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Old September 25th, 2013, 09:34 AM   #1
Edward Stow
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Default Degrees of London Poverty 1888-1889

This interesting map as produced in 1900. It divides London into districts each with of roughly 30,000 inhabitants and then shows the degree of poverty as a percentage of the population in each district.
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Old September 25th, 2013, 09:37 AM   #2
Edward Stow
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To contradict some commonplace misconceptions it should be immediately apparent that the East End was by no means the worst area of London - the South bank was.
Also the worst part of the East End wasn't the 'murder district' - it was western Bethnal Green.
The map came with a table and I will reproduce some figures to back up the map's claims.

I am not certain but I think the figures were taken from Booth.
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Old September 25th, 2013, 09:42 AM   #3
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Here's a close up of the East End
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Old September 25th, 2013, 11:20 AM   #4
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The districts with the highest percentages of poverty were:

1. 86 - 67.9% - Southwark
2. 127 - 65.2% - Greenwich Riverside
3. 41 – 60.9% - Finsbury
4. 56 – 58.7% - Bethnal Green West
5. 88 - 56.1% - London Bridge
6. 45 – 55.2% - Caledonian Road
7. 89 - 55.0% - Bermondsey
8. 82 - 51.5% - Bow Common
9. 92 - 49.9% - Rotherhithe
10. 74 - 49.4% - Wapping

The bold ones are in the East End.
I have given the districts names to help locate them.

None of the murders took place in any of these districts and none of the victims lived in them either, at least at the time they died.

There were 134 districts which gives a population for London of roughly 4,020,000
In 21 districts over 45% of the people were in poverty, which is 15.7% of the districts.

For the purposes of this I will define the East End as the current borough of Tower Hamlets – the old boroughs of Bethnal Green, Stepney and Poplar, almost exactly covered by the still older Metropolitan Board of Works Districts of Whitechapel, Limehouse, Poplar, St George in the East, Mile End Old Town and Bethnal Green (excluding Shoreditch and Hackney which became part of the London Borough of Hackney).
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Old September 25th, 2013, 11:40 AM   #5
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Of the 20 worst districts just 5 were in the East End.

There were 14 other districts wholly in the East End and 2 partially as there was an overlap with what is now Hackney (there was one other with a couple of houses in Tower Hamlets which I will exclude)
That makes 21 East End disticts – as follows – with their populations

56 – 58.7% - 28,701 – Bethnal Green West
57 – 44.2% - 27,003 – Bethnal Green South
58 – 40.1% - 30,490 – Bethnal Green East
59 - 37.6% - 29,628 – Bethnal Green North
60 (part) – 36.9% - 29,357 - Haggerston
61 (part) – 39.9% - 31,817 - Shoreditch
71 – 32.5% - 33,560 – Spitalfields and Goodman’s Fields
72 - 49.1% - 33,973 - Whitechapel
73 - 46.5% - 34,989 - St George in the East West
74 - 49.4% - 28,999 - Wapping
75 – 26.0% - 28,606 – Ratcliff
76 – 24.6% - 31,385 - St George in the East East
77 – 31.3% - 29,442 - Stepney
78 – 30.9% - 31,381 – Burdett Road
79 – 32.7% - 25,856 - Limehouse
80 – 43.2% - 26,778 – Isle of Dogs
81 – 32.9% - 32,570 - Poplar
82 - 51.5% - 30,145 – Bow Common
83 – 37.3% - 31,596 - Bromley
84 – 21.0% - 28,737 – Mile End and Bow Road
85 – 28.0% - 31,856 – Old Ford

Again I have given them names to help identify where they are
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Old September 25th, 2013, 12:40 PM   #6
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The map also gives figures for overcrowded expressed as persons to an acre.
It is however not a very reliable indicator of poverty.
Three of the top ten most overcrowded districts don’t feature in the top twenty districts for poverty.
Here are the top ten overcrowded districts, with the number of people per acre given before the district name that I gave them:

1. - 73 - 46.5% - 34,989 – 352 – St George in the East West
2. - 26 – 28.3% - 30,932 – 307 - Marylebone
3. - 42 – 47.3% - 34,266 – 297 – Farringdon Road
4. - 114 – 36.7% - 34,118 – 280 - Walworth
5. - 72 - 49.1% - 33,973 – 279 - Whitechapel
6. - 56 – 58.7% - 28,701 – 276 – Bethnal Green West
7. - 3 – 42.4% - 32,148 – 264 - Soho
8. - 71 – 32.5% - 33,560 – 256 – Spitalfields and Goodman’s Fields
9. - 45 – 55.2% - 28,875 – 239 - Rotherhithe
10. - 63 – 48.4% - 30,510 – 253 - Hoxton

Some of the worst areas for poverty did not appear by this measure to be so badly overcrowded.
This is because, for example Southwark (at 188 per acre) included commercial areas with wharehousing, and Greenwich Riverside (only 98 per acre) included docks, wharves and the Naval Hospital.

We have four East End Districts represented in the overcrowding top ten.
Bethnal Green West was the 6th most overcrowded and the 4th worst for poverty.
(Rotherhithe was the only other district to feature in both top tens – at 9th for both overcrowding and poverty

The three other East End districts on the overcrowding table are where all the murders took pace and where the victims lived.
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Old September 25th, 2013, 01:38 PM   #7
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Let’s look more closely at those three East End Districts.

District 73 – St George in the East West
Percentage in Poverty - 46.5%
Population - 34,989
Persons per acre – 352

The most densely populated district in London and the sixteenth worst in terms of poverty.
This division was split into two sub divisions.
a. Was bordered by Whitechapel Road to the north, Commercial Road to the south (both meeting at Gardiner’s Corner) and New Road to the east.
b. Was bordered by Commercial Road in the north, The Highway (St George’s High Street) to the south, roughly the line of Backchurch Lane to the west and Cannon Street Road the east.
In this sub division Elizabeth Stride was killed and the Pinchin Street torso was found.

District 72 – Whitechapel
Percentage in Poverty - 49.1%
Population - 33,973
Persons per acre – 279

The fifth most densely populated district in London and the eleventh worst in terms of poverty (so only just outside the top ten).
The boundary was Whitechapel Road to the south, Commercial Street to in the west and pretty much the border of Whitechapel Metropolitan District to the north and east.
Within this district Emma Smith, Martha Tabram, Polly Nichols and Annie Chapman were killed and all the lodging houses around Thrawl Street and Flower and Dean Street were located.

District 71 - Spitalfields and Goodman’s Fields
Percentage in Poverty – 32.5%
Population - 33,560
Persons per acre – 256

The eighth most densely populated but only 58th out of the 134 districts in terms of poverty. Very mid table despite the large number of Common Lodging Houses in the area.
This was an awkward shaped district split into three sub divisions.
a. Was bordered by the City to the west, East Smithfield to the south, Leman Street and Dock Street to the east and Commercial Road and Whitechapel High Street to the north.
In this sub division Frances Coles was murdered.
b. Was bordered by Leman Street and Dock Street to the west, the Highway to the south, roughly Backchurch Lane to the east and Commercial Road to the north.
c. Was bordered by Whitechapel High Street to the south, the City to the west, Commercial Street to the east and the boundary with Shoreditch to the north.
Within this sub district Mary Kelly and Alice Mackenzie were killed and the apron was deposited. There were also a large number of lodging houses in this sub district including the Victoria Home and obviously Dorset Street – the alleged worst street in London.
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Old September 25th, 2013, 03:55 PM   #8
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Actually I made an error - the data used for the map dates from 1888-89 so it is even more relevant to this case.
And I believe it was published in 1891 - and was definitely based on Booth's data.
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Old September 25th, 2013, 08:38 PM   #9
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Nice work, Ed !
Thank you for the data....
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Old September 26th, 2013, 06:59 AM   #10
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I don't get this.

I know the Booth reports and maps.

What was the measure of 'poverty' back then?

These days it's whether you own a 32 inch TV or not.
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