The million-peopled city

Garwood, John


Two other Cases of Usefulness, from the "London City Mission Magazine."


A fuller illustration of the benefit effected by on individual attendants, is given in the following


extract from the "" of :-

"February.-It has been my privilege during the past month, to have met a number of young persons, once the children of our first , all of whom are now in respectable situations."

"March.-Seldom a week passes but some youths are met with by me, who were among the first of our Ragged School children, who have risen up in life, and have become honest and industrious members of society."

The following two cases of usefulness are specimens of those benefits:

" Case 1.-H. C. T. was the son of dissipated parents. He had one brother, who had been transported, and a younger brother, who was, at the time of his admission into school, confined in prison, because he would rather steal than starve. He became very much attached to school. For regular attendance and good conduct he was rewarded with a pair of new shoes and stockings-the first, he told us, that he ever had. On returning to school, the following day, after the present, he brought his shoes under his arm, in frost and snow, for at the time the snow lay on the ground some inches. 'You see, Sir,' he replied, ' my feet are all chilblains. I could not bear them on, and I would not leave them at home, because I should not be likely to see them again. My mother would take them to my uncle's, and drink the money. You know, Sir, my mother would have drunk me if I would go up the spout!' The writer replied, ' C., I am sorry to know that what you say is too true.' Often did this poor boy promise that he would never do as his brothers had done. Ah, poor boy ! he often suffered the greatest privations from the want of food. After many shifts, he applied to the writer for the loan of 3d., saying, at the same time, that he thought he could make his own living, and attend school too. He was


furnished with 3d., and off he hastened and purchased one dozen boxes of lucifers. So successful was he, that he realized 3d. profit. Encouraged by his new undertaking, he made up his mind to go out every morning with his dozen boxes of lucifers, which he did for nearly 2 years, attending school all day, and doing sufficient business at night to pro- vide him with food during the next day. When he was asked how he managed to live, ' Why, you know,' he replied, 'that I can always manage to make 3d., and sometimes more. I spend one penny for breakfast, another for dinner, and the same sum for supper: that's better than my brothers did; and by and by, when I can read and write well, I will get a situation.'

" The good resolution of this neglected youth contrasts strongly with the conduct of the parents, and is worthy of all praise, and even of the imitation of some placed in better circumstances, and enjoying higher advantages. What were the impelling motives which led this boy to the adoption of such a course? Was it the example of those to whom he ought to have been able to look for protection and support ? No; they were sunk into the vortex of intemperance, the veriest slaves of the gin palace and the gin glass. Their home was the deserted, cheerless home of emptiness, with the exception of 2 cups, which stood on the mantel-shelf; an old tin tea-kettle, without a cover, which stood on the fireless grate; and a few shavings in the opposite corner of the room; but without even a rag to cover them or their children during their midnight repose. Fancy poor C. rising from such a bed in the morning, taking an old rag to the back yard, where stood the water-butt, to wash (for a drunkard could not afford either soap or a wash-basin), to make himself somewhat decent among his schoolfellows. Thus prepared, see him set out to the cheap bread-shop, a few doors from the school- room, to have his morning's meal, in the shape of three


farthings' worth of bread and one farthing's worth of drip- ping; which, however, was to him as rich as the new-made butter is to those who have not lucifers to sell before they can have a breakfast.

" It might be supposed that C. was the dull spiritless youth, broken down by bad living and cruel treatment of worthless parents; quite the reverse, he was the happy, contented, spirited lad-the very life of the playmates with whom he associated. He was always the first at school, and never behind with his lessons, pushing onwards as if longing for the time when he would be fit for the duties of life.

" He had an only sister, who attended the same school, and who was also very regular and punctual, though she suffered for so doing from the wicked treatment of her mother. Poor C. often shared his morsel of bread with her when there was none at home for the poor girl; of the two, she was the elder. The time at last arrived when our youth set out in search of a situation. After much search he obtained one as a fishmonger's errand-boy, at 4s. a week. Five years have since passed away, and he is now the confidential servant of his employer. He has ever looked upon his master's interests as bound up with his own.

