Following the Act of Settlement in 1662, parishes in the United Kingdom were obliged to help those who were ‘legally settled'. If they could not fulfil the required criteria, they could be removed by force and sent to their parish of legal settlement.
Removal Orders could be issued if the person or family were deemed to have no right to settlement in the parish. Removal Orders record the names of the poor persons involved, the parish from which they were removed and the parish to which they were to be removed. Removal Orders sometimes list all the children in the family and give their ages.
Amongst those who were affected by removal were thousands of Irish applicants in England. If, upon examination, it was found that they had no right of settlement, they could be deported from the nearest port back to Ireland, at the time part of the United Kingdom. Often, families were placed on boats to the port nearest their home parish, but they still may have had a journey of many miles after disembarking. They would have had to pay their own way as the English parish would only pay enough for them to get to Ireland, not for the entire journey back to their original home parish.
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