- Old, infirmed or disabled.
- Able bodied who could not find work, so work or apprenticeships were found for them.
- Those who would not work, were regarded as criminals and punished!
Article by Judith of Nonni Barn The earliest record of a pauper in Llanlwni was in 1653, when a lady named Gwenllan Griffith’s whole estate was listed as eight shillings. The church vestry provision for the poor was seen as inadequate by many, so wealthier parishioners started leaving provision in their wills. Hugh David of Llanllwni, who was a yeoman or freeholder, left £32-17s-0d in 1727 a considerable sum at the time. The number of poor rose due to the war in France, (1793 -1815), followed by recession which placed a burden on ratepayers, (nothing new there), so Jenkin Davies of Maesycrugiau, Justice of the Peace in the 1820’s, from then on had to authorise any relief given, and only to the neediest cases. Surprisingly in 1820, a rate of 7s 11d in the pound was levied in order to support the poor. By 1837 it was 10 shillings in the pound, but it was reduced to 8d in the £1 by 1864, (I am not surprised the wealthier parishioners objected to 50% taxation)! In the middle ages, monasteries supported the poor and unemployed. There is the record of a monastic house on the lands of Maes Nonni Farm, at the end of our lane, and a grave stone of a nun (named Heutren) was found there, and is now in the Carmarthen museum. After Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries, beggars were just left to roam the countryside, and were seen as rogues and vagabonds. Initially the government punished the beggars, and whipped or branded them, until it was recognised that there were different types of paupers: