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




This is a London particular ...A fog, miss

-- Charles Dickens, Bleak House, 1853



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London's First Drinking Fountain
Posted by Bill McCann on (1095 Reads)
London's first public drinking-fountain was erected in 1859 in the wall of St. Sepulchre's church close to Newgate. It was donated by the MP Samuel Gurney who barely ten days before had been instrumental in founding the Metropolitan Free Drinking Fountain Association. Behind the initiative lay the appalling state of London's water supplies, the terrible cholera epidemics of 1849 and 1854 and "every pestilential exhalation resulting from putrefaction" that permeated the lives of the people in the poorer areas of the metropolis.



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London's Utilities in 1853 IV: The Telegraph
Posted by Bill McCann on (396 Reads)
The final instalment from the article in "The Leisure Hour - A Family Journal of Instruction and Recreation" which appeared in issue number 80 on Thursday July 7 1853 under the heading of "Subterranean London" deals with that "most marvellous triumph" of the early Victorian Age the Telegraph. The piece is arguably one of the first public records of the great spirit of popular enterprise which engulfed the last fifty of Victoria's reign and gave us the Industrial Revolution and the British Empire. Our author surprised us by concluding with a question which is daily and despairingly - echoed by the Londoners of the 21st century!



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London's Utilities in 1853 III: The Gas Supply
Posted by Bill McCann on (343 Reads)
The third instalment from the article in "The Leisure Hour - A Family Journal of Instruction and Recreation" which appeared in issue number 80 on Thursday July 7 1853 under the heading of "Subterranean London" deals with Victorian London's gas supply. First viewed as " one of the greatest absurdities of the imagination" the advantages of gas lighting were quick to make themselves felt on both the physical and moral character of the metropolis.



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London's Utilities in 1853 II: The Water Supply
Posted by Bill McCann on (982 Reads)
The second instalment from the article in "The Leisure Hour - A Family Journal of Instruction and Recreation" which appeared in issue number 80 on Thursday July 7 1853 under the heading of "Subterranean London" deals with London's supplies of drinking water. It begins with a compact history of the attempts to ensure a regular supply of clean drinking water before giving a detailed picture of the situation in the mid nineteenth century. It is not a pleasant picture to contemplate.



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London's Utilities in 1853 I: The Sewers
Posted by Bill McCann on (655 Reads)
By the first half of the 19th century the cesspools which lay beneath the private and public properties of London had been replaced by a series of sewers. These carried the human waste of the rapidly expanding population under the streets to be directly discharged into the Thames. By 1840, Thomas Cubitt cold write that "the Thames is now made a great cesspool instead of each person having one of his own." But London also drew much of its drinking water from the Thames and the consequences were three major cholera epidemics in 1831-2, 1884-9 and 1852-3 which killed more than 31,000 people between them. Still, the system of sewers was highly praised in an article in "The Leisure Hour - A Family Journal of Instruction and Recreation" which appeared in issue number 80 on Thursday July 7 1853 under the heading of "Subterranean London".



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