- Thu Jul 10, 2008 10:50 am #43396
Noticed this two-page spread in the Mail today:
Said slum was the Old Nichol. But the headline's basically bullshit because the article barely touches on the difference in crime levels. This is what the article says on the matter:It was the worst slum in Victorian Britain. Yet its crime-ridden streets were SAFER than today's
In 1887, five out of every six infants to die in Bethnal Green homes where the whole family shared a bed were found to have suffocated.
Coroners attributed most of these deaths to 'overlaying', during which a sleeping parent or sibling rolled onto the infant and accidentally smothered it.
Others, however, suspected that many were intentionally suffocated, by desperate mothers with too many mouths to feed.
Sounds great.Many believed sexual abuse was uncommon, but Beatrice Webb, one of the founders of the LSE, wrote: 'To put it bluntly, sexual promiscuity and even sexual perversion - the violation of little children - are almost unavoidable among men and women of average character and intelligence crowded into the one-room tenements of slum areas.'
So we have a 'perhaps' and an unreliable statistic. And that's it. I'm still happy to be living in the present day, to be honest.Mugging was commonplace in the Old Nichol - although perhaps no more so than in London today.
The magistrate Montagu Williams, for example, warned a victim: 'It is as certain as the day is long that if you go out to get drunk, and have money in your pocket, you will, in this neighbourhood, get robbed.'
More violent crimes, however, were rare. According to the Old Bailey archives, between 1885 and 1895 only one murder occurred within the Old Nichol, when a middle-aged shoemaker stabbed his wife to death.
Domestic violence was commonplace, but it stopped short of murder.