" Some months after our young fishmonger entered his situation his mother fell a victim to her passion for strong drink. This event left some impression on the mind of her dissipated husband, and, for a time, was a means of leading him to abandon his evil propensities. So altered did he become, that he moved from his wretched hovel-the scene of many a drunken debauch-to a more comfortable abode, which, by sobriety, he was enabled to furnish according to his circumstances, and for upwards of 3 years his daughter kept him and his home comfortable, until he again became the victim of intemperance, returning to it like the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire. He soon sold


every article of furniture he possessed, and turned his daughter into the streets. He has become the inmate of a wretched lodging-house, where he is now dragging out a miserable existence. Happy was it for the poor girl that her brother was the honest journeyman fishmonger, for he shared his loaf with her, and paid her lodgings, until she obtained the means of her own support, which she has long done by honest industry, and may be seen every Sunday bending her way, in company with her brother, to the house of prayer, both attributing what they are to the blessing of God on the instruction received at the in the old stable.

" Case 2.-From a wretched home were taken a son and daughter to the schools, shortly after they were opened. These 2 children were in such a state of filth and rags that the first thing done with them was to have them cleaned and scrubbed. So fearfully neglected did they appear to have been, that more than ordinary attention was given to them. On their return to their miserable home and parents, they were scarcely known to be the same son and daughter, by their worthless mother. The new pinafores and clean hands and faces had wrought such a change that they even attracted the notice of their neighbours. The mother soon found that one of the rules of the school was cleanliness: however poor and ragged might be the dress of the scholars, this important appendage to health was looked after by the teacher. In this family it wrought well, for the children would not go to school until they had a good wash in the morning. This was done by the mother, and it began to have some effect upon her own person, for nothing looked more unseemly than the appearance of her tattered gown and matted hair, which at once told that she troubled herself very little with either soap or water about her person. The children's comparatively clean appearance engendered some respect for her own per- sonal comfort, so that she began to apply both water and


soap, until it became a habit daily. Her dress, too, had the benefit of the wash-tub. Her husband's shirt, also, had some share of her attention. Their room floor, that did not appear to have been washed for years, began in a few weeks to show that the scrubbing-brush had been applied to it: in short, the whole appearance of both room and family, in 3 months after the children's admission into school, wore an aspect we never saw before, both of cleanliness and comfort. The children made progress in their lessons; they were never absent from their class; the hymns and texts of Scripture they were taught by their teacher were repeated over to their parents when they went home; and they listened to their children with much pleasure. The consequence was, the father was induced to think more of his own fire-side than he was wont to do; and the progress of his children pleased him so much that he put away d. a-week to pur- chase a Bible for each of them. The improvement wrought in this family was not only observed by their neighbours, but the landlord of the court was attracted by their new habits, which led him to make the offer to them to let the whole of the cottages in the court to their care. Arrange- ments were entered into, and the father of this once wretched and indifferent family became the landlord of the place, which soon began to look comfortable and clean. The dust-heap that lay in the centre was removed, and the first story of each house-front was washed twice a-year; and so continued for years, until death removed the father, and the mother went to the country, to live with the son. He works as a labourer in Surrey, while the sister still remains the honest servant-girl, in a family at Chelsea."

The missionary, after reporting the 2 previous cases, makes the important observation:-

" The greatest difficulty I had in the compiling of them


was the selecting of the cases from hundreds of others which could yet be given."

