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Historians have speculated that the apparently late introduction of the Elizabethan Poor Laws in Wales may be attributable to weakness in county quarter sessions or parish civil administration. This study identifies several Welsh boroughs which collected rates and provided pensions before the Acts of 1598 and 1601. Elsewhere, justices of the peace assumed responsibility and implemented a package of measures emphasizing work provision for young people and apprenticing poor children. While JPs were able to collect rates for other purposes, parishes proved reluctant to raise poor rates, preferring to continue the non-monetary methods of relief allowed in the 1598 Act.

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