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Rookeries of London

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By: (1815-1864)

Rev. Thomas Beames was a preacher at St. James, Westminster in London. He compiled his own eye-witness accounts of the most notorious of the slum areas, the Rookeries. In this essay, he passionately discusses the effects of poverty and the mistreatment of the poor and working classes. Much of what he says is still valid today; for example, in discussing over-population and emigration, he mentions the mis-use of land in Britain: "... large tracts of land, such as in Derbyshire, seem only valuable as grouse preserves. Such as in Scotland are parcelled out in deer forests, and the like . When the population is so superabundant, these things should not be ; it savours too much of feudal times, and in the neighbourhood of these hunting grounds, game laws are rigidly enforced ..." The author has added an interesting postscript about the effects of the Great Fire of London.

Note: Section 7 of the recording consists only of some tables of data with regard to the use of public baths and laundries.

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