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 Title Page
Chapter I: Criminal and Destitute London Juveniles, or the Ragged School Class
Criminal and Destitute London Juveniles, or the Ragged School Class
A distinct Class from Adult Thieves
Their extreme Youth, and sometimes Childhood
Great Severity of British, as compared with French, Law on Juvenile Offenders
Their especial Claim, when resident in London
Their supposed Numbers
The Classes from which they are drawn
The Training for Crime which they receive
Their Gradations in Proficiency
Importance of Missionary Operations among this Class
The Ragged School Movement
The Connexion of the Ragged schools with the Operations of the London City Mission
Ragged Schools in an especial manner free from the Difficulties of Difference of Creed and Interference with the Duties of Parents
Early Approaches to the Ragged School System
The first Ragged School in Lonon, as established in 'the Old Stable' at Westminster
The Report of this School, as printed by Order of the House of Commons
Mr. Charles Dicken's Account of the Plot of Ground on which this School stood, called 'The Devil's Acre'
Letter of the Children of this School to the City Missionary
New Pye-street Girls' School, April 10, 1843
Dickens's narrative of Emigrants from this School
The Field-lane ragged School described, as a second Illustration of these Institutions
Description of the adjacent notorious 'Thieves' Houses'
Formation of the School
Dickens's Narrative of different Visits to this School, and of the Improvements effected in the interim
Narrative of a Visit to this School, from 'Chambers's Edinburgh Journal'
This School first interested Lord Shaftesbury in the 'Movement'
Erection of a New Schoolroom with a large Dormitory
Review of the subsequent Progress of London Ragged Schools to the present Time
Industrial Schools
Sergeant Adams's Eulogy of the Efforts of Ragged School Teachers
Three Cases of Usefulness from the Ragged School Union Magazine
Case of Usefulness reported to the Author by a Clergyman
Two other Cases of Usefulness from the 'London City Mission Magazine'
The Shoe-blacks a most remarkable Illustration of the Success of the Efforts made to benefit this Class
Broomers, and how they might be made to cleanse London
Steppers and Ragged Nursery
Comparison of the Expenses of Schools and Prisons
The especial Claims of Girls
Voluntary Effort, and that by the Masses, rather than Government Aid, to be especially rested on
Appointment of a Missionary by the London City Mission
Importance of Increased Exertions, in order to bring the whole of this Class under Ragged School Instrution
Concluding Remarks
Chapter II: Greenwich and Chelsea Pensioners
Greenwich and Chelsea Pensioners
Greenwich and Chelsea Hospitals fit Adornments to the two Shores of England's Metropolis
Greenwich Hospital
The Pensioners
Their Ages
Their Present Number
The Yearly Deaths
The Infirmary for the Sick and Dying
Religious and moral Character of the Pensioners, and Providsion made for their Instruction
The Pensioners not allowed to marry, and the bad Effects of this Rule
The Royal Hospital Schools
Law Agency in a peculiar manner important with these Men
The London City Mission, the only Agency of this Character in the Hospital
Need of a Second Paid Lay Visitor
Description of the Meeting of Pensioners held daily by the Missionary
Striking Cases of Usefulness among the Pensioners by this Agency
In A.D. 1851
In A.D. 1852
In A.D. 1853
Case of Usefulness among Out-pensioners, from the Scripture Readers' Association 'Occasional paper'
Chelsea Hospital
Its Origin
Nell Gwynne's Grant of the Building
Number of In-pensioners admitted
Their Character
The Pensioners' Opinions of the late Duke of Wellington, and of Lying-in-State
The Crowds of the Public who assembled to see the Spectacle
Number of Out-pensioners in different Years, according to the Prevalence of Peace or War
The immense Cost of the Pensioners to the nation, even at the Present Day
The Hotel des Invalides in Paris, established before Chelsea Hospital in London, and a Standing Army established in France before its Establishment in Enbland
How the Disabled and Aged Soldier was previously supported in this Country
The College was not completed till the Revolution
The Interest of William the Third and Fourth in the College
The College is for Invalids also
Ages of the Pensioners
