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ENGLAND
Samuel Pepys
Elizabeth I
London's Underworld
Fleet Marriages.
The Cries of London
Updated.




the man must have a rare recipe for melancholy who can be dull in Fleet Street.

-- Charles Lamb 1802



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London's PeopleThe Street Stationery-Sellers II
Posted by Bill McCann on (9 Reads)
London has always been a noisy place. Amongst the cacophony of sound in the Victorian streets was the chanting of the "Patterers", either moving or stationary. In his London Labour and the London Poor, Henry Mayhew devoted an entire chapter to an investigation of the artistry, lives and habits of these Londoners. In the last of our extracts we learn of the crushing poverty to which illness could reduce even the most genteel. Our witnesses are a gentlewoman and a gentleman. Their insight to the desperate straits of Victorian live at the bottom of the ladder are very poignant.



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London's PeopleThe Street Stationery-Sellers I
Posted by Bill McCann on (36 Reads)
London has always been a noisy place. Amongst the cacophony of sound in the Victorian streets was the chanting of the "Patterers", either moving or stationary. In his London Labour and the London Poor, Henry Mayhew devoted an entire chapter to an investigation of the artistry, lives and habits of these Londoners. In the next of our extracts we meet the sellers of stationery papers and envelopes mostly but also letters written for those who cannot themselves write.



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London's PeopleVictorian Etiquette IX: Petitions
Posted by Bill McCann on (3171 Reads)
The London Journal, launched in 1845, was one of the most widely read publications of nineteenth-century Britain. Its weekly appearance ushered in the period when mass-market reading, in a modern sense, was born. Between April 12 and August 30 1845, the Journal carried seventeen articles under the heading "Etiquette for the Millions," written by G.W.M Reynolds. They were clearly aimed at educating the mass readership (mostly the newly emerging middle-classes) in the behaviour expected of them in public. At times trenchant, the views expressed in the articles describe a view of society that is very, very different from that which we experience today. But, perhaps, one that many sections of modern society hanker after. In this set of instructions we are shown precisely the mode of address to be used in submitting a petition to the Queen, the Houses of Parliament or Government Departments. And of course, it matters greatly whether the petition comes from an Assembly or from an individual . . .



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London's PeopleVictorian Etiquette VIII: Behaviour out of Doors
Posted by Bill McCann on (3239 Reads)
The London Journal, launched in 1845, was one of the most widely read publications of nineteenth-century Britain. Its weekly appearance ushered in the period when mass-market reading, in a modern sense, was born. Between April 12 and August 30 1845, the Journal carried seventeen articles under the heading "Etiquette for the Millions," written by G.W.M Reynolds. They were clearly aimed at educating the mass readership (mostly the newly emerging middle-classes) in the behaviour expected of them in public. At times trenchant, the views expressed in the articles describe a view of society that is very, very different from that which we experience today. But, perhaps, one that many sections of modern society hanker after. In this set of instructions we are introduced to the mysteries of the glove and warned against carrying "a huge stick, fit only to wrench off knockers or break policeman's heads." And ladies are required to sacrifice a new silk gown if caught in the rain. . .!



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London's PeopleVictorian Etiquette VII: Dress Female Attire
Posted by Bill McCann on (1407 Reads)
The London Journal, launched in 1845, was one of the most widely read publications of nineteenth-century Britain. Its weekly appearance ushered in the period when mass-market reading, in a modern sense, was born. Between April 12 and August 30 1845, the Journal carried seventeen articles under the heading "Etiquette for the Millions," written by G.W.M Reynolds. They were clearly aimed at educating the mass readership (mostly the newly emerging middle-classes) in the behaviour expected of them in public. At times trenchant, the views expressed in the articles describe a view of society that is very, very different from that which we experience today. But, perhaps, one that many sections of modern society hanker after. Having the rules of sobriety in the matter of male attire we are now instructed on the requisites for a well-dressed woman and they is definitely NOT those of a lady of fashion. As for the "abomination" of tight lacing . . .!



