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Begging, Charity and Religion in Pre-Famine Ireland$
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Ciarán McCabe

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781786941572

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781786941572.001.0001

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Begging and Alms-Giving: Perceptions and Motivations

Begging and Alms-Giving: Perceptions and Motivations

(p.95) 3 Begging and Alms-Giving: Perceptions and Motivations
Begging, Charity and Religion in Pre-Famine Ireland

Ciarán McCabe

Liverpool University Press

Perceptions of begging and beggars were not universally shared in pre-Famine Ireland. Fears of the spread of disease and frustration at the inconvenience caused by beggars coloured many hostile reactions to the soliciting beggar. Yet, for some, the itinerant mendicant was an accepted part of (urban and rural) life. Solicitations for assistance provided people with the opportunity to engage in an act of Christian charity (the giving of alms), foregoing any distinctions between the ‘deserving’ and ‘undeserving’ poor.

Keywords:   Begging, Alms-Giving, Charity, Welfare, Disease, Typhus Fever

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