Rochford Alms houses Essex 1787
Artist: Smith, John Thomas
Medium: Ink wash on paper
View of 16th century almshouses in Rochford in Essex. The Rich Almshouses were founded in 1567. This one is single storied and has two gable accents. Tudor society was not always sympathetic to the poor. 'The deserving poor' those who were too ill to work were supported, but vagrants (unemployed persons who had left their home parishes to roam and find work) were discouraged. Nevertheless it was the legal duty of parishes to find a home for a deserving homeless person. This was the purpose of almshouses, many of which were solidly built enough to survive for centuries.