Scottish Poor Law Commission Statistics, 1844

This study uses statistics from the Report of the Scottish Poor Law Commissioners (1844) to investigation and map the condition of the Scottish working class in 1843 on a parish by parish basis. The stated aim of the Scottish Poor Law Commissioners investiagtion in 1843 was "To make diligent and full inquiry into the practical operation of laws which provide for the relief of the poor in Scotland" (from the opening remarks of the Commissioners, volume 20).

The main topics covered by the study are:

  • poor relief
  • parishes
  • food
  • prices, rents and wages
  • occupations
  • housing
  • rural facilities
  • language and emigration


Spatial Coverage: 
Data Creator: 
I. Levitt (Plymouth Polytechnic. Department of Social Administration)
Time Period: 

Cross-sectional (one-time) study

Data Publisher:


Machine-readable codebook in Adobe PDF.

A hardcopy codebook is also available from the Data Library


Persistent identifier:10.5255/UKDA-SN-1132-1Note the Codebook is missing a page (in between pages 35 and 36 there should be page 271 from The State of the Scottish Working Class in 1843) which means the list of parishes is incomplete. For example Liberton parish is not listed. 

File Descriptions: 


  • e132.exp is the SPSS portable file.
  • code.pdf is the portable documentation file.
  • *.txt are the ASCII text citation and readme files.


File Storage: 

Written to CD-ROM 27/1/03.


SPSS exportfile.

UKDA Study Number: 
Data Access: 

Users must register before receiving a copy of data files.
Special undertaking form required.
Edinburgh University users may contact the Data Library for access.