Travelling Poor

Poor people travelling through Whitchurch

In the eighteenth and early nineteenth century wandering around the country was a criminal offence. Magistrates had the power to order the removal of travellers back to their place of settlement (this was usually the parish where they had been born).

The 1662 Act of Settlement also authorised the arrest of rogues, vagrants, sturdy beggars, or idle or disorderly persons, and their committal to a workhouses or House of Correction (an early form of prison), or transportation for seven years to English plantations.

During the same period, an informal system grew up of magistrates issuing passes so that people could travel unmolested to a named destination. The travellers could request a night’s board or a few pence for a day’s subsistence from an overseer or churchwarden on their route.

Examples of accommodation and subsistence payments exist in Whitchurch Parish Records and are shown below.

£ s d
11/06/1819 Mary Butter & child with pass 10
11/06/1819 Mary Barret & child with pass 10
11/06/1819 Margaret Hill & child with pass 10
11/06/1819 Walter Ikin & wife & child 1 0
12/061819 Peter Cunningham an  Irishman 1 0
12/06/1819 Thomas Jones & wife with pass 1 0
15/06/1819 Peter Black with pass 1 6
15/06/1819 Paid Mrs Pots for seven days Board lodging & looking after John Maguire, an Irishman sick. 6 6
16/06/1819 Roger Whitaker, wife & children 1 6
18/06/1819 John Walley & John Woolich 6
19/06/1819 John Lawrinson from Nova Scotia 1 3
20/06/1819 Ann Sellers & Jane Fenton & 2 children 1 6
20/06/1819 An Irishman Mariner with pass 1 4
                                     End of page 19 7
£ s d
21/06/1819 Lewis Dias & 4 children an American 1 6
21/06/1819 John Lavison, wife & child      Ship carpenter 1 6
22/06/1819 Thomas Hall & 2 children. Going to America 1 6
22/06/1819 A poor woman 6
22/06/1819 Paid Mrs Pots one weeks board, lodging for John Maguire by agreement 7 0
22/06/1819 Paid John Maguire when leaving the town 1 6
23/06/1819 Paid church fees for grave for internment of Asting’s child as per bill  ( Parish unknown ) 3 3
24/06/1819 Elizabeth Wood & child 1 3
28/06/1819 John Brown, an Irishman 3
28/06/1819 Poor man on travail 1 3
29/06/1819 Mary Smith & 4 children, an Irishwoman going to Ireland 1
30/06/1819 Relieved a poor woman 4
05/07/1819 John Glyn, a wounded seaman 1 3
08/07/1819  Agnes Brittlebank & two children 1 6
                                           End of page 2 3 2
£ s d
10/07/1819 Amey Holt & two children 1 6
10/07/1819 Hannah Baker & three children with pass 1 9
12/07/1819 Walter Ikin, wife & child 1 6
12/07/1819 Thomas Jones, going to Swansea 6
15/07/1819 Michael Quin, going to Liverpool 8
15/07/1819 Robert Thompson, poor man 3
15/07/1819 E. Nash & three children with pass 1 6
19/07/1819 Three sailors passing to London with pass 4 6
22/07/1819 John Goodwin with pass 1 4
23/07/1819 John Adams with pass 1 4
26/07/1819 Hopkin Williams    (Welshman ) 3
28/07/1819 John Simpson,    Sailor with pass 1 4
28.07.1819 Poor boy without a shirt 4
29/07/1819 Samuel Burrows very ill with pass 1 8
29/07/1819 Elizabeth Jones & one child 1 3
30/07/1819 Samuel Burrows, ill could not go on, pass 1 6
                                            End of page £3 4s 4d
30/07/1819 James Broomhall, wife & child ill 1 6
01/08/1819 Paid Ralph Jones’s poor family 2 6
01/08/1819 Ann King & 1 child with pass 1 8
01/08/1819 Sarah Taylor , 3 children with pass 1 8
01/08/1819 Mary White, 3 children with pass 1 4
02/08/1819 Elizabeth Morris, 2 children 1 4
03/08/1819 Pat Gavvan & wife 1 4
04/08/1819 Sailor Richard Stanton, sick 1 3
04/08/1819 John Simcock, a poor man 3
05/08/1819 Ann Roberts, sailor’s widow with pass 6
05/08/1819 John Lawrence, an old man 4
05/08/1819 B. Abbots 4
06/08/1891 George Cook & wife, both barefoot 1 6
07/08/1819 Richard Twiner & wife with pass 1 6
08/08/1819 Robert Smith, a poor sailor going to Liverpool 1 3
10/08/1819 William Corbet, wife & infant child going to Aberdeen with pass 1 6
End of Page £4 4s 5d
30/07/1819 James Broomhall, wife & child ill 1 6
01/08/1819 Paid Ralph Jones’s poor family 2 6
01/08/1819 Ann King & 1 child with pass 1 8
01/08/1819 Sarah Taylor , 3 children with pass 1 8
01/08/1819 Mary White, 3 children with pass 1 4
02/08/1819 Elizabeth Morris, 2 children 1 4
03/08/1819 Pat Gavvan & wife 1 4
04/08/1819 Sailor Richard Stanton, sick 1 3
04/08/1819 John Simcock, a poor man 3
05/08/1819 Ann Roberts, sailor’s widow with pass 6
05/08/1819 John Lawrence, an old man 4
05/08/1819 B. Abbots 4
06/08/1891 George Cook & wife, both barefoot 1 6
07/08/1819 Richard Twiner & wife with pass 1 6
08/08/1819 Robert Smith, a poor sailor going to Liverpool 1 3
10/08/1819 William Corbet, wife & infant child going to Aberdeen with pass 1 6
End of Page £4 4s 5d
13/08/1819 Thomas Johnson with pass to Milford Haven 1 6
13/08/1819 John Hughes & wife, sick 1 6
13/08/1819 William Cockerine, seaman, lost one arm 4
13/08/1819 Thomas Mathews & wife, pass from Liverpool to Bristol 9
15/08/1819 John & Catharine Evans 6
16/08/1819 Gateley & Osborn, two poor women going to Bristol with 8 children 1 6
17/08/1819 Esther Foecy, an Irish woman going home 3
18/08/1819 Poor man, broken belly, going to Liverpool 1 4
20/08/1819 John Camel, wife (pregnant)3 small children, with pass 1 6
20/08/1819 B Marshall, sailor with pass 6
20/08/1819 James Courber, lame 3
20/08/1819 Poor sailor, cripple 1 4
23/08/1819 John Davies going to Maidstone, poor old man with pass 1 3
23/08/1819 John Smith going to Chester 6
End of page £4 17s 5d
25/08/1819 William Jones, ships carpenter, going to Cardiff 1 2
28/08/1819 Mary Fletcher, poor widow, going to London 6
28/08/1819 Mary White & child going to Norwich 1 6
29/08/1819 A poor sailor with pass 1 3
29/08/1819 John Cummins, sailor going to Liverpool with pass 6
31/08/1819 Gave a poor woman 1 3
01/09/1819 Paid lodgings & victuals to a sick man found on Chester Road 4 6
06/09/1819 A foreigner 1 3
06/09/1819 Two sailors passing from Bristol to Liverpool 1 0
07/09/1819 A poor man 1 0
09/09/1819 Widow & child 6
10/09/1819 John & Joseph Dorrel with pass 1 6
14/09/1819 Patrick Ward, wife & child, sailor to Liverpool 1 3
End of page £5 13s 11d