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LETTER FROM MR TAYLOR, ASSISTANT RETURNING
OFFICER OF THE WHITECHAPEL UNION, TO DR SOUTHWOOD SMITH; written at the request of the latter, for Lord Ashley's use, after their personal inspection of Bethnal Green and Whitechapel.
289 BETHNAL GREEN ROAD, Feb. 5, 1842.
MY DEAR DOCTOR,-Lord Ashley, the Honble. Mr Ashley, and yourself visited the following places with
I have arranged them in the form of a table: in one column is the name of the street, and, opposite, a brief notice of its condition, with an occasional remark by which his Lordship may recognise it.
Apologising for the length of time that has elapsed since I promised to forward this account to you, I remain, dear Doctor, Your Obednt. Servt.,
A wretched road, no drainage. Hon. Mr
Ashley spoke to one of the inhabi
tants respecting the state of the road. Burnham Square.
Houses built on undrained ground. Grosvenor Street.
Undrained houses on one side not supBonner Street.
plied with water (all the houses on this estate, to the amount of about 200 or more, in the same condition, the inhabitants having to go to a distant pump or beg of their neighbours, who have had it laid on at their own expense, and who for giving it are liable to punishment). Bonner Street has an open ditch in
front of part of it. Pleasant Place.
Road a perfect quagmire. Green Street.
Stagnant water on southern side and
also on part of the northern. Baker Street,
Houses back to back, consisting of two Digby Street
rooms, each one above the other. Privies close to windows of lower
Baker's night-yard is in this
street. James Street.
Another night-yard. Bethnal Green Road No drainage, many of the houses having (eastern end).
10 inches to 2 feet of water in the cellars, which are from 3 feet to feet 8 inches only below the level of the
road. Sanderson's Gardens. Houses on each side below the level of
the pathway, which has a gutter in the middle. (Lord Ashley spoke to
one of the inhabitants of this place.) Pitt Street, Bethnal A
street with only surface Green Road.
drainage. (Fever was very prevalent here.)
Cambden Gardens. Houses built on the soil, many of them
not being larger than an 8-feet cube,
are inhabited. Lamb's Fields.
An acre at least of complete marsh and
three open ditches—one on the north, another in the middle, and the third to the eastern side close to the backs
of the houses in North Street. London Street.
Undrained. Rupia Lane.
Two open ditches. Ann's Place.
Open sewer in front of some of the
houses. Houses at the back of The open sewer from Ann's Place passes Ann's Place.
beneath one of the houses and then is again open to the houses at the back, but is boarded in so that Lord Ashley had to mount a boundary stone to ob
tain the view of it. A group of streets to the All the houses stained with damp to a
north of Slacky Road. height varying from 1 to 2 or more feet. Warmer Place.
An open sewer in front of the houses
giving off bubbles of gas very freely. Wellington Pond. A large piece of water into which the
above sewer drains — gives off constantly innumerable bubbles of gas, and the stench is sometimes abominable. Persons who have accidentally fallen into it, though taken out im
mediately, have all died. A thoroughfare leading The lucifer match manufactory faces
from bottom of Pol- this road, into which we all went. lards Row to Welling- An open ditch in the most filthy conton Row.
dition. Squirries Street.
Green stagnant water on each side. Wellington Row.
Lower rooms all damp. An open ditch
in front. Western end soft mud, into which the wheels of a waggon sank 14 or 15 inches as it passed.