For those of you enjoying your well-earned holiday vacation. March 1601 wasn't that long ago, from the sequoias and redwoods perspective; even some oaks.
From "The Workhouse: The Story of an Institution" http://www.workhouses.org.uk/Oxford/
Robert Phillis, weaver, shall be delivered unto him twenty powndes towards the settling on worcke in spynning of lynnen and in carding and sorting of wollen with the cytty and suburbes, wherein specyall regard must bee had that the idle and loytring sort be sett on workce, and yf they refuse and doe their worcke amysse, that they be punnyshed by whipping
That probably wouldn't work under today's labour laws in Canada.
1601 is an important year in UK social history: "... the 1601 Act for the Relief of the Poor has come to be regarded as a milestone in British social legislation. It created the framework for poor relief in England that was to last until ... ."
But, in any event, the "idle and loytring sort" mentioned in the except would never have been the University of Oxford scholar seated in, for example, the Christ Church Meadow or an All Souls Quad ceaselessly contemplating the eternal ineffable. That scholar couldn't, officially, have been an earlier version of me for long stretches in Oxford's history:see http://www.jstor.org/stable/29777111
That's part of a story for another day, part of which is hinted at by the name of part of path along Merton College's south wall: "Dead Man's Walk.