The million-peopled city

Garwood, John


The Irish of London require 100 Missionaries or Scripture- readers, in order that the Gospel may be brought to their Abodes.


A more important field than is presented by the Irish in London for missionary effort, it is difficult to conceive. So far as numbers are concerned, they present a larger claim than many of the entire stations of our . The Irish in London, of the poorer classes alone, amount to 200,000. But the entire of the " in , was no more, and of the natives there were but 123,719. is computed at but from 120,000 to 180,000, and the entire colony of Sierra Leone in was only 41,551, or scarcely more than one- fifth of the population of the poor Irish of London; while Greenland, that field of successful missionary enterprise by the Moravians is less than a twentieth part of the number. Is it then consistent to send missionaries to those afar off, at a necessarily great cost, and to pass by those who are dwelling in the midst of our own metropolis? The one ought to be done, but the other ought still more not to be left undone. As 500 families, consisting of about 2,000 individuals, are as many as one lay visitor can take charge of with any advantage, there are actually one hundred such faithful men wanted for the Irish alone of London.


The Remarkable Success of Recent Effortsfor the Conversion of the Irish to the Protestant Faith in their own Country.

Great encouragement exists for such efforts among the Irish from the circumstance of the truly marvellous effects which have within the last few years been accomplished in the West of . They probably exceed what have been witnessed in any part of England within the memory of man, if not since the days of the Reformation. The last Paper of the , issued in the Autumn of , states:-

"This Society was instituted, under its present form and constitution, in the year . . . . The success which has attended it is almost without a parallel. With a few agents, and limited funds, it commenced its labours in the West of , soon afterwards in the East, and has since embraced a large portion of that country ...

" The Society's Missions in have, under God's blessing, been the means of rendering a district, extend- ing 50 miles in length and 30 in breadth, characteristically Protestant, which but a few years ago was characteristically Romish. In that district, until lately, there were not more than 500 Protestants; there are now nearly 6,000 converts attending Church services. 5,000 children are taught in the Scriptural schools ....

" Although there has been much opposition and persecu- tion exercised by the , yet enemies and friends testify to the peaceable fruits of righteousness that are to be found amongst the converts, and to the social improvement and industry that abounds wherever the principles of the Reformation have spread."

A statement inserted in the "Times" newspaper for March 17, , gives the following particulars:- " The work of the Society is carried on in 23 Missions,


which extend into 22 counties. There are besides, 39 Local Committees for Missions, composed of parochial clergy, assisted by the Society, and established in 25 counties in .

" The Society is now allied with the Irish Society (), which latter is to confine its instructions to the province of , into which the operations of the Irish Church Missions are not to extend.

" has confirmed 1,948 converts from Romanism since . Eight new churches and several school-rooms have been erected, and are in progress of erection by the individual efforts of Christian friends, for the accommodation of the converts. Over 5,000 children are taught in Scriptural schools.

"In alone, the agents of the Society made 33,980 visits to Roman Catholic families within the year , whilst large numbers of Romanists attend the controversial sermons in different churches, and the inquiring classes are crowded to inconvenience.

" The Society at present employs 37 missionary clergy- men, 21 lay agents, 229 Scripture-readers, and 98 school- masters and mistresses. In all 388 agents, besides some hundreds of Irish teachers. This number does not include those employed by 39 Local Committees, whose salaries are paid by the Society."

It is stated by the , in the small volume published by him, entitled "The Reformation in ," and written immediately after a personal investigation of the results on the spot,-

" The results which have followed these missionary efforts have fully justified the opinion which I always held, that nothing could really benefit our wretched country [] by improving the character of our people, but the diffusion of Scriptural knowledge amongst them. Surely the


success of this work is a cause for gratitude and praise to God, to whom alone the glory is due. A total change takes place, not only in the appearance of the people, but in their habits and conduct; even those most opposed to the Missions are obliged to confess that no Jumpers (as the converts are called) have been convicted by the magistrates at sessions for theft or other crimes; some may have been maliciously accused, but I am told no instance of conviction has taken place. There are various Societies engaged in this great work, each occupying different localities, none interfering one with the other. The object is so great, and the work so extensive, that all these Societies are most useful. The schools that we have visited in and are under the; those in and the islands adjoining are under the Irish Society, and the Island and Coast Society; those I visited last year at and , in , are under a separate Mission of their own. . . . I must not omit to mention our Presbyterian brethren, who have also a Mission in the West, where they are not less zealous and active, under the , of . We had not time to visit them .... I would say to any one who may doubt these details, Decide not till you have seen the work yourselves. It is very easy of access, . . . and the scenery itself would well repay the trouble and fatigue of the journey.... Sure I am that the is the great remedy for the ills of , the knowledge of which the people themselves value above all other knowledge, and . . . they are thirsting for it, and anxious to be acquainted with its contents." [1] .

In another part of the book, states:-" The told me to-day ( ), that he thought upwards of 10,000 Roman Catholics, including


the children, had left the within his diocese. Hitherto I have had little to tell you of violent persecution, the extent of conversion in the district through which we have passed having nearly overcome it." [2] 

His Lordship, in another part, thus describes a confirma- tion he happened to witness-one only of a series held throughout the country:--" A missionary arrived with a number of converts, who had left their locality, 20 miles distant, at 12 o'clock the night before, and had traversed the mountains all night, in order to be present at the confirma- tion. We met them in the morning, greatly fatigued .... The morning service was read, and 99 persons, the great majority of them being adults, were waiting in the aisle of the church, and in the pews, for confirmation. The Bishop preached an excellent sermon, warning the converts of all they might have to endure, and pointing them to the true source of strength and power, which was to be found only by looking unto Jesus. He received the converts by 12 at a time, and laid his hands upon them, pronouncing the usual blessing. After this most interesting sight, I spoke to several of the adults, some of them aged men, who confessed them- selves relieved from a burden on their consciences, which they had borne for many years; indeed, their countenances, I am told, were quite changed, and a cheerfulness visible, unseen in them before." [3] 

Writing from a third town (), his Lordship observes :-" Among a population of 6,000 and upwards, no instance, I have been told, has been found of admittance being refused to the Scripture-readers, or attention withheld from the reading of the Word of God. There are upwards of 400 convinced of the errors of Popery, who discuss its tenets among themselves, and crowd the houses entered by


the readers and the rector, to listen to the exposition of Gospel truth. . . . There are 4 Scripture schools, attended by 230 Roman Catholic children." [4] 

In the interesting volume recently published by , Bart., descriptive of his tour in , in the autumn of , he states:-

The innumerable conversions which, from their com- mencement in the little island of


, in


, to the present day, have been effected in the West of


, from




, and from




, in the counties of






and even in


, have been most extensive and extraordinary. For instance, in the town of


, there are now 3 Protestant churches, and 5 more in the parish. ... At


the conversion burst out so rapidly, that already by far the greater propor- tion of the inhabitants are Protestants. . . . The sisters of mercy zealously combine with the priests to stop the move- ment, and their efforts are extraordinary. In short, every engine is brought to bear against this alarming conversion; a regularly organized denunciation is levelled against all aiders and abettors of the Protestant missionaries, as well as against any one who affords them any countenance what- ever. Any Roman Catholic who listens to a Protestant clergyman, or to a Scripture-reader, is denounced as a marked man, and people are forbidden to have any dealings with him in trade or business, to sell him food, or buy it of him. For instance, a shoemaker at Westport lately seceded from the Catholic Church; the sisters immediately offered him 21. a-week, which he refused. Not a journey- man dared work for him. A priest went round to every man that dealt with him, until only one person would sell him leather.

[5] t

It is difficult to say what may have led to results so truly


remarkable of late years. Nor ought we to look too much to second causes. But it has been ordinarily supposed that they have, in the wonderful order of God's providence, resulted from the famine. The immense sums of money so freely and generously raised in England at that time did much apparently to open the Irish heart. Mr. O'Connell and his party had previously persuaded the Irish that the Saxons hated them, would do nothing for their help under any cir- cumstances, and almost desired their blood. The priests also had generally confirmed the truth of these assertions. The common people were simple enough to believe them. But when it was found that in almost every parish in England a larger collection on their behalf was made than had been known to be obtained for any other object, and that there was manifestly a general zeal shown here to save them from starvation, they saw that the demagogues and the priests in whom they had trusted had deceived them, and that the English, in spite of difference of creed, were truly their friends.


[1] Pp. 84-87

[2] P. 33

[3] Pp. 79-80.

[4] P. 54.

[5] " Fortnight in Ireland," pp. 154-5.

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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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