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London's PeopleVictorian Etiquette VI: Dress Male Attire
Posted by Bill McCann on (1089 Reads)
The London Journal, launched in 1845, was one of the most widely read publications of nineteenth-century Britain. Its weekly appearance ushered in the period when mass-market reading, in a modern sense, was born. Between April 12 and August 30 1845, the Journal carried seventeen articles under the heading "Etiquette for the Millions," written by G.W.M Reynolds. They were clearly aimed at educating the mass readership (mostly the newly emerging middle-classes) in the behaviour expected of them in public. At times trenchant, the views expressed in the articles describe a view of society that is very, very different from that which we experience today. But, perhaps, one that many sections of modern society hanker after. In this lesson we are instructed on the rules which govern male attire. Ostentation is clearly out and sobriety certainly in!



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London's PeopleVictorian Etiquette V: Conversation
Posted by Bill McCann on (1028 Reads)
The London Journal, launched in 1845, was one of the most widely read publications of nineteenth-century Britain. Its weekly appearance ushered in the period when mass-market reading, in a modern sense, was born. Between April 12 and August 30 1845, the Journal carried seventeen articles under the heading "Etiquette for the Millions," written by G.W.M Reynolds. They were clearly aimed at educating the mass readership (mostly the newly emerging middle-classes) in the behaviour expected of them in public. At times trenchant, the views expressed in the articles describe a view of society that is very, very different from that which we experience today. But, perhaps, one that many sections of modern society hanker after. In this lesson we are instructed on the rules which govern conversation in polite circles. Amongst other things we must never be ruffled by "ill breeding of a vulgarian, or the impertinence of the coxcomb."



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London's PeopleVictorian Etiquette IV: Letter Writing
Posted by Bill McCann on (449 Reads)
The London Journal, launched in 1845, was one of the most widely read publications of nineteenth-century Britain. Its weekly appearance ushered in the period when mass-market reading, in a modern sense, was born. Between April 12 and August 30 1845, the Journal carried seventeen articles under the heading "Etiquette for the Millions," written by G.W.M Reynolds. They were clearly aimed at educating the mass readership (mostly the newly emerging middle-classes) in the behaviour expected of them in public. At times trenchant, the views expressed in the articles describe a view of society that is very, very different from that which we experience today. But, perhaps, one that many sections of modern society hanker after. Her we learn the conventions for letter-writing. The Penny Post had been introduced as recently as 1842, and many of the conventions for letter writing in the new circumstances were still being formulated when this article was written. There was, of course, a gret obsession with the proper modes of address to be used when writing to titled persons and those below them in the order of precedence!



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London's PeopleVictorian Etiquette III: Dinners
Posted by Bill McCann on (356 Reads)
The London Journal, launched in 1845, was one of the most widely read publications of nineteenth-century Britain. Its weekly appearance ushered in the period when mass-market reading, in a modern sense, was born. Between April 12 and August 30 1845, the Journal carried seventeen articles under the heading "Etiquette for the Millions," written by G.W.M Reynolds. They were clearly aimed at educating the mass readership (mostly the newly emerging middle-classes) in the behaviour expected of them in public. At times trenchant, the views expressed in the articles describe a view of society that is very, very different from that which we experience today. But, perhaps, one that many sections of modern society hanker after. The third article instructs us how we should behave when hosting a Dinner Party.



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London's PeopleVictorian Etiquette II: The Dinner Table
Posted by Bill McCann on (650 Reads)
The London Journal, launched in 1845, was one of the most widely read publications of nineteenth-century Britain. Its weekly appearance ushered in the period when mass-market reading, in a modern sense, was born. Between April 12 and August 30 1845, the Journal carried seventeen articles under the heading "Etiquette for the Millions," written by G.W.M Reynolds. They were clearly aimed at educating the mass readership (mostly the newly emerging middle-classes) in the behaviour expected of them in public. At times trenchant, the views expressed in the articles describe a view of society that is very, very different from that which we experience today. But, perhaps, one that many sections of modern society hanker after. The second article instructs us as to what we must, and must not, do at the dinner-table.

