History Podcasts

Why were Elizabethan English concerned about vagabonds?

Why were Elizabethan English concerned about vagabonds?

I have an assessment soon, and part of my revision is on poverty in Elizabethan England. This includes Explaining why Elizabethans were worried about Vagabonds. I am unsure on this topic, but I have researched some possible reasons:

  • The Mass groups worried Elizabethans due to the peasants revolts becoming a possibility.
  • They were worried about the spreading of disease.

However to answer the question I must provide a third reason and also back each point up with evidence. Furthermore, I am familiar with the reasons for Poverty, and the existing help that was there, and I also understand that the Vagabonds act of 1572 persecuted these 'rogues' but I am still unsure of why they persecuted beggars without a licence or vagabonds, and what it was that worried them, particularly the gentry and nobility in the Early years of Elizabeth's reign (1558-1588). I would be grateful for any help that can be offered.