The fact that Phil May is a prophet in his own country should alone clear Englishmen of the suspicion that they are slow to see fun. On an Englishman’s love of fair play and good sport no suspicion has ever rested. It is the most attractive thing about him, and it is only natural that the greatest assortment of good-natured people are to be found at the Derby. I had already met them in May’s drawings, and I was prepared to find the good-nature contagious. Last year a party on a coach opposite the Royal box and a policeman, who looked after that particular part of the course, drank champagne out of the same bottle.
English-speaking people have been introduced to each other by a long line of clever draughtsmen. They have laughed together about the same people in the truest and sweetest-natured way in all the world. Above all others, one hand awakened the interest resulting in people knowing themselves and others better. The beautiful was safe in that gentle hand. Although the heart that guided it no longer beats, the human interest and kindly feeling that it awakened will live forever, and all the world has placed among the foremost men of his day the affectionately remembered name of George Du Maurier.
3 men raising their glasses to toast the Queen
“The old rat-man” and his pets find Brighton too dull in the winter, and come up to London for the season, to mix once more in its streets, where all kinds of horses are driven by as great a variety of men, from the pedler to the powdered-wigged coachman. Cable-cars and trolleys would be sadly out of place in London, and horseless carriages would be a calamity. There should be no need to go faster than a horse can trot, and the best way of all is to walk.
The Water-Gate of London - Tower Bridge from the East Side of the Tower
An East End Wharf
An East End Factory
A Typical Street in Bethnal Green
A Street Row in the East End
The Tower of London
The Bank of “The Pool.” Looking Toward Tower Bridge
London Street, Limehouse
In the Docks
Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Westminster Hall, Crimean and Canning Monuments. Penitentiary, Vauxhall Bridge,Lambeth Suspension Bridge, Lambeth Place, and Bethlehem Hospital in the distance
After an imprisonment of twelve years in the Tower of London, Sir Walter was beheaded.
On the death of Queen Elizabeth, James I. became king and, not favoring Raleigh, at length threw him into prison on a charge of treason. After an imprisonment of twelve years in the Tower of London, Sir Walter was beheaded.
Garret Master, or Cheap Furniture Maker
The Cabinet-makers, socially as well as commercially considered, consist, like all other operatives, of two distinct classes, that is to say, of society and non-society men, or, in the language of political economy, of those whose wages are regulated by custom and those whose earnings are determined by competition. The former class numbers between 600 and 700 of the trade, and the latter between 4000 and 5000
The Street Vocalists are almost as large a body as the street musicians. It will be seen that there are 50 Ethiopian serenaders, and above 250 who live by ballad-singing alone.
The character of Guy Fawkes-day has entirely changed. It seems now to partake rather of the nature of a London May-day. The figures have grown to be of gigantic stature, and whilst clowns, musicians, and dancers have got to accompany them in their travels through the streets, the traitor Fawkes seems to have been almost laid aside, and the festive occasion taken advantage of for the expression of any political feeling, the guy being made to represent any celebrity of the day who has for the moment offended against the opinions of the people. The kitchen-chair has been changed to the costermongers’ donkey-truck, or even vans drawn by pairs of horses. The bonfires and fireworks are seldom indulged in; the money given to the exhibitors being shared among the projectors at night, the same as if the day’s work had been occupied with acrobating
Jack Black - Her Majesty's Rat Catcher
In the sporting world, and among his regular customers, the Queen’s ratcatcher is better known by the name of Jack Black. He enjoys the reputation of being the most fearless handler of rats of any man living, playing with them—as one man expressed it to me—“as if they were so many blind kittens.”
Street Telescope Exhibitor
“It must be about eight years since I first exhibited the telescope. I have three telescopes now, and their powers vary from about 36 to 300. The instruments of the higher power are seldom used in the streets, because the velocity of the planets is so great that they almost escape the eye before it can fix it. The opening is so very small, that though I can pass my eye on a star in a minute, an ordinary observer would have the orb pass away before he could accustom his eye to the instrument. High power is all very well for separating stars, and so forth; but I’m like Dr. Kitchener, I prefer a low power for street purposes. A street-passer likes to see plenty of margin round a star. If it fills up the opening he don’t like it.
Street Performers on Stilts
Street Conjurer Performing
Street Acrobats performing
Rat-Killing at Sporting Public Houses
I thought it necessary, for the full elucidation of my subject, to visit the well-known public-house in London, where, on a certain night in the week, a pit is built up, and regular rat-killing matches take place, and where those who have sporting dogs, and are anxious to test their qualities, can, after such matches are finished, purchase half a dozen or a dozen rats for them to practise upon, and judge for themselves of their dogs’ “performances.”