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London's PeopleVictorian Etiquette I: Introductory Remarks
Posted by Bill McCann on (389 Reads)
The London Journal, launched in 1845, was one of the most widely read publications of nineteenth-century Britain. Its weekly appearance ushered in the period when mass-market reading, in a modern sense, was born. Between April 12 and August 30 1845, the Journal carried seventeen articles under the heading "Etiquette for the Millions," written by G.W.M Reynolds. They were clearly aimed at educating the mass readership (mostly the newly emerging middle-classes) in the behaviour expected of them in public. At times trenchant, the views expressed in the articles describe a view of society that is very, very different from that which we experience today. But, perhaps, one that many sections of modern society hanker after. The first article introduces the concept of etiquette, and immediately sets the "tone" for the series.

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London's PeopleThe Poor Man's Saturday Night in London: V
Posted by Bill McCann on (476 Reads)
In our final instalment of the Saturday Night's excitements in the New-cut we enter one of Victorian London's famous, if not notorious, Gin Palaces. Our reporter now assumes a very high moral stance and paints a horrific picture of the degradation he sees everywhere around him. On emerging he is at once swamped by the crowd of lads emerging from their evening's entertainment at The Vic Gallery in the Coburg Theatre, which does nothing to mollify his sense of outrage. He concludes the piece by identifying the single reform that would rescue the London poor from the traps and temptations that beset them.



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London's PeopleThe Poor Man's Saturday Night in London: IV
Posted by Bill McCann on (417 Reads)
A lively aspect of the Saturday night market were the bangers of drums and blowers of horns and would-be fiddlers all desperately trying to earn enough to buy something for their Sunday meal. Then, as the night advances, and the clocks toll eleven, there emerge onto the streets a different set of citizens to taste the delights of a fine night and its opportunities.



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London's PeopleThe Poor Man's Saturday Night in London: III
Posted by Bill McCann on (543 Reads)
In the third instalment of our peek into a Victorian Saturday night in the New-cut, we see John and Mary happily make for their snug home with their purchases and turn our eyes to the less reputable denizens of the Saturday night market.



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London's PeopleThe Poor man's Saturday Night in London: II
Posted by Bill McCann on (328 Reads)
In the second instalment of our glance at a Victorian Saturday night in the New-cut, John and Mary buy their Sunday dinner and a fine set of table and chairs - which somewhat mystify poor John.

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London's PeopleThe Poor Man's Saturday Night in London: I
Posted by Bill McCann on (528 Reads)
We have already recorded Henry Mayhew's description of the costermongers' Saturday night out buying their Sunday dinner in 1851. Now we present the first of a short series of articles on more or less the same subject from the reports in "The Leisure Hour - A Family Journal of Instruction and Recreation" which appeared in issue numbers 61 and 62 on February 24 and March 3 1853. This first part sets the scene and introduces us to John and Mary Jones. The remaining chapters will appear on Saturday evenings between now and Christmas. Not only do the articles provide a vivid picture of Saturday night in the New-cut, they also give a very particular insight into the daily lives of the Victorian poor.

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London's PeopleLondon's People
Posted by Bill McCann on (3095 Reads)
The articles in this ongoing series will include brief biographies on some of London's famous people. However, it will also include notes and anecdotes about the people of London who have not made it into the history books.



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London's PeopleThe Covent Garden Labourers
Posted by Bill McCann on (621 Reads)
In 1877 Adolphe Smith and J Thomson followed Mayhew's footsteps onto the streets of London with the intention of updating his material. Taking advantage of advances in technology they "sought to portray these harder phases of life, bringing to bear the precision of photography in illustration of our subject". They concentrated on the street characters who were most seen on the crowded streets and took quite a different line to that of Mayhew. One morning they visited Covent Garden market to observe the legion of labourers employed in the flower trade. There they met the "flower gummer" and discovered the rules for buttonholes.



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London's PeopleThe Cheap Fish of St. Giles's
Posted by Bill McCann on (3160 Reads)
In 1877 Adolphe Smith and J Thomson followed Mayhew's footsteps onto the streets of London with the intention of updating his material. Taking advantage of advances in technology they "sought to portray these harder phases of life, bringing to bear the precision of photography in illustration of our subject". They concentrated on the street characters who were most seen on the crowded streets and took quite a different line to that of Mayhew. On one of their forays they investigated costermongers selling cheap fish on the streets.



