Victorian London - Publications - Social Investigation/Journalism - Ragged London in 1861, by John Hollingshead, 1861 - |Appendix - The East End Incumbent on London Poor Rates

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[-294-]

THE EAST END INCUMBENT ON LONDON POOR RATES

    This is an abridgement of the Rev. G. H. McGill's forcible pamphlet upon London Poor Rates, published in 1858. With a few alterations it might have been published in 1861. The evil it was written against has grown rather than diminished.  
    It has been carefully computed by those well able to form a correct opinion, that the total number of indoor poor in the Metropolitan Unions, amounts to, on an average given day, about 27,000; on the 1st of January, 1858, it was 30,098: and this number, multiplied by 3, will give the total number of indoor poor in one year, thus, 27,000 x 3 = 81,000. The total number of outdoor poor, on a given day, is about 72,000; on the 1st of January, 1858, it was 73,000. This number, multiplied by 3 1/2, will give the total number of outdoor poor receiving relief in the course of a year, 72,000 x 3 1/2 = 252,000. Add to this the 81,000 indoor, and we have an annual aggregate of recipients of poor-law relief amounting to the enormous number of 324,000.  
    The cost of this vast multitude amounts, on the average, to about 750,000l. annually. And, if the rates were equally spread over the real property of the metropolis, it would not be a very heavy burden to bear. The total property tax value of the metropolitan districts is nearly 14,000,000l. a year. If this enormous rental were equally burdened with the poor rate, it would amount to little more than one shilling in the pound per annum. But the grievance is, that it is [-295-] not equally burdened. A few examples will prove the case better than a thousand arguments. A few facts will substantiate the injustice of the present distribution of the poor rate better than whole pages of declamation.  
    The parish of St. Nicholas, Deptford, paid in the year 1857 (omitting fractions) 10s. in the pound poor rate. St. Nicholas, Olave, in the City, paid 8s. in the pound. St. Ann, Blackfriars, paid 6s. St. Mary Mounthaw, 5s. 6d. Shadwell, 4s. 6d. St. George's-in-the-East, 3s. 9d., Whitechapel, Bethnal Green, Shoreditch, Ratcliff, St. George's, Southwark, St. Saviour's, Bermondsey, Rotherhithe, Woolwich, Fulham, and some others, over 3s. in the pound; while, on the other hand, the rich parishes of St. George's, Hanover-square, paid about 7d. in the pound; Paddington about 4d. in the pound; St. James's, Westminster, about 10d. And it is worthy of remark, that the assessments are generally much higher in the poor parishes than in the wealthy ones. Many of the former are rated at the full value, while many of the latter do not exceed three-fifths of the property tax valuation. This increases the disproportion very materially.  
    The following Table will show, at a glance, that the inequality of the poor rate is not confined to a few isolated parishes, districts, or unions in the metropolis, but that about one-fourth of the whole is grievously oppressed with pauperism; while another fourth is almost entirely exempted from contributing towards the support of the poor. The remaining half, not included in the following Tables, will not be much affected by a general equalization of the rates over the [-296-] whole metropolis, except so far that they will benefit by the general contentment among the poor which such an equalization would inevitably produce.

Rich Unions.

 

Property Value

Poor Rate, 1856*

Indoor Poor, Dec. 25, 1857

Outdoor Poor, Dec. 25, 1857

Total

 

 

 

 

St. George's, Hanover sq

1,097,580

21,315

587

abt. 861

1,448

Paddington

534,763

11,823

287

608

895

St.James's, Westminster

494,660

18,620

786

610

1,396

City of London Union

953,357

51,754

896

abt. 1800

2,696

 

 

 

 

 

 

Totals

3,080,360

103,512

2,556

3,879

6,435

[*The Parliamentary Returns for 1857, as yet published, do not give in these unions the exact amount spent in the maintenance of the poor; it is on this account that the Returns for 1856 are of necessity made use of. The probable expenditure for St. George's, Hanover-square, in 1857 was about 23,000l., for Paddington 13,000l., and St. James's 20,000l. All have increased a little, but the increase has been, as far as property is concerned, fully compensated for by the increase in the value; and, as far as the poor is concerned, it only makes the [-297-] disproportion more palpable and the expenditure per head greater; the more money expended on the 6,435 poor, of course the greater the cost per head.]  

This is the bright side of the picture. These are rich unions: three of them individual parishes as well as unions; the City Union is a conglomeration of ninety-eight parishes, some paying 6s., and it is stated even 8s. in the pound, others not more than a penny. The contribution which the parish of St. Christopher-le-Stock is called upon to pay for the next six months being only 21., while that of St. Nicholas Olave is at least 2s. per annum in every pound value. Three millions of the favoured property pays 103,000l. a year poor rate, and keeps about 6,435 poor. Let us look at other unions very differently circumstanced.  

[-297-]

APPENDIX

Poor Unions.

 

Property Value

Poor Rate, 1856*

Indoor Poor, Dec. 25, 1857

Outdoor Poor, Dec. 25, 1857

Total

 

 

 

 

St. George's, East

180,000

25,691

1,205

2,161

3,366

Fulham

138,168

16,007

abt. 1,000

2,000

3,000

Bethnal Green

128,927

20,461

1,110

2,200

3,310

Whitechapel

223,987

29,438

1,044

2,311

3,355

Shoreditch

331,450

38,711

1,060

3,183

4,243

Bermondsey

128,014

17,538

636

1,001

1,637

Newington

249,867

24,652

837

1,387

2,224

St. George's, Southwark

176,956

17,213

734

2,541

3,275

St. Saviour's, ditto

174,383

15,461

407

1,061

1,468

Greenwich

344,850

30,709

1,237

8,833

5,070

Stepney

331,108

36,713

1,006

2,523

3,529

Lambeth

664,226

49,995

3,106

6,956

10,062

Totals

3,069,936

322,589

13,382

36,157

44,539

[*see previous note]

    Here we have the reverse side of the picture. Poverty, squalor, wretchedness, destitution, starvation. Property of a less value than the four rich unions paying 322,000l. a year poor rates, in lieu of 103,000l., and supporting 44,539 poor in lieu of 6,435. It will be seen that this is not the case of an isolated parish, or an exceptional union, but the case of twelve unions, all in the same sad predicament; and to them might be added the equally distressed districts of Rotherhithe, St. Olave, Southwark, St. Luke, Old-street, Chelsea, and the East and West London Unions. Each and all of these are burdened with an overwhelming amount of pauperism, depreciating the property, and driving away every respectable inhabitant who can possibly reside elsewhere. The evil, then, is most extensive. It is [-298-] daily and hourly increasing. The rich unions are gradually paying less, and the poor ones gradually increasing their expenditure in an equal ratio. The four rich unions paid 107,186l. in 1855, or 3,674l. more than in 1856, while the twelve poor unions paid 304,048l., or 18,541l. less than in the succeeding year. And this is the inevitable tendency of the present operation of the law. The rich districts will gradually become richer, and the poor ones poorer.  
    No doubt a poor man prefers spontaneously to live in a poor locality. He does not like his poverty to be remarked by others; and he knows that it will not be remarked by those who are equally destitute with himself. It is evident to common sense that it contradicts the fitness of