Photographic Saloon, East end of London
The well-known Hurdy-Gurdy player
One of the most deserving and peculiar of the street musicians was an old lady who played upon a hurdy-gurdy. She had been about the streets of London for upwards of forty years, and being blind, had had during that period four guides, and worn out three instruments. Her cheerfulness, considering her privation and precarious mode of life, was extraordinary. Her love of truth, and the extreme simplicity of her nature, were almost childlike. Like the generality of blind people, she had a deep sense of religion, and her charity for a woman in her station of life was something marvellous; for, though living on alms, she herself had, I was told, two or three little pensioners.
A view of Petticoat Lane
Immediately connected with the trade of the central mart for old clothes are the adjoining streets of Petticoat-lane, and those of the not very distant Rosemary-lane. In these localities is a second-hand garment-seller at almost every step, but the whole stock of these traders, decent, frowsy, half-rotten, or smart and good habiliments, has first passed through the channel of the Exchange. The men who sell these goods have all bought them at the Exchange—the exceptions being insignificant—so that this street-sale is but an extension of the trade of the central mart, with the addition that the wares have been made ready for use.
A view in Rosemary Lane
This lane partakes of some of the characteristics of Petticoat-lane, but without its so strongly marked peculiarities. Rosemary-lane is wider and airier, the houses on each side are loftier (in several parts), and there is an approach to a gin palace, a thing unknown in Petticoat-lane: there is no room for such a structure there.
Flushing the Sewers
The next step in our inquiry—and that which at present concerns us more than any other—is the mode of removing the solid deposits from the sewers, as well as the condition of the workmen connected with that particular branch of labour. The sewers are the means by which a larger proportion of the wet refuse of the metropolis is removed from our houses, and we have now to consider the means by which the more solid part of this refuse is removed from the sewers themselves. The latter operation is quite as essential to health and cleanliness as the former; for to allow the filth to collect in the channels which are intended to remove it, and there to remain decomposing and vitiating the atmosphere of the metropolis, is manifestly as bad as not to remove it at all; and since the more solid portions of the sewage will collect and form hard deposits at the bottom of each duct, it becomes necessary that some means should be devised for the periodical purgation of the sewers themselves.
The Old-Clothes Man
Fifty years ago the appearance of the street-Jews, engaged in the purchase of second-hand clothes, was different to what it is at the present time. The Jew then had far more of the distinctive garb and aspect of a foreigner. He not unfrequently wore the gabardine, which is never seen now in the streets, but some of the long loose frock coats worn by the Jew clothes’ buyers resemble it. At that period, too, the Jew’s long beard was far more distinctive than it is in this hirsute generation.
In other respects the street-Jew is unchanged. Now, as during the last century, he traverses every street, square, and road, with the monotonous cry, sometimes like a bleat, of “Clo’! Clo’!”
The Mud Lark
There is another class who may be termed river-finders, although their occupation is connected only with the shore; they are commonly known by the name of “mud-larks,” from being compelled, in order to obtain the articles they seek, to wade sometimes up to their middle through the mud left on the shore by the retiring tide.
Among the mud-larks may be seen many old women, and it is indeed pitiable to behold them, especially during the winter, bent nearly double with age and infirmity, paddling and groping among the wet mud for small pieces of coal, chips of wood, or any sort of refuse washed up by the tide.
The Milkmaids Garland
The London Sweep
Or, to check the estimate another way, there are 350 master sweepers throughout London. A master sweeper in a “large way of business” collects, I am informed, one day with another, from 30 to 40 bushels of soot; on the other hand, a small master, or “single-handed” chimney-sweeper is able to gather only about 5 bushels, and scarcely that. One master sweeper said that about 10 bushels a day would, he thought, be a fair average quantity for all the masters, reckoning one day with another; so that at this rate we should have 1,095,500 bushels for the gross quantity of soot annually collected throughout the metropolis.
The London Scavenger
These men, for by far the great majority are men, may be divided, according to the nature of their occupations, into three classes:—
1. The bone-grubbers and rag-gatherers, who are, indeed, the same individuals, the pure-finders, and the cigar-end and old wood collectors.