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London's PeopleThe Street Fruit Trade
Posted by Anthony Waldstock on (1365 Reads)
In 1877 Adolphe Smith and J Thomson followed Mayhew's footsteps onto the streets of London with the intention of updating his material. Taking advantage of advances in technology they "sought to portray these harder phases of life, bringing to bear the precision of photography in illustration of our subject". They concentrated on the street characters who were most seen on the crowded streets and took quite a different line to that of Mayhew. One day they decided to investigate the sellers of fruit on London's streets during the short strawberry season.



Note: Smith's complete text and all of Thomson's photographs can be viewed on-line in the Victorian Dictionary

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London's PeopleDealers In Fancy-Ware
Posted by Anthony Waldstock on (1511 Reads)
In 1877 Adolphe Smith and J Thomson followed Mayhew's footsteps onto the streets of London with the intention of updating his material. Taking advantage of advances in technology they "sought to portray these harder phases of life, bringing to bear the precision of photography in illustration of our subject". They concentrated on the street characters who were most seen on the crowded streets and took quite a different line to that of Mayhew. On one trip they investigated the people who sold cheap jewellery on the streets of London. What their informants had to tell them makes fascinating reading today.



Note: Smith's complete text and all of Thomson's photographs can be viewed on-line in the Victorian Dictionary

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London's PeopleThe Old Clothes of St. Giles
Posted by Anthony Waldstock on (1538 Reads)
In 1877 Adolphe Smith and J Thomson followed Mayhew's footsteps onto the streets of London with the intention of updating his material. Taking advantage of advances in technology they "sought to portray these harder phases of life, bringing to bear the precision of photography in illustration of our subject". They concentrated on the street characters who were most seen on the crowded streets and took quite a different line to that of Mayhew. On one of their forays they visited the second-hand clothes market at St Giles in the Fields. They also let us into the surprising secret of the fate of the clothes that are not fit even for the most abject beggar in nineteenth century Europe!



Note: Smith's complete text and all of Thomson's photographs can be viewed on-line in the Victorian Dictionary.

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London's PeopleThe Patterers' Street Literature
Posted by Bill McCann on (689 Reads)
London has always been a noisy place. Amongst the cacophony of sound in the Victorian streets was the chanting of the "Patterers", either moving or stationary. In his London Labour and the London Poor, Henry Mayhew devoted an entire chapter to an investigation of the artistry, lives and habits of these Londoners. In this extract he introduces us to the people who published the literature which was "pattered" on the streets of London.



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London's PeopleHalfpenny Ices
Posted by Anthony Waldstock on (578 Reads)
In 1877 Adolphe Smith and J Thomson followed Mayhew's footsteps onto the streets of London with the intention of updating his material. Taking advantage of advances in technology they "sought to portray these harder phases of life, bringing to bear the precision of photography in illustration of our subject". They concentrated on the street characters who were most seen on the crowded streets and took quite a different line to that of Mayhew. One day they ventured into the Italian enclave at Saffron Hill to watch the pre-dawn making of ice creams.



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London's PeopleThe Water-Carters
Posted by Anthony Waldstock on (540 Reads)
In 1877 Adolphe Smith and J Thomson followed Mayhew's footsteps onto the streets of London with the intention of updating his material. Taking advantage of advances in technology they "sought to portray these harder phases of life, bringing to bear the precision of photography in illustration of our subject". They concentrated on the street characters who were most seen on the crowded streets and took quite a different line to that of Mayhew. On this foray they met the men who were employed to keep the streets of London clean.



Note: Smith's complete text and all of Thomson's photographs can be viewed on-line in the Victorian Dictionary.

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London's PeopleBlack Jack
Posted by Anthony Waldstock on (733 Reads)
In 1877 Adolphe Smith and J Thomson followed Mayhew's footsteps onto the streets of London with the intention of updating his material. Taking advantage of advances in technology they "sought to portray these harder phases of life, bringing to bear the precision of photography in illustration of our subject". They concentrated on the street characters who were most seen on the crowded streets and took quite a different line to that of Mayhew. One day they came across one of the licensed hawkers,his wife and his donkey. The donkey agreed to be photographed, the wife declined!



Note: 1. In the old English Imperial measurement system, the capacity of dry goods was measured in gallons, pecks and bushels. Two gallons equalled one peck and four pecks made up a bushel. The equality with Avoirdupois weight was made through the bushel where eight bushels equalled one quarter. Four quarters made a hundredweight and twenty hundredweights a ton. Thus, 640 bushels or 2560 pecks or 5120 gallons were equivalent to one ton Avoirdupois.

