- AQA, Edexcel, OCR
Last updated 10 Jun 2017
Vagabonds were those people who were homeless and went around the country looking for money, and often stole from people in order to live. Vagabondage was something which fast became a problem in Elizabethan society. Many in Elizabethan society thought that Vagabonds should be treated harshly so that law and order would not break down in society as a result.
The government introduced the 1572 Vagabonds Act in an attempt to deal with problem of vagrancy. One punishment it set out for vagrants was whipping and those caught having a hole drilled in their ear. Repeat offenders were also sentenced to prison and eventually death.