It's often said that provision for the poor in the past was harsh or inadequate or even non-existent.
This is how the parish of Burmarsh dealt with Mary Harris, an unmarried servant girl of nineteen who became pregnant in 1810. Items are in the order in which they appear in the overseers' accounts among other entries, not the chronological order of events.
Received of Richard Turrell towards the support of Mary Harriss during her Laying In £2 0s 0d
11 Jan  Relieved Mary Harriss with 5s 0d
paid Mary Harriss 7 weeks pay at 4/- per week from
the 13 Jan to the 2 of March £1 8s 0d
paid Mrs Cambell towards the support of Mary Harriss
during her Laying In £2 0s 0d
paid 2 women Laying her forth 10s 0d
paid Mrs Whittington setting up with her 6 nights 6s 0d
Paid the Clark his fees 6s 0d
Paid Mr Fowle for Examining M Harriss An Hoye & Warrants for Richd Tareall and Richd Martin 8s 0d
A Journey to Hythe to take Richd Tareall 2s 6d
In April 1813 the vestry meeting agreed 'that John Harris of Bilsington be allowd 4/- per week for the support of his Grandchild Richard Tearall Harris belonging to this Parish and one Guinea for his Clothes, likewise Half a Guinea more, by reason of no allowance for Clothes last year.’