82/107
Home / Keyword England /

The Bearded Crossing sweeper at the Exchange

The Bearded Crossing sweeper at the Exchange.jpg The Bone GrubberThumbnailsThe Able-Bodied Pauper street sweeperThe Bone GrubberThumbnailsThe Able-Bodied Pauper street sweeper

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.

Author
London Labour and the London Poor by Henry Mayhew - Published 1851 - Available from books.google.com
Albums
Visits
543