Whitechapel Sources Questions
2a) How useful are these two sources for an enquiry into living conditions in Whitechapel?
2b) How would you follow up Source A?
- What feature would you choose to follow up?
- What question would you ask?
- What source would you use?
- How would that help answer your question?
Rev Andrew Mearns: The Bitter Cry Of Outcast London: An Inquiry into the Condition of the Abject Poor, 1883.
Every room in these rotten and reeking tenements houses a family, often two. In one cellar a sanitary inspector reports finding a father, mother, three children and four pigs! In another room a missionary found a man ill with small-pox, his wife just recovering from her eighth confinement, and the children running about half naked and covered with dirt. Here are seven people living in one underground kitchen and a little dead child lying in the same room. Elsewhere is a poor widow, her three children, and a child who had been dead thirteen days…Where there are beds they are simply heaps of dirty rags, shavings or straw, but for the most part these miserable beings find rest only upon the filthy boards …That people condemned to exist under such conditions take to drink and fall into sin is surely a matter for little surprise…Who can wonder that young girls wander off into a life of immorality, which promises release from such conditions? The vilest practices are looked upon with the most matter-of-fact indifference…Entire courts are filled with thieves, prostitutes and liberated convicts.
Jack London: Queueing for the breakfast service: People of the Abys, 1903