Number of Deaths annually
The Burial-ground of Chelsea Hospital, and its Remarkable Epitaphs
Burial Registers
The Funeral of a Pensioner described
Flags and Trophies recently removed from St. Paul's Cathedral to Chelsea Hospital
Specimens of Certificates of Service given to Pensioners on their Admission to the College by their Commanding Officers
The Clasps worn by Pensioners to denote the Number of Battles in which they have engaged
Guard kept at the College in Military Style
Foreigners and different Creeds among the Pensioners
The heavy Manner in which Time hangs on their Hands
Cards, &c. introduced by the Authorities of the College to remedy this
Library, and its Defects
Gardening introduced by Lord John Russell
These Gardens were the former famed Ranelagh
Great Abuses in the Management of Chelsea Hospital abolished by Lord John Russell
Regulations as to Marriage more favourable to Morals at Chelsea than at Greenwich
The Royal Military Asylum for Boys
The Wellington Fund now raising for the Children of Officers
Gratitude of the Pensioners for Religious Instruction, and their Visit to City Missionaries, when the latter had been ill
Their Interest in Religious Tracts
Their Desire of Further Instruction
Number of Out-pensioners resident in the Metropolis
Facilities for, and Importance of, Benefitting these Men
Extracts from the Reports of a Missionary of the London City Mission
The especial Claims which Pensioners present on the Christian Benevolence of the Nation, and not of the Inhabitants of London only
Thankfulness for Peace
Immense Cost of War as compared with the Insignificant Amount which would now add greatly to their Comfort, and promote their Best Interests
Danger of Delay with Men so Aged
Chapter III: The London Cab-Driver
The London Cab-Driver
The Introduction of Coaches into London in the Reign of Queen Elizabeth
The riding Horses in previous Use
Coaches when introduced only by the very Highest Class of Society, and regarded as an effeminacy
On other Classes beginning the use of Coaches, the higher Classes continued to add to the Number of the Horses by which their Coaches were drawn, in order to retain a Superiority
The Introduction of Hackney Coaches kept at Inns, in the Reign of James I
Hackney Coach-stands in the Public Streets established
These Prohibited by the Proclamations of succeeding Kings, but in vain
The Two Centuries of Hackney-coach continuance
The Last Days of London Hackney-coaches
The Cabriolets of Paris
Their subsequent Introduction in London
The immense Increase in their Number during the Twenty Years of their Existence
Their present Number
The Cab-driver
The extensive Use of London Cabs on Sundays, and its injurious Effects on the Drivers
The Extortion complained of in Cabmen
The unlicensed Driver, and the extreme Depravity of this Class
Cab-drivers as a Body exposed to unjust Odium
Recent Alteration in the System of Licensing, and its Effects
Great Difference in the Character of London Cab-stands
The Waterman
First Efforts for the Religious Welfare of Cabmen as a Body, as made by the London City Mission
A Missionary appointed by that Society to visit them, and his Great Success
A Second Missionary appointed, but soon discontinued, through want of Funds for his Support
Cases recorded of his Usefulness
The Emigration of the First Missionary, and the Appointment of his Successor, with Review of his Efforts and Success
Cases of Usefulness recorded by the Cab Missionary of the London City Mission, last Year
Chapter IV: The London Omnibus Man
The London Omnibus Man
The Introduction of Omnibuses into London, and their previous Establishment in Paris
The Enterprise of Mr. Shillibeer, in starting Omnibuses in the English Metropolis, the Difficulties he encountered, and his subsequent Ruin
The Paris and London Omnibuses of the present day compared
The constant Litigation between the Proprietors of London Omnibuses after Mr. Shillibeer's Failure, and the consequent Establishment of large Omnibus Companies for the sake of Mutual Protection
The Immense Amount of the Capital and Annual Expenditure of the London Omnibus Trade
The vast Sums of Money spent by the London Population in Omnibus Riding
The Large Amount of Revenue which London Omnibuses produce to the Government
The very small Number of Omnibuses in the remainder of England, as compared with the Number in London
