Midnight Visits to the Casual Wards of London (1866)
In January 1866, shortly after the sensation caused by James Greenwood's undercover exposé of conditions in the Lambeth workhouse casual ward, The Observer newspaper (a weekly title published on Sundays) conducted a series of unannounced midnight visits to other London casual wards. These were conducted by journalists from the paper, who were open about who they were and only entered each workhouse with the consent of its master.
The reports of these visits were published over five successive editions of the paper as listed below:
- No.1 — St Pancras
- No.2 — Strand and St Marylebone
- No.3 — St George's Hanover Square; St Martin's-in-the-Fields; St James's, Westminster
- No.4 — West London, Holborn, St Giles's and Clerkenwell
- No.5 — Whitechapel, Mile End and Poplar
The planned sixth instalment, on the City of London Union and Stepney's Old Ratcliff workhouses appears not to have materialised.
Unless otherwise indicated, this page () is copyright Peter Higginbotham. Contents may not be reproduced without permission.