418 POLITICAL SCIENCE.
at all times, and never more than in the first century after
that transference of property, for their charity and munifi,
cence."* May not one cause of the increase of pauperism
have been the disappearance of the yeomanry, who would be
succeeded gradually by farm-laborers on the soil of the large
proprietors ? f Possibly another was that the best laborers
flocked to the towns, as these began to start upwards, and to
offer more inducements to industry.
By the first statute for the relief of the impotent poor,
passed before the dissolution of the monasteries (1535,
27 H. 8), a fine was imposed on giving alms to beggars, and
collections were to be made in every parish. In 1572, under
Elizabeth, compulsory contributions were first tried. In 1601
the famous Poor Law Act of 43 Eliz. was passed, which re*
quired the parishes to provide for the support of maimed and
impotent paupers, and to provide work for the able-bodied
poor who should be without employment* An act which
was passed in the year 1662, and introduced the plan of set-
tlement into the poor law system, was a necessary corollary
to the earlier ones ; for, if the parishes supported their own
poor and were compelled to do it, why should they receive
the poor from other parishes also, which lay under the same
obligation. From this time the poor man grew more like
an adscriptus gleb<s ; if he became impoverished in another
parish where he acquired no settlement he must be thrown
back upon his own parish, as if it were to be his prison.
Among the laws afterwards passed, that of 1795 seems to
have been the most harmful. It adopted the plan of adding
to wages in the parish, when they were thought to be insuffi-
* Const. Hist., i., ch. 2, p. 109, omv.
f Mr. Brodrick, in Cobclen Club Essays for 1875, p. 22, uses the
following words pertinent to our subject: " The fact remains that by
the reign of William IV. the descendants of freeholders, who once
sat as judges and legislators in the courts of their own county, hun-
dred and township, had sunk into day-laborers but one degree re-
moved from serfdom, dependent on individual landlords for the hum-
blest dwelling, and on landlords assembled at quarter or petty ses-
sions for the security of every civil right."