A system of outdoor relief named after the hamlet of Speen
, where, in 1795
, the authorities approved a means-tested sliding-scale of wage supplements in order to mitigate the worst effects of rural poverty. Unfortunately it tended to aggravate the underlying causes of poverty in any particular parish. The immediate impact of paying this poor rate fell on the landowners of the parish concerned, who naturally sought other means of dealing with the poor that would reduce both this impact and the aggravating features, such as the workhouse
funded through parish unions.