Poverty and Welfare in Guernsey 1560-2015

By Rose-Marie Crossan Boydell Press

This book based on extensive original research, provides an account of parochial poor relief in Guernsey from the Reformation to the 21st century, incorporating a detailed case-study of the parochial workhouse in the town of St Peter Port and an outline of the development of Guernsey’s modern social security system from its beginnings in the 1920s to the present day.  Guernsey has had throughout much of its history a disproportionately large population for its size: in the early 18th century St Peter Port was on a par with English county towns such as Warwick and Lincoln.  Moreover since Guernsey was outside the jurisdiction of the Westminster Parliament, and retained cultural affinity with France, the island developed its own social welfare regime which was closer in some respects, to continental regimes than it was to the English Poor Law model.  The differing nature of welfare regimes and how they arose is a major focus of interest among historians of social welfare.

Besides being a fascinating local study this book has much to contribute to the wider history of social welfare in Britain and Europe.

Dr Rose-Marie Crossan is an independent social historian.  She was born in Guernsey and has lived most of her life in the island.  After finishing her secondary education, she took a degree in Modern Languages at Oxford University, followed by a postgraduate Diploma in Translation at Kent University, and – after a 20 year break from academia – a PhD in History at Leicester University under Professor Keith Snell.  Dr Crossan’s previous publications include A Women’s History of Guernsey 1850s-1950s; Guernsey 1814-1914: Migration and Modernisation and The States and Secondary Education 1560-1970.

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