Love Thy Neighbour?
This chapter explores how bureaux, donors and the poor in Catholic urban communities in sixteenth-century France produced meanings of poverty and charity. It analyses how these meanings were negotiated discursively through administrative documents produced by town councils and poor-relief bureaux and the spatial, gendered and emotional practices that these revealed. The chapter explores how the concept of 'belonging' was navigated in relation to charity and poverty, entailing a responsibility for women and men to feel, give and act in distinct ways in particular city spaces. It also analyses how urban space and the support of its inhabitants would be shared with those considered in need. The responsibility to inquire and oversee was now a neighbourly duty. In the latter half of the century, the regulations of Parisian officials shaped male and female spaces of charity as they sought more creative sites and emotive ways to generate funds.