835 Epiphany; Father: William Deighton; Father's residence: North Duffield; Father's job: labourer; Surety: [no details given]; Surety's residence: [no details given]; Surety's job: [no details given]; Mother: Hannah Penrose; Mother's residence: Ellerton
Market Weighton QSU/1/37/8 Bastardy recognizance 1836 Session: 1836 Epiphany; Father: William Farmery; Father's residence: Market Weighton; Father's job: labourer; Surety: [no details given]; Surety's residence: [no details given]; Surety's job: [no details given]; Mother: Mary Taylor; Mother's residence: Ellerton
Bubwith QSU/1/37/64 Bastardy recognizance 1836 Session: 1836 Michaelmas; Father: George Scott; Father's residence: Bubwith; Father's job: joiner; Surety: [no details given]; Surety's residence: [no details given]; Surety's job: [no details given]; Mother: Mary Thomlinson; Mother's residence: Ellerton
Ellerton QSU/1/40/35 Bastardy recognizance 1839 Session: 1839 Easter; Father: Thomas Barker; Father's residence: Ellerton; Father's job: shoemaker; Surety: [no details given]; Surety's residence: [no details given]; Surety's job: [no details given]; Mother: Dinah Dales; Mother's residence: Foggathorpe
Ellerton QSU/4/112/4 Removal order 30 Sep 1826 Removal order of Thomas Richardson the younger; from Bubwith to Ellerton.
Ellerton QSU/4/186/1 Removal order 7 Mar 1846 Removal order of William Gowthorpe, Hannah his wife and their children George (10), Jane (8), Elizabeth (6), Samuel (3); from Ellerton to Harlthorpe; with examination papers