Prime Minister William Pitt (the Elder) said, back in 1763, that;
"The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the forces of the crown. It may be frail - its roof may shake - the wind may blow through it - the storm may enter - the rain may enter - but the King of England cannot enter."Today, not so much;
There are currently 1,100 privately-owned houses in the borough [of Ipswich] that have been empty for six months or more, and since April, 30 previously empty homes have been brought back into use.
John Mowles, Ipswich Borough Council’s housing portfolio-holder, said: “We are doing our very best to fill empty homes.
“The figure is coming down as we are taking a considerable amount of action.
“Empty houses look unsightly, they encourage vermin and they bring the area down. When people are on housing waiting lists, it seems scandalous that we have them.
“As a last resort we will look to pursue a Compulsory Purchase Order, where properties have been empty for some time.”Now England allows only a mere 'Borough Council housing portfolio-holder' to do even more than the monarch was prohibited from doing in the 18th century. The 'poorest man' may be forced to sell his cottage, no defiance brooked.