2. The dredgermen, the mud-larks, and the sewer-hunters.
3. The dustmen and nightmen, the sweeps and the scavengers.
The London Dustman
Were the collection of mud and dust carried on by a number of distinct individuals—that is to say, were each individual dustman and scavenger to collect on his own account, there is no doubt that no one man could amass a fortune by such means—while if the collection of bones and rags and even dogs’-dung were carried on “in the large way,” that is to say, by a number of individual collectors working for one “head man,” even the picking up of the most abject refuse of the metropolis might become the source of great riches.
The Irish Crossing Sweeper
his man, a native of “County Corruk,” has been in England only two years and a half. He wears a close-fitting black cloth cap over a shock of reddish hair; round his neck he has a coloured cotton kerchief, of the sort advertised as “Imitation Silk.” His black coat is much torn, and his broom is at present remarkably stumpy. He waits quietly at the post opposite St. ——’s Church, to receive whatever is offered him. He is unassuming enough in his manner, and, as will be seen, not even bearing any malice against his two enemies, “The Swatestuff Man” and “The Switzer.”
The Crossing sweeper that has been a maid servant
She is to be found any day between eight in the morning and seven in the evening, sweeping away in a convulsive, jerky sort of manner, close to —— square, near the Foundling. She may be known by her pinched-up straw bonnet, with a broad, faded, almost colourless ribbon. She has weak eyes, and wears over them a brownish shade. Her face is tied up, because of a gathering which she has on her head. She wears a small, old plaid cloak, a clean checked apron, and a tidy printed gown.
The Crippled Street Bird Seller
The Boy Crossing Sweepers
The Bone Grubber
The Bone Grubbers go abroad daily to find in the streets, and carry away with them such things as bones, rags, “pure” (or dogs’-dung), which no one appropriates. These they sell, and on that sale support a wretched life.
The Bearded Crossing sweeper at the Exchange
That portion of the London street-folk who earn a scanty living by sweeping crossings constitute a large class of the Metropolitan poor. We can scarcely walk along a street of any extent, or pass through a square of the least pretensions to “gentility,” without meeting one or more of these private scavengers. Crossing-sweeping seems to be one of those occupations which are resorted to as an excuse for begging; and, indeed, as many expressed it to me, “it was the last chance left of obtaining an honest crust.”
The advantages of crossing-sweeping as a means of livelihood seem to be:
1st, the smallness of the capital required in order to commence the business;
2ndly, the excuse the apparent occupation it affords for soliciting gratuities without being considered in the light of a street-beggar;
And 3rdly, the benefits arising from being constantly seen in the same place, and thus exciting the sympathy of the neighbouring householders, till small weekly allowances or “pensions” are obtained.
The Able-Bodied Pauper street sweeper
It seems indeed, from all I could learn on the subject, that pauper street-work, even at the best, is unwilling and slovenly work, pauper workmen being the worst of all workmen. If the streets be swept clean, it is because a dozen paupers are put to the labour of eight, nine, or ten regular scavagers who are independent labourers, and who may have some “pride of art,” or some desire to show their employers that they are to be depended upon. This feeling does not actuate the pauper workman, who thinks or knows that if he did evince a desire and a perseverance to please, it would avail him little beyond the sneers and ill-will of his mates; so that, even with a disposition to acquire the good opinion of the authorities, there is this obstacle in his way, and to most men who move in a circumscribed sphere it is a serious obstacle.
Street Seller of Birds Nests
“I am a seller of birds’-nesties, snakes, slow-worms, adders, ‘effets’—lizards is their common name—hedgehogs (for killing black beetles); frogs (for the French—they eats ’em); snails (for birds); that’s all I sell in the summer-time.
The “Street Orderlies.”—These men present another distinct body. They are not merely in the employment, but many of them are under the care, of the National Philanthropic Association, which was founded by, and is now under the presidency of, Mr. Cochrane. The objects of this society, as far as regards the street orderlies’ existence as a class of scavengers, are sufficiently indicated in its title, which declares it to be “For the Promotion of Street Cleanliness and the Employment of the Poor; so that able-bodied men may be prevented from burthening the parish rates, and preserved independent of workhouse alms and degradation. Supported by the contributions of the benevolent.”
One of the few remaining climbing sweeps
Means of Cleaning Cesspools by pump and hose
Nightmen, or those who remove the contents of the cesspools.
View of a Dust Yard
A dust-heap, therefore, may be briefly said to be composed of the following things, which are severally applied to the following uses:—
1. “Soil,” or fine dust, sold to brickmakers for making bricks, and to farmers for manure, especially for clover.
2. “Brieze,” or cinders, sold to brickmakers, for burning bricks.
