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MayhemPost-War Crime and Violence in Britain, 1748-53$
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Nicholas Rogers

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780300169621

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300169621.001.0001

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Henry Fielding and Social Reform

Henry Fielding and Social Reform

(p.158) 7 Henry Fielding and Social Reform

Nicholas Rogers

Yale University Press

This chapter elaborates the role of Henry Fielding in social reforms in Britain. Fielding was at the centre of the demobilization crisis of 1748–1753. He became a magistrate first of Westminster and then of Middlesex as the crisis was breaking, and being at the centre of things, briefly in Soho, then at Bow Street, had to deal with much of the fallout. Fielding was troubled by the poor laws, one of the cornerstones of social regulation in eighteenth-century society. He believed that the original intentions of the Elizabethan statutes, which were intended to provide work for the able-bodied and allotted full relief only to the infirm and impotent, had been compromised by administrative indifference, neglect, and misplaced charity.

Keywords:   Britain, Henry Fielding, social reforms, demobilization, magistrate

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