The Homeless Poor Act of 1864

The Homeless Poor Act of 1864. (Probably) Francis Wilfred Lawson (1842-1935). Source: Fun (2 November 1864): 85. Source: Suzy Covey Comic Book Collection in the George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida. Click on image to enlarge it

Mr. Bull (giving the Act) “There, Bumble, these are your rules; pay attention to them; and we need not, and must not. mind, see any more such scenes as these.”

Bumble, of course, is the Parish Beadle from Dickens’s Oliver Twist here representing all parish officials who dealt with the poor. Dickens’s illustrators, like the cartoonist here, depict a rotund, much-too-well-fed Bumble in sharp contrast to the starving poor. —  George P. Landow

Some depictions of Bumble the parish beadle

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Last modified 19 February 2016