One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A system of poor relief first adopted in the late 18th century and established throughout rural England in succeeding years.
- ‘The Speenhamland system, named after a meeting held in Speenhamland in 1795, was intended to help the rural poor.’
- ‘The Speenhamland system was expensive to maintain, but it persisted until 1834, when a revised, much harsher Poor Law was voted through parliament.’
- ‘In effect, the Speenhamland system set a maximum as well as a minimum standard of living.’
- ‘Over the next decades, though never formally implemented in law, the basic principles of the Speenhamland system became widely adopted.’
- ‘In 1793, the state gave allowances to wives and children of soldiers called to the militia, possibly providing a precedent for the Speenhamland system of 1795.’
First adopted in Speenhamland, an English village near Newbury, Berks.
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