3. Rags, bones, and old metal, sold to marine-store dealers.
4. Old tin and iron vessels, sold for “clamps” to trunks, &c., and for making copperas.
5. Old bricks and oyster shells, sold to builders, for sinking foundations, and forming roads.
6. Old boots and shoes, sold to Prussian-blue manufacturers.
7. Money and jewellery, kept, or sold to Jews.
The Street Dog Seller
The live animals sold in the streets include beasts, birds, fish, and reptiles, all sold in the streets of London.
The Rubbish Carter
Technologically there are several varieties of “rubbish,” or rather “dirt,” for such appears to be the generic term, of which “rubbish” is strictly a species. Dirt, according to the understanding among the rubbish-carters, would seem to consist of any solid earthy matter, which is of an useless or refuse character. This dirt the trade divides into two distinct kinds, viz.:—
1. “Soft dirt,” or refuse clay (of which “dry dirt,” or refuse soil or mould, is a variety).
2. “Hard-dirt,” or “hard-core,” consisting of the refuse bricks, chimney-pots, slates, &c., when a house is pulled down, as well as the broken bottles, pans, pots, or crocks, and oyster-shells, &c., which form part of the contents of the dustman’s cart.
The Rat catchers of the Sewers
The live animals sold in the streets include beasts, birds, fish, and reptiles, all sold in the streets of London.
The One-legged sweeper at Chancery Lane
The Groundsel Man
“Chick-weed and Grun-sell!”
Fourteen or fifteen years ago, although seeds, generally, were fifteen to twenty per cent. dearer than they are now, there was twice the demand for them. An average price of good mignonette seed, he said, was now 1s. the quarter of a pound, and it was then 1s. 2d. to 1s. 6d. The shilling’s worth, is made, by the street-seller, into twenty or twenty-four pennyworths. An average price of parsley, and of the cheaper seeds, is less than half that of mignonette. Other seeds, again, are not sold to the street-people by the weight, but are made up in sixpenny and shilling packages. Their extreme lightness prevents their being weighed to a customer. Of this class are, the African marigold, the senecios (groundsel), and the china-aster; but of these compound flowers, the street-traders sell very few.
The life of the coster-girls is as severe as that of the boys. Between four and five in the morning they have to leave home for the markets, and sell in the streets until about nine. Those that have more kindly parents, return then to breakfast, but many are obliged to earn the morning’s meal for themselves. After breakfast, they generally remain in the streets until about ten o’clock at night; many having nothing during all that time but one meal of bread and butter and coffee, to enable them to support the fatigue of walking from street to street with the heavy basket on their heads. In the course of a day, some girls eat as much as a pound of bread, and very seldom get any meat, unless it be on a Sunday.
The Coster Boy and Girl Tossing the pieman
The itinerant trade in pies is one of the most ancient of the street callings of London. The meat pies are made of beef or mutton; the fish pies of eels; the fruit of apples, currants, gooseberries, plums, damsons, cherries, raspberries, or rhubarb, according to the season—and occasionally of mince-meat. A few years ago the street pie-trade was very profitable, but it has been almost destroyed by the “pie-shops,” and further, the few remaining street-dealers say “the people now haven’t the pennies to spare.” Summer fairs and races are the best places for the piemen.
To “toss the pieman” is a favourite pastime with costermongers boys and all that class; some of whom aspire to the repute of being gourmands, and are critical on the quality of the comestible. If the pieman win the toss, he receives 1d. without giving a pie; if he lose, he hands it over for nothing.
The Blind Boot-Lace Seller
The Baked Potato Man
“Baked ’taturs! All ’ot, all ’ot!”
The baked potato trade, in the way it is at present carried on, has not been known more than fifteen years in the streets. Before that, potatoes were sometimes roasted as chestnuts are now, but only on a small scale. The trade is more profitable than that in fruit, but continues for but six months of the year.
The Wallflower Girl
For the flowers of commoner or easier culture, the root-seller receives from 1d. to 3d. These are primroses, polyanthuses, cowslips (but in small quantities comparatively), daisies (single and double,—and single or wild, daisies were coming to be more asked for, each 1d.), small early wallflowers, candy-tufts, southernwood (called “lad’s love” or “old man” by some), and daffodils, (but daffodils were sometimes dearer than 3d.).
The Street Stationer
These street-sellers are a numerous body, and the majority of them show a greater degree of industry and energy than is common to many classes of street-folk. They have been for the most part connected with the paper, newspaper, or publishing trade, and some of them have “known better days.”