Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Districts of London

The Popular Guide to London and Its Suburbs, 1862, gives a nice summary of who lived and worked in different districts of London:
The purely manufacturing parts of London lie between the city and the suburbs—a sort of debateable land that is neither city nor suburb. Clerkenwell—the district between Smithneld and Pentonville on the south and north, and Gray's-inn-lane and Goswell-street on the west and east—is the chief seat of the watchmaking and jewellery trades; Spitalfields and Bethnal-green, between Bishopsgate-street and Victoria-park, are the long-established homes of the silk and velvet weavers ; most of the cabinetmakers and carvers are located about St. Luke's, Old Street-road, and Aldersgate-street; the ironfounders and anchor smiths, together with the shipwrights, riggers, and boiler-makers, are to be found in Blackwall, Poplar, Millwall, and the Isle of Dogs, in the extreme east of the town; the sugar bakers and refiners, most of them, carry on their business in the neighbourhoods of Whitechapel and Commercial-road; the tanners, parchment makers, and skin dressers reside in Bermondsey ; the potters and glass makers live in Lambeth; the tailors principally about Golden-square and Burlington-Gardens; the working boot and shoemakers in and about Shoreditch, and also in the courts and narrow streets near Drury-lane ; the producers of plaster casts aud images in Leather-lane, Holborn, and the surrounding courts ; the hatters principally in Southwark ; the paper-makers chiefly in Surrey, on the banks of the Wandle ; the chemical manufacturers at Stratford, on the banks of the Lea; the carriage builders in and about Long-acre ; the boat builders at Lambeth and Chelsea; the toymakers and doll-dressers at Hoxton, and the brewers everywhere. Of the non-manufacturing classes: authors, journalists, publishers, &c., mostly incline to St. John's-wood ; artists and engravers to Kensington and Camden-town ; musicians, singers, actors, and dancers to Brompton; physicians and surgeons to Savile-row, Brook-street, and Finsbury; lawyers to Bedford-row, Guildford-street, and the neighbourhood of the "Inns of Court;" printers to Fleet-street and the Strand; medical students to Lant-street, Southwark ; costermongers to Whitechapel, the New Cut, Lambeth, and Somers-town; members of Parliament to Westminster; and diplomatists abound in Belgravia ; "city men," such as stockbrokers, merchants, and commercial agents, affect Tyburnia, Bayswater, Haverstock-hill, Brixton, and Clapham; commercial clerks seem fond of Islington, Highgate, and Kingsland ; bill discounters favour the Adelphi and the streets running from the Strand to the river; professional thieves throng the small streets between Walworth and the Old Kent-road; and "pretty horsebreakers" have taken up their abodes in large numbers in the rural parts of Lower Brompton and the nice houses between Sloane-street and the International Exhibition at South Kensington.


  1. An interesting analysis of the "occupations map" of London if accurate. I think the grouping of jewellers and watchmakers around Clerkenwell came about during the Huguenot immigration. So that when the Huguenots deliberately faded into the general culture, the manufacture of timepieces still continued there. The Smith & Sons clock at Angel was made there.

    Similarly, I believe that the turning of Bishopsgate into an area of cloth-making came about, first, by Huguenot cloth makers settling there and later, immigrants from the Low Countries following the same trade.

    I must say that I like the sound of "pretty horsebreakers", though I am not sure whether it is the horsebreakers or the horses who were pretty.

  2. Where would I find out some information about The Lion Public house 1 mosedale street Camberwell 1890


  3. Unlikely to be anything about a pub in general, but start with the local history library for the area (Lambeth?)
    and talk to them. Pubs often get mentioned in press reports, due to fights etc. ... search the Times online archive, British Library 19th C. newspapers archive, if you can get access via a library. Check out whether any local papers available at Lambeth or at British Newspaper Library. Likewise, Lambeth Archives might have a photo, although that would be lucky.