The almost incredible Length of Distance traversed periodically by the London Omnibuses
The constant Increase in the Number of London Omnibuses
The Metropolitan Omnibus Traffic greater in the Number of Passengers than the Metropolitan Railway Traffic
The Condition of the London Omnibus Men, and their present Numbers
Their Sunday Occupation in the Metropolis of a professedly Christian Country scarcely less than on Week-days, and sometimes greater, while an Extreme Amount of Toil is imposed on them during the Week
Lord Shaftesbury's Testimony of the Success of an Omnibus Proprietor who Discontinued Sunday Work
Testimonies as to the Toil of Omnibus-men from the Early Closed Association
From an Occasional paper of the Church Pastoral-Aid Society
From the Rev. J. T. Baylee's 'Statistics and Facts in reference to the Lord's-day'
Extract from 'Silverpen' as to the Wives and Families of Omnibus Servants
Medical Testimony as to the Injury of Labour so hard on the Constitution of the Men
Testimonies given to Mr. Mayhew as to the Severity of the Labour, by a Driver, a Conductor, and a Time-keeper
Their Wages
Their Temptations to Drink
Their Temptations to Embezzlement
Urgent Appeal as to the Heathenism of so Large a Body of Men
Reference to the Efforts of the London City Mission, in a Pamphlet entitled 'The Omnibus Men of London'
Recent Efforts of Omnibus Servants themselves to Improve their Condition
The Grand Junction Omnibus Comopany
The Introduction of Omnibuses has brought more together the different Parts of London
Concluding Appeal
Chapter V: The Irish of London
The Irish of London
Their Numbers
Their Country and their Race
St. Patrick
Subsequent Wars
Conquest of Ireland by Henry II, and its subsequent Oppression by the English
The Reformation in Ireland
The Protestant Colony of Ulster Established
The Battle of the Boyne, and its Consequences
The Union
Remarkable Increase of Population in Ireland during the close of the 18th and the commencement of the 19th Centuries
The pleasing Peculiarities in the irish Character
Their Hospitality
Their strong Natural Affection
The Native irish Poor more virtuous than the English Poor
Even the Good Qualities of the Irish cause them especially to need Faithful and Judicious Counsel and Visitation
Their Claim as Immigrants into, to them, a Strange Land
The Excellences of the Irish Character are beheld in London in their rudest form
How Popery has Marred and Debased the Irish Character
The Irish have been made thereby Idle
They have no Proper Feeling of Independence
Their Disloyalty
Their Spirit of Persecution and Hatred to Protestants
The Irish of London require 100 Missionaries or Scripture-readers, in order that the Gospel may be brought to their Abodes
The same Agency, for the effecting the same Results, is what is especially required for the Irish of London
Cardinal Wiseman's recent Denunciation of this Agency in London
Soundness of Protestant Feeling among the English working-classes
'The testimony of no single missionary is materially different'
The Persecution which the recent London Converts have had to endure
General Expectations of Irish Romanists that Ireland will soon become a Protestant, and England a Popish Country
The Causes of the Extensive Immigration of Irish to London in Recent Years
The better Class of Poor emigrate from Ireland to America, and the worst Class to London
The Divisions of the Irish of London into Cockneys and Grecians
The Irish of London, as divided into Connaught and Munster Men
Immigration of Immoral Irish Women
The Numbers of the Irish of London who can read English and Irish respectively estimated
Irish Protestants possess more Scriptual Knowledge than English Protestants
Extreme Ignorance on Scriptural Subjects of Irish Romanists, illustrated by Examples
The Irish, on arriving in London, rapidly lose their previous Religious Habits
London considered by the Irish as an Infidel City, in which, without Loss of Character, they may live in the Neglect of all Religious Observances
The Prevalence of Drunkness among the Irish and English compared
The Rookeries are the Parts of London in which the Irish Chiefly dwell
The Occupations of the Irish of London
Especial Suitableness of Irish Scripture-readers and Misisonaries for Irish Districts and the more Especial Facilities with which they may be obtained
Future Hopes
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