Overseers of the poor

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OVERSEERS OF THE POOR. Persons appointed or elected to take care of the poor with moneys furnished to them by the public authority.
     2. The duties of these officers are regulated by local statutes. In general the overseers are bound to perform those duties, and the neglect of them will subject them to an indictment. Vide 1 Bl. Com. 360; 16 Vin. Ab. 150; 1 Mass. 459; 3 Mass. 436; 1 Penning. R. 6, 136; Com. Dig. Justices of the Peace, B. 63, 64, 65.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in classic literature ?
Do not stay to be an overseer of the poor, but endeavor to become one of the worthies of the world.
Freely was becoming a person of influence in the parish; he was found useful as an overseer of the poor, having great firmness in enduring other people's pain, which firmness, he said, was due to his great benevolence; he always did what was good for people in the end.
(27) In 1802, the act was amended to give compensation to masters who held abandoned slave children until the age of four, when they could be given to the "overseer of the poor." In 1804, the act was amended again to allow masters to abandon slave children at anytime, as long as the overseer of the poor certified the abandonment.
(1) The payment order is unremarkable in itself--one among hundreds of seemingly random and hastily scribbled treasury notes signed by Providence's Overseer of the Poor and now preserved in the archive.
Eliza turned up on 19 October 1828, committed to the asylum by the Overseer of the Poor fewer than three months after its opening.
He became both a churchwarden and an overseer of the poor in Kings Norton.
By 1601, every parish had an overseer of the poor, who had the power to force people to pay local taxes to help the most impoverished people.
[28] Like the Gin Act of 1729, [29] the Act limited sales of distilled spirits to licensed establishments, and explicitly forbade sales of the same "about the streets in any wheelbarrow, or upon the water in any ship, boat or vessel." Violators of this clause in the act were subject to summary conviction, meaning that they could be tried by a single justice of the peace, and violators were subject to a penalty of [pounds]10, half of which went to the informer, and half to the local overseer of the poor. Violators who refused to pay the penalty or who were too poor to do so were to be sentenced to one to three months' hard labor at the local house of correction.
Half of this continued to go to the informer, and the other half continued to go to the local overseer of the poor. Violators who would not or could not pay the penalty were to be sentenced to two months' hard labor at the local house of correction, in which case neither the informer nor the local overseer was compensated.
Not only was he well acquainted with his works but - by a curious coincidence - his family resided in the parish of St Werburgh's, Derby, where Johnson was married in 1735 and where during the 1820s Mozley's father was churchwarden and overseer of the poor.(3)
Or what do we make of her insistence on the viability of "choice" when most of the poor relief recipients who also received medical care in the rural parish of Abson and Wick were drawn from three of society's most impotent groups -- those from broken families, the elderly, and unwed mothers -- who petitioned an overseer of the poor when "life crises" arose?
First an overseer of the poor he then was chosen as a commissioner of the Court of Requests, a body that aimed to speed up and make easier the recovery of debts of under forty shillings in Birmingham and Deritend.