The million-peopled city

Garwood, John


The Shoe-blacks a most remarkable Illustration of the Success of the Efforts made to benefit this Class.


The shoe-blacks now to be seen throughout the London streets are a very interesting class, illustrative of the vast benefit which may be conferred on individuals and on society by well-directed voluntary Christian efforts. They are employed by a Society, the Committee of which are twelve barristers of the Temple or Lincoln's Inn, who honourably devote much time and attention to a cause so apparently humble. One of these gentlemen gave evidence before a in , that, in addition, he had been a Sunday-school teacher for the last 15 years, a member of the for 4 years, and that he had been in the habit of visiting two or three times every week, as well as on the Sundays. The boys employed have been taken as nuisances from the streets, and as criminals from the gaols-made useful servants to the public, able to earn an honest livelihood during their reformation, and give promise of becoming religious and respectable lads at home, or useful colonists abroad. Of those engaged in the first 1 1/2 year, 27 had been criminals, and some of them had been many times in gaol. They are from 12 to 16 years of age, though not often so old as 16 now, as younger boys are found preferable. They are more generally now about 12 or 13. During the , the number of these lads was increased to 36, but since then it has even increased, and during the summer of , was 45. It


is supposed that there is room for the employment of 200 in the great city. They are all dressed in a red uniform, provided by the Society, which has been found extremely useful-to the boy, in enabling him to keep himself separate from his former associates; to the Society, in enabling them to find the boy and inspect his conduct; and to the public, in showing them where the boy is stationed. The stations occupied were applied for by the Society, and allowed by the Police Commissioners. They vary very much in their value, and the lads are promoted from an inferior station to a better one as a reward for good conduct, or removed from a better to a worse station as a punishment for bad conduct. The boys are all taken from the , and their reception is held out as a prize for merit. It devolves on the superintendents of the 26 best to select the candidates, and from these the select a given number, whom they consider most worthy of the distinction. Before they are employed they have a week's training at the Society's premises, No. 1, , , . There they all assemble every morning before they proceed to their respective stations, and prayers are conducted at half-past 7 by one of the Committee, or, in his absence, by a paid officer, who receives a salary of 641. a-year. Ten of the boys sleep on these premises, which pays the rent of the entire house; for the Society is made now entirely self- supporting. The boys in general take their meals at their posts, and return at 6 in the evening to pay in all the money they have earned. On Wednesday evenings a lecture is delivered to them on religious subjects. There are provided for them a library, a savings-bank, and means for providing bath-tickets. They attend their respective schools in the evening, and a Sunday morning school is conducted for their benefit by one of the Committee. "Good-conduct


badges" are given by the Society as marks of merit; and warning, suspension for a week, or discharge, as punish- ments. Each boy is paid 6d. a-day. The remainder of his earnings is divided into three parts, the first of which is paid to the boy himself, the second is put by for him in the savings-bank, and the third is given to the Society to defray its expenses. A penny is the charge for brushing a gentleman's shoes and cleaning his trousers. Sometimes 2d., 3d., 4d., or even 6d., is given, but the Society desires to discourage this excess of payment. About 800 pairs of shoes were cleaned each day during the summer of . During the first year the boys laid by for their future welfare, in the savings-bank, . The earnings of course much vary, according to the state of the weather, the traffic of the station, and the quickness of the boy. It once reached 21. 2s. a-week by an Irish lad during the Exhibition. In the summer, 10s. is a fair sum to earn. This, continued all the year, with 45 boys, would amount to 1,4041.; but in the winter months the earnings are reduced one-half. The boys have generally been found honestly to bring to the office what they receive. As they are changed, the value of each station is tolerably known. They are also inspected by officers of the Society. If suspicion is excited, they are watched. But only 2 cases of dishonesty were thus dis- covered during the Society's first year. During that year, of the 27 previous criminals, 3 were sent out by the Society, as a reward, as emigrants, 5 obtained situations, 1 was restored to his friends, 3 left of their own accord, 2 were discharged for incompetence, 4 for misconduct, and 9 remained in the employment. All these had been convicted as thieves. Of 29 other boys employed that year, whose parents were convicts, or drunken and depraved, or had abandoned their children, 4 emigrated, 6 obtained situations, 1 was apprenticed, I left of his own accord, 2 were dis-


charged for incompetence, 7 for misconduct, and 9 remained in the employment. Of the first class-the thieves, a lad was raised from the rank of a criminal to the rank of inspector, and was paid 10s. a-week by the Society. Another, who had been a burglar, and who entered on his work with a bullet in his neck, received a similar promotion. And a third, who, although so young, had been 30 times in custody, and 3 times in gaol, was proceeding favourably. In one case, a lad received the reward of emigration, who was the son of a transport, and who took with him 151., which he had saved from his earnings. In another case, a boy, who was without a father, had only a drunken mother, and who was a criminal himself, obtained a situation as in-door servant, and, on doing so, commenced family prayers in the kitchen. He gave every satisfaction to his employer. One of the best lads remaining has no father; his mother is a criminal; and he himself had been a criminal also.

A remarkable circumstance is, that the Society has received numerous applications from respectable parents to employ their sons, who have apparently felt no objection to their children associating with lads of so debased a class, so satisfactory has been the general conduct of the latter. The Society has refused, however, such applications, desiring to limit the number of the lads to those who have passed through .

Another interesting circumstance is, that 25 of these lads, although so young, actually supported their parents by their earnings.

It is also very interesting, that the lads are so fond of their situations, that it is difficult to get them to leave for more permanent ordinary places. They will not go for less than 7s. a-week, and they often show a desire to return, after having left.

Nor is it an unimportant circumstance, that the Society has no need to seek after situations for the lads. They receive numerous applications for them. One omnibus com- pany alone, during the year, applied for 40 lads.

Similar Societies have also been formed in , , and .

The lads who have no homes, and who do not lodge at the Society's house, live in model lodging-houses, and the refuges connected with their schools. Those who lodge in pay 3d. a night for their lodging.

Emigration expenses have been met partly by the schools to which the lads pertain, and partly by the . The outfit is in every case paid for out of the lad's savings. None are sent out but those who really desire to leave the country. In many cases they prefer remaining at home.

Arrangements are in progress for establishing a school especially for these lads, and making them pay for it, which they appear to be most ready to do.

All the lads on the Sunday must attend either church or school.

A fine of Id. is levied for want of punctuality at prayers in the morning, which is applied to a sick fund.

The following advantages in the plans of the Society are believed to have been most important in its success. By them industry is not merely enforced, but immediately rewarded; permanent employment is held out in prospect; good and bad conduct are made directly apparent to the other lads, and to the managers; emulation is promoted by classification; honesty by constant money transactions, in which trust is involved; economy by daily saving; attention to respectability of appearance by enforcing proper clothing; punctuality by fixed hours; steadiness by the requirement of prolonged attention to duties at a certain post; learning by


promotion to stations requiring it, and love of home by a provision for those who would otherwise be without a slelter.

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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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