Pauper Inmates Discharge and Regulation Act 1871

The Pauper Inmates Discharge and Regulation Act 1871 (34 & 35 Vict c 108), sometimes called the Pauper Inmates Discharge and Regulations Act 1871,[3] was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which related to the Poor Law system. The Act stated that if a pauper had not left a workhouse in the past month then it was possible to detain him for 24 hours after he had given notice that he wished to leave, however the period of detention increased for the inmates who left more than twice in the past two months could be detained for 72 hours.[4][5]

Pauper Inmates Discharge and Regulation Act 1871[1]
Long titleAn Act to regulate and control the Discharge of Paupers from Workhouses and Wards provided for the Casual Poor.
Citation34 & 35 Vict c 108
Territorial extent Did not apply to Scotland or Ireland[2]
Royal assent21 August 1871

There's no evidence that this stopped Paupers from discharging themselves furiously although it limited the number of times they could leave in one week. Potentially the strongest discipline against these Paupers was the guardian's increasing powers to take their children away from them especially after the Children Act 1908, but guardians who cared more about economy rarely adopted this strategy unless the children were abused physically or neglected.[6]


  • Paterson, William (ed). "Pauper Inmates Discharge and Regulation Act". The Practical Statutes of the Session 1871. Horace Cox. London. 1871. Pages 294 to 300.
  1. ^ This short title was conferred on this Act by section 1 of this Act
  2. ^ The Pauper Inmates Discharge and Regulation Act 1871, section 2
  3. ^ The General Orders of the Poor Law Commissioners, the Poor Law Board, and the Local Government Board Relating to the Poor Law. By the late William Cunningham Glen and by the Editor of the Present Edition. Eleventh Edition. Knight & Co. London. 1898. Page 449. Google Books.
  4. ^ Archived from the original on 4 May 2009. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ Hodgkinson, Ruth. G. (1966). "Provision for Pauper Lunatics 1834–1871". Medical History. 10 (2): 138–154. doi:10.1017/S0025727300010930. PMC 1033585. PMID 5325872.
  6. ^ Margaret A. Crowther (1983), The Workhouse System, 1834-1929: The History of an English Social Institution, Routledge, 208-209