The million-peopled city

Garwood, John


IT was remarked some few years since, concerning London, by a writer in the
Magazine of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge
" We have, perhaps, no very satis- factory works upon this vast metropolis in any department, and the reason for this may be sought for in the almost limitless variety of aspects which London presents. ... We are not about to add one more to the many literary failures that have had London for their theme, by attempting too much."
The present volume will not, at all events, be subject to the complaint referred to by this writer. The object of its Author has been to sketch in its pages the mere outlines of the condition, physical, moral, and religious, of a few of the numerous classes into which the immense population of London may be divided. He has endeavoured to por- tray the features of five only of these classes, finding that
a reference to these, in any way complete or satisfactory to his own mind, could not be compressed in a shorter space than a volume of the present size.
If he meet with encouragement from an indulgent public, with reference to this mere fragment, he would desire to follow it up by illustrations of other classes of London's masses. Probably sketches of about twenty classes would comprise the leading and prominent portions of the poorer orders. At least, these would furnish to the general reader fair specimens of the condition of that half of
, with which the other half is so generally unacquainted. The pauper-the lodging-house class-the foreigner-the Jew- the police-the river and maritime classes-the
weaver-the skilled artizan-the railway class-the coster- monger-the laundress-the domestic servant-the needle- woman-and some half-dozen other classes, would together, in addition to the five classes sketched in the present volume, constitute a very large proportion, at least, of the lower masses of "the million-peopled city." A few other classes might be considered in connexion with the larger subjects with which they are identified, as the publicans of London, in connexion with the important subject of metropolitan drunkenness; the printer, in con- nexion with the present state of the London press; such trades as the shoemaker, in connexion with the Infidelity
of London, with which it is almost invariably associated; and the baking and the milk trades, as representing to a very large extent the Scotch and the Welsh of London, in connexion with the very frequent loss of religious habits on the part of country people on their location in England's metropolis.
To the author it appears a matter of that importance that information should be presented to the Christian public on the condition of these classes, that, if he only meet with adequate encouragement in the sale of the present volume, he will consider it as a part of that duty to which he desires to consecrate his days, to pursue somewhat further the subject, if the Lord grant him life and health, in spite of the numerous and onerous claims which already so largely occupy his time.
His especial object in this volume is to illustrate the condition of the working classes of the metropolis (to which his attention has been anxiously directed for very many years),
with the design of calling into exercise larger efforts for their benefit.
It is only necessary to look attentively at the condition of any class of the working orders, to be convinced how very much yet remains to be done for its welfare, and with what great facility further efforts may immediately be made. There is in the present volume what, he trusts, may interest, but he more especially desires
that there may be found in it what may also excite to sympathy and aid. The popular mind has shown itself of late to be ready to welcome further information on the condition of the masses, especially of the metropolis. His solicitude is that this should be turned to a good account.
No pretensions are made to literary merit in the present volume. It is a plain tale. The facts themselves are its only eloquence. These have been penned in the midst of incessant interruptions, and at hasty snatches of time.
The author has considered it important to illustrate what may, by the Divine blessing, be effected for the moral and religious benefit of each class of the population referred to, by relating what has been already effected, especially by the lay agency, of late years so extensively and so happily called into exercise-an agency by which, he believes, our working classes in the metropolis are chiefly to be influenced in the present day. He had not intended, on sitting down to write the book, to give any prominence to the operations of the
London City Mission
among these classes, but to have referred with equal frequency to the operations of the various kindred Societies. But he found as he proceeded that this was impracticable, and that with every desire to follow out his first intentions, his chief information must be derived from that Society. This arose partly from its records being more accessible to him,
to work; others to play. Some would use their means temperately; others would enjoy them immoderately. Some would improve what they got, mending and making and devising how to turn all to the best account; others would waste, and break, and spoil, and destroy. Some would deny themselves and begin to lay by, abstaining for the present out of regard to the future; others, not caring to look beyond the pleasure of the passing hour, would gratify their immediate inclinations at all risk of consequences to come. . . . And if we could see the same parties after an interval, not of a day, but of a week, or month, or year, the change would be more marked, the difference much greater, and the contrast and its causes far more obvious."
The Rev. C. Girdlestone.
That which is endeavoured to be enforced in this volume is simply that the one class is not to live separate from, unmindful of, and without effort for the benefit of the other. And if this is the case, as it undoubtedly is, with reference to the possession of wealth, which is, after all, often pos- sessed by mere descent, or by purely accidental circum- stances, and, in all instances, is dependant on the blessing of God, it is much more the case with reference to the posses- sion of knowledge and true religion,-those sacred deposits which cannot, without positive criminality, be retained only for our own benefit, and thus "laid up in a napkin." " The
social condition of our working classes has, of late years, been very closely analyzed. . . And now we seem to have at last awakened, as from a dream, to the real condition of these, the great majority of our fellow-creatures.... By degrees the full truth has burst" (or, rather, as the author would say, is gradually, but steadily, forcing itself) " upon us. . . The energy of individuals has called into life many most valuable Societies, has forced on the Legislature many wholesome enactments, in aid of moral and sanitary improve- ment. Much has been done of real and substantial good;
but the revelation of existing evils calls for more and more active exercise of the spirit which seeks its removal."
Viscount Ingestre's " Meliora."
In the humble hope that the middle and higher classes may be incited to contemplate and to seek to elevate and bless the other classes of London's population, this volume is committed to the press. May the Divine blessing attend its publication. J. G. LONDON,
APRIL 27TH, 1853
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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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