This chapter studies the texture and significance of semi-formal relief in rural parishes by analysing the contribution of alms, doles, and endowments to the relief of the poor. It emphasizes the resilience of private charitable initiatives, which were never entirely ‘crowded out’ by formal relief; discusses the influence of the criteria of eligibility for charity on the demeanour of would-be recipients; and analyses the strategies of those who sought to be eligible to endowments.
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