2. Smith's complete text and all of Thomson's photographs can be viewed on-line in the Victorian Dictionary.

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London's PeopleThe Origins of Patterers
Posted by Bill McCann on (1234 Reads)
London has always been a noisy place. Amongst the cacophony of sound in the Victorian streets was the chanting of the "Patterers", either moving or stationary. In his London Labour and the London Poor, Henry Mayhew devoted an entire chapter to an investigation of the artistry, lives and habits of these Londoners. In this, the second of our extracts, we give his account of the history and origins of this singular class of street-seller.



Note: The complete text of London Labour and the London Poor can be found on-line as part of the Perseus Project.

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London's PeopleMr Baylis and the ticket-of-leave men
Posted by Anthony Waldstock on (620 Reads)
In 1877 Adolphe Smith and J Thomson followed Mayhew's footsteps onto the streets of London with the intention of updating his material. Taking advantage of advances in technology they "sought to portray these harder phases of life, bringing to bear the precision of photography in illustration of our subject".In Drury Lane they came across a home and cook shop which was nothing less that a rehabilitation centre for ticket-of-leave men. It was run by a Mr Baylis whose own early life had been as colourful as any in the Victorian age.



Note: Smith's complete text and all of Thomson's photographs can be viewed on-line in the Victorian Dictionary.

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London's PeopleCannon the Wall Worker
Posted by Anthony Waldstock on (481 Reads)
In 1877 Adolphe Smith and J Thomson followed Mayhew's footsteps onto the streets of London with the intention of updating his material. Taking advantage of advances in technology they "sought to portray these harder phases of life, bringing to bear the precision of photography in illustration of our subject". They concentrated on the street characters who were most seen on the crowded streets and took quite a different line to that of Mayhew. One day they were introduced to a Wallworker by the Dramatic Shoe Black, Jacobus Parker.



Note: Smith's complete text and all of Thomson's photographs can be viewed on-line in the Victorian Dictionary.

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London's PeopleVictorian Street Doctors
Posted by Anthony Waldstock on (730 Reads)
In 1877 Adolphe Smith and J Thomson followed Mayhew's footsteps onto the streets of London with the intention of updating his material. Taking advantage of advances in technology they "sought to portray these harder phases of life, bringing to bear the precision of photography in illustration of our subject". They concentrated on the street characters who were most seen on the crowded streets and took quite a different line to that of Mayhew. On one of their forays they investigate the then dying breed of Street Doctors. Their description of the ramshackle nature of the public health service has a curious resonance in modern Britain.



Note: Smith's complete text and all of Thomson's photographs can be viewed on-line in the Victorian Dictionary.

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London's PeopleThe Victorian Home: Conditions Necessary to Health
Posted by Polina Coffey on (859 Reads)
In 1876, The School Board For London commissioned W B Tegetmeier to produce " a scholars' handbook on the general principles on which the processes of Cookery and the sanitary management of a home depend". It was to be "a book fit for use in schools, where the pupils should be instructed in the first principles" of home management. The book presents in great detail the minutiae of life in the Victorian home. This is how it describes the basic conditions which are required for healthy living in the Victorian home. The advise concludes with an ominous warning about Talleymen.



Note: Tegetmeier's complete text can be viewed on-line in the Victorian Dictionary.

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London's PeopleThe London Street Stalls
Posted by Anthony Waldstock on (634 Reads)
In his London Labour and the London Poor, Henry Mayhew has left us a detailed picture of London street life in the mid nineteenth century. Here he describes the character of the various stalls which the costermongers used to ply their trade. On being told of a curious type of stall holder at Marylebone he found her and recorded her story.



Note: The complete text of London Labour and the London Poor can be found on-line as part of the Perseus Project.

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London's People"Tickets," The Card-Dealer
Posted by Anthony Waldstock on (473 Reads)
In 1877 Adolphe Smith and J Thomson followed Mayhew's footsteps onto the streets of London with the intention of updating his material. Taking advantage of advances in technology they "sought to portray these harder phases of life, bringing to bear the precision of photography in illustration of our subject". They concentrated on the street characters who were most seen on the crowded streets and took quite a different line to that of Mayhew. Here the track down a Frenc refugee making a precarious living by selling shop signs or "tickets".



