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Pauper policies examines how policies under the old and New Poor Laws were conceived, adopted, implemented, developed or abandoned. This fresh perspective reveals significant aspects of poor law history which have been overlooked by scholars. Important new research is presented on the adoption and implementation of 'enabling acts' at the end of the old poor laws; the exchange of knowledge about how best to provide poor relief in the final decades of the old poor law and formative decades of the New; and the impact of national scandals on policy-making in the new Victorian system. Pointing towards a new direction in the study of poor law administration, it examines how people, both those in positions of power and the poor, could shape pauper policies. It is essential reading for anyone with an interest in welfare and poverty in eighteenth and nineteenth-century England.