Meaning of overseer of the poor in English:

overseer of the poor


historical British
  • A parish official who administered funds to the poor.

    ‘Emphasis has been placed upon the consideration of the social dynamic between those receiving aid and the authorities who dispensed the aid to those individuals, specifically the overseers of the poor.’
    • ‘As previously mentioned, the town of Bridgewater bought the house of one of its overseers of the poor.’
    • ‘At that point he fell into the hands of the overseer of the poor, who first auctioned off the farm and then, unable to find relatives to care for him, auctioned off Cal.’
    • ‘The decisions of all vestries were enforced, on a day-to-day basis, by the parish constable and, where appropriate, by paid officials, who collected rates and acted as overseers of the poor.’
    • ‘From the sixteenth century, the English parish had ceased to be a wholly ecclesiastical entity, acquiring a set of civil officers: surveyors of the highways, overseers of the poor.’