Note: Smith's complete text and all of Thomson's photographs can be viewed on-line in the Victorian Dictionary.

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London's PeopleFireworks in the Streets
Posted by Bill McCann on (456 Reads)
In his London Labour and the London Poor, Henry Mayhew has left us a detailed picture of London street life in the mid nineteenth century. One of the delights of the boys of his time was to let off "crackers" or fireworks behind some unsuspecting citizen. Mayhew set out in search of those who sold these illegal items and this is what he found and heard.



Note: The complete text of London Labour and the London Poor can be found on-line as part of the Perseus Project.

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London's PeopleStreet Advertising
Posted by Anthony Waldstock on (504 Reads)
In 1877 Adolphe Smith and J Thomson followed Mayhew's footsteps onto the streets of London with the intention of updating his material. Taking advantage of advances in technology they "sought to portray these harder phases of life, bringing to bear the precision of photography in illustration of our subject". They concentrated on the street characters who were most seen on the crowded streets and took quite a different line to that of Mayhew. Here investigate the art of street advertising and those who made their living from it.



Note: Smith's complete text and all of Thomson's photographs can be viewed on-line in the Victorian Dictionary.

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London's PeopleThe Sellers of Corn Plasters
Posted by Bill McCann on (483 Reads)
In his London Labour and the London Poor, Henry Mayhew has left us a detailed picture of London street life in the mid nineteenth century. An enormous amount of material was sold on the streets. Some of the best selling were herbal remedies and other home-made pharmaceutical products. This is Mayhew's account of the corn cures on offer.



Note: The complete text of London Labour and the London Poor can be found on-line as part of the Perseus Project.

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London's PeopleThe Temperance Sweep
Posted by Anthony Waldstock on (627 Reads)
In 1877 Adolphe Smith and J Thomson followed Mayhew's footsteps onto the streets of London with the intention of updating his material. Taking advantage of advances in technology they "sought to portray these harder phases of life, bringing to bear the precision of photography in illustration of our subject". They concentrated on the street characters who were most seen on the crowded streets and took quite a different line to that of Mayhew. Here they describe the special attributes of the May-Day clowns who graced London's streets on the holiday.



Note: Smith's complete text and all of Thomson's photographs can be viewed on-line in the Victorian Dictionary.

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London's PeopleThe Match Sellers
Posted by Bill McCann on (604 Reads)
In his London Labour and the London Poor, Henry Mayhew has left us a detailed picture of London street life in the mid nineteenth century. An enormous amount of material was sold on the streets. Perhaps the most remembered street seller now is the "match girl" who sold the "lucifers". This is what Mayhew found when he went in search of the traders in this vital commodity in Victorian London.



Note: The complete text of London Labour and the London Poor can be found on-line as part of the Perseus Project.

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London's PeopleThe Dramatic Shoe-Black
Posted by Bill McCann on (563 Reads)
In 1877 Adolphe Smith and J Thomson followed Mayhew's footsteps onto the streets of London with the intention of updating his material. Taking advantage of advances in technology they "sought to portray these harder phases of life, bringing to bear the precision of photography in illustration of our subject". They concentrated on the street characters who were most seen on the crowded streets and took quite a different line to that of Mayhew. One of the more entertaining character they came across was Jacobus Parker.



Note: Smith's complete text and all of Thomson's photographs can be viewed on-line in the Victorian Dictionary.

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London's PeopleCaney the Clown
Posted by Anthony Waldstock on (649 Reads)
In 1877 Adolphe Smith and J Thomson followed Mayhew's footsteps onto the streets of London with the intention of updating his material. Taking advantage of advances in technology they "sought to portray these harder phases of life, bringing to bear the precision of photography in illustration of our subject". On one foray, they visited one of the characters of the streets around Drury Lane and recorded his story.



Note: Smith's complete text and all of Thomson's photographs can be viewed on-line in the Victorian Dictionary.

