The million-peopled city

Garwood, John


" The testimony of no single missionary is materially different."


Indications of a Reformation among the Irish in London, which shall resemble in its Extent and Reality that which has recently been effected in . It may be hoped, however, not only that the Irish will not bring over the English to the Romish faith, but that the English will bring over the Irish to the Protestant faith. There is very much to encourage such a belief. Mr. Garratt's sentiments on this subject are our own:-

" There is no denying that, in spite of every check, the current of opinion among those who influence society (in England) is setting Romeward . .

"But while on the upper surface of society the tide is going towards Rome, at the very bottom, among the lowest class, among the Irish, not only in London, but everywhere, there is a tide from Rome. These men have no influence. It would not affect the general religious aspect of the nation, if, instead of being Roman Catholics or Protestants, they were heathen or Mahometans. But though they can do nothing, they may suffer much. They may glorify Christ by patient endurance of persecution for his name's sake. We may be training martyrs. It is in this light I look upon the work among the Irish in London. I trust that, however dark the days that are coming, God is lighting lamps to


shine brighter as the night grows blacker. There is much in the Celtic character to justify this hope. Slow in acting, they are patient in enduring. When they once have their minds opened to the truth, they embrace it with a cordiality and love which seems to say that they will not let it go. And I think, if we look at the records of the past, we shall find that, for the most part, God has honoured with the crown of martyrdom men poor in this world but rich in faith, like the Celtic Waldenses of Piedmont or the Celtic Protestants of London. It may be that God will suffer England once more to fall under the power of the apostasy, and yet enable some of our despised Irishmen to keep alive the light of truth in the recesses of our city, and when the pomp and splendour of this world is given to the beast, to overcome him through the blood of the Lamb, and not to love their lives unto the death."

A further quotation from the last referred to, will illustrate the general open- ing of the minds of the Irish, to a greater or less extent, to scriptural instruction :-

"It is ordinarily the case, that after a time opposition becomes very strong, through the interference of the priests, so that missionaries find visitation more and more difficult. This, however, in its turn ordinarily gradually subsides, by perseverance, prudence, and kindness. We add a few extracts from the Reports of missionaries, who have been a long period on their districts, in illustration.

" One missionary writes:-' Of the 79 Romish families on my district, 10 have received the Scriptures from me, and many Roman Catholic families who have left have also had a copy. There are also very few of the remaining families who will not listen while I read the Scriptures to them. The priest has been about among the people in general in the low parts of the district, and asked Protestant families to


send their children to the Romish school, and to attend Mass, but I do not know of one instance in which they have succeeded. The priests, I believe, dare not go among the Protestants in the other parts of the district.' A second missionary writes:--' In some cases, the Roman Catholics refuse the tracts, being told to do so by the priests, and yet, strange as it may appear, they will allow me to sit down and read with them the . While I have been thus engaged, such remarks as the following have fallen from their lips:- " And sure that's very good." " And that's no lie." I have met with one case of a member of the inclined to go over to Popery, but, by God's blessing, he was prevented from so doing by the visits of the Mission.' A third missionary, who has been very long on his district, writes:-' I find but little difficulty in gaining access to all the Roman Catholics, except one, who is an aged widow.' A fourth missionary, after some length of service, writes:- 'There are ordinarily from 70 to 100 Roman Catholic fami- lies on my district, but they all open their doors to me, and willingly and cheerfully receive my visits. The great draw- back is that they seldom continue more than a few months.' Another missionary, whose length of service has been less, and who has also been less successful in gaining access to Roman Catholics, yet writes:-' Although about one-third of the Popish families refuse the tracts, on the ground either of their not being able to read them, or because they are opposed to their religion and they fear to offend their priests; and although, sunk in ignorance, depravity, and bitter pre- judice against all instruction from a Protestant teacher, they constitute a most difficult and discouraging class for the missionary to deal with, I yet feel that there is ground of hope and encouragement. In many cases the tracts are received; in some cases I have the opportunity of reading the Word of God; and even in those cases where I fail of


success in both these particulars, I am generally able to leave with them a verbal testimony to the truth as it is in Jesus.' The statement of another missionary is:-' Of 118 Roman Catholic families on the district, I have free access to 98, and am accustomed to read the Scriptures and con- verse with them.'

" Even on a district where, with 17 exceptions, the whole of the families are professedly Roman Catholic, the mis- sionary is allowed to visit all but two. The workhouses are another striking illustration of the willingness of the Roman Catholics in general to receive the instruction of the mis- sionaries. In almost all the Unions there is a large number of Papists; but the missionaries find much opportunity of usefulness among them. Where the number of Roman Catholics on a district is small, there is probably even more readiness to receive instruction. The following extract will give an illustration:-

"' I have only 9 Roman Catholic families on my district. To 4 of these I have supplied the Scriptures. 1. To Mr. - , a journeyman tailor, who has 5 young Irishmen work- ing with him. When I first called, they all refused to listen to me, saying they were not of the same religion. After several visits and much opposition, they, however, accepted a , and now the master reads it aloud, and the men offer their remarks on it; so that in this house a Bible class may be said to be held daily. When I call, they ask me to explain the difficulties which have occurred. 2. To Mr. - - , whose mother died in a nunnery. His grandmother was also in a nunnery, and used to make the wafers. He was brought up in a Romish school. I lent him a loan copy of the Scriptures, which he has been induced to read for himself. He has now nearly read it through. He has been once to , and expresses himself as edified by what he heard. 3. To Mr. -, a journeyman shoe-


maker, who, when I first visited him, called me a soul- destroyer, and spoke many bitter things against me and all Protestants. He has accepted a loan , and appears anxious to understand it. 4. To Mr. -, also a journey- man shoemaker. He worked with others who professed to be Deists. He has received a loan , which is read to them all.'

"In such cases as the following, the useful working of the Mission is also apparent:-The parties connected with the parish church have lately sold the National School-room of the parish to the Romanists. These latter, by a great effort, had nearly 300 children for some time, but they now do not average 100. I attribute this decrease mainly to missionary exertions." [1] 

What is being effected among the Irish of London may be illustrated by a reference to a single church, that of , in which a great work has been for some time going on. In little more than a year about 340 adults have renounced Popery there! At first, this was done pub- licly in the church, but it exposed the converts to so much opposition that the renunciation has been of late made in the house of the Incumbent. Most of these have since become communicants in the Protestant Church, and it is believed that they have been generally impressed with the spiritual power of the truths which they have received. It has not been with them a mere change of creed, but also a change of habit and life. So much has this been the case, that converts may be distinguished from others by their very dress, which has become so much more respectable; and by even their countenances, which appear changed and lit up with animation, through the freedom which they have received. Fully 20 of them have been engaged in seeking


to convert their fellow-countrymen, as Scripture-readers, in different parts of and in English towns. The chil- dren also of these converts are brought under Protestant instruction. Five only of the converts have gone back, although most strenuous efforts have been made for that purpose. The woman to whom the priest used such violence, as referred to in a former page, was one of these converts, as her husband had been before. And so great was the disposition manifested to interfere with her at that time, that the missionary felt it necessary to secrete her between the trials in his own house; while a neighbouring missionary, also much implicated in the occurrence, by the advice of the clergy around, felt it a needful precaution, for the purpose of intimidation, to furnish his house with loaded pistols.


[1] Since this extract was written by the missionary, the average attendance at the school has further declined to about 30.

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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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