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London's PeopleRecruiting Sergeants at Westminster
Posted by Bill McCann on (585 Reads)
In 1877 Adolphe Smith and J Thomson followed Mayhew's footsteps onto the streets of London with the intention of updating his material. Taking advantage of advances in technology they "sought to portray these harder phases of life, bringing to bear the precision of photography in illustration of our subject". They concentrated on the street characters who were most seen on the crowded streets and took quite a different line to that of Mayhew. On one occasion they observed the recruiting sergeants at work in Westminster. This is what they found.



Note: Smith's complete text and all of Thomson's photographs can be viewed on-line in the Victorian Dictionary.

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London's PeopleHookey Alf of Whitechapel
Posted by Anthony Waldstock on (731 Reads)
In 1877 Adolphe Smith and J Thomson followed Mayhew's footsteps onto the streets of London with the intention of updating his material. Taking advantage of advances in technology they "sought to portray these harder phases of life, bringing to bear the precision of photography in illustration of our subject". They concentrated on the street characters who were most seen on the crowded streets and took quite a different line to that of Mayhew. One of their trips was to an ancient Inn on the Whitechapel Road where they found a local character known as "Hookey Alf".



Note: Smith's complete text and all of Thomson's photographs can be viewed on-line in the Victorian Dictionary.

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London's PeopleFast Food in Victorian London
Posted by Bill McCann on (1592 Reads)
In his London Labour and the London Poor, Henry Mayhew has left us a detailed picture of London street life in the mid nineteenth century. He found an extraordinary variety of ready-cooked food being sold on the streets for immediate consumption. This is how he describes those who sold and those who consumed the "Fast Food" of his day.



Note: The complete text of London Labour and the London Poor can be found on-line as part of the Perseus Project.

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London's PeopleThe London Boardmen
Posted by Bill McCann on (555 Reads)
In 1877 Adolphe Smith and J Thomson followed Mayhew's footsteps onto the streets of London with the intention of updating his material. Taking advantage of advances in technology they "sought to portray these harder phases of life, bringing to bear the precision of photography in illustration of our subject". They selected their "material in the highways and the byways, deeming that the familiar aspects of street life would be as welcome as those glimpses caught here and there, at the angle of some dark alley, or in some squalid corner beyond the beat of the ordinary wayfarer". They concentrated on the street characters who were most seen on the crowded streets and took quite a different line to that of Mayhew. Here they turn their attention to the men who hired themselves out as walking advertisements on the streets of Victorian London.



Note: Smith's complete text and all of Thomson's photographs can be viewed on-line in the Victorian Dictionary.

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London's PeopleThe Covent Garden Flowerwomen
Posted by Bill McCann on (1095 Reads)
In 1877 Adolphe Smith and J Thomson followed Mayhew's footsteps onto the streets of London with the intention of updating his material. Taking advantage of advances in technology they "sought to portray these harder phases of life, bringing to bear the precision of photography in illustration of our subject". They selected their "material in the highways and the byways, deeming that the familiar aspects of street life would be as welcome as those glimpses caught here and there, at the angle of some dark alley, or in some squalid corner beyond the beat of the ordinary wayfarer". They concentrated on the street characters who were most seen on the crowded streets and took quite a different line to that of Mayhew. Here they visit the flowerwomen of Covent Garden and compare their lot with that of the famous Isabelle, flower-girl at the Paris Jockey Club.



Note: Smith's complete text and all of Thomson's photographs can be viewed on-line in the Victorian Dictionary.

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London's PeopleThe Billingsgate Bummarees
Posted by Anthony Waldstock on (653 Reads)
In his London Labour and the London Poor, Henry Mayhew has left us a detailed picture of London street life in the mid nineteenth century. In his first volume he describes the street-sellers and their lives. Here he investigates the various practitioners of forestalling in the London street markets and introduces us to the Billinsgate Bummarees.





Note: The complete text of London Labour and the London Poor can be found on-line as part of the Perseus Project.

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London's PeopleLondon Cabmen
Posted by Anthony Waldstock on (768 Reads)
In 1877 Adolphe Smith and J Thomson followed Mayhew's footsteps onto the streets of London with the intention of updating his material. Taking advantage of advances in technology they "sought to portray these harder phases of life, bringing to bear the precision of photography in illustration of our subject". They selected their "material in the highways and the byways, deeming that the familiar aspects of street life would be as welcome as those glimpses caught here and there, at the angle of some dark alley, or in some squalid corner beyond the beat of the ordinary wayfarer". They concentrated on the street characters who were most seen on the crowded streets and took quite a different line to that of Mayhew. Here is their description of the much maligned London Cabmen. There is also an interesting remark about the Victorian equivalent of the Ubiquitous "White Van" of the 20th century!



Note: Smith's complete text and all of Thomson's photographs can be viewed on-line in the Victorian Dictionary.

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London's PeopleThe Public Disinfectors
Posted by Anthony Waldstock on (610 Reads)
In 1877 Adolphe Smith and J Thomson followed Mayhew's footsteps onto the streets of London with the intention of updating his material. Taking advantage of advances in technology they "sought to portray these harder phases of life, bringing to bear the precision of photography in illustration of our subject". They selected their "material in the highways and the byways, deeming that the familiar aspects of street life would be as welcome as those glimpses caught here and there, at the angle of some dark alley, or in some squalid corner beyond the beat of the ordinary wayfarer". They concentrated on the street characters who were most seen on the crowded streets and took quite a different line to that of Mayhew. Here is their description of the public disinfectors.




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London's PeopleThe Number of Costermongers
Posted by Bill McCann on (607 Reads)
In his London Labour and the London Poor, Henry Mayhew has left us a detailed picture of London street life in the mid nineteenth century. He opens the first volume with a general resume of the classes of people who make their living on the streets of the metropolis. They evaded the census of 1841 so that the official figure of their number was absurdly small. Here Mathew presents the startling results of his own survey of the people selling goods at the various London markets.



Note: The complete text of London Labour and the London Poor can be found on-line as part of the Perseus Project

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London's PeopleLondon Street-Sellers
Posted by Anthony Waldstock on (1087 Reads)
In his London Labour and the London Poor, Henry Mayhew has left us a detailed picture of London street life in the mid nineteenth century. He opens the first volume with a general resume of the classes of people who make their living on the streets of the metropolis. He then goes on to describe the varieties of people in each class. This is how he defined and classified the street sellers.



Note: The complete text of London Labour and the London Poor can be found on-line as part of the Perseus Project

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London's PeopleArthur Conan-Doyle
Posted by Bill McCann on (914 Reads)
Remembered now as the creator of Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle qualified in medicine at Edinburgh, served as ship's doctor on a Greenland Whaler and had an unsuccessful medical practice in Southsea. He turned to writing to fill the hours spent in the consulting rooms that were never visited by patients.


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London's PeopleLondon Ladies
Posted by Bill McCann on (1185 Reads)
Notes and anecdotes about the ladies of London who have not made it into the major history books.


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London's PeopleLondon Gents
Posted by Bill McCann on (1356 Reads)
Notes and anecdotes about the gentlemen of London who have not made it into the major history books.

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London's PeopleMrs Elizabeth Brownrigg
Posted by Anonymous on (452 Reads)
This was a notorious case of physical abuse of servants which eventually led to murder and the scaffold at Tyburn. Parish councils and various charities were, in the eighteenth century, setting out on their crusades of good works. These largely focused on young girls who were either orphaned or otherwise indigent and who could hope for nothing better than a life on the streets. One of the favoured ways of setting these girls up was to apprentice them to a local woman who was employed in Good Works. Mrs Brownrigg was a recognised midwife and was appointed to look after the women in the poorhouse run by the parish of St Dunstan in the West. The trustees sent her three apprentices who lived at her private house and performed the functions of domestic servants as they learned their trade. But they also learned something else....

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London's PeopleSamuel Pepys
Posted by Bill McCann on (2055 Reads)
Samuel Pepys is well known as the 17th century London Diarist who left us with a humourous, dramatic and thoroughly readable chronicle of London in the years 1660 to 1669. But who now remembers that he was largely responsible for turning the Royal Navy into the great institution it was and is or that he spent six weeks as a prisoner in the Tower of London?

Note: For more information about Pepys, his life and his diaries visit the following links:

Pepys
Mr Pepys
Samuel Pepys
Pepys

For further reading try:
Samuel Pepys : A Life
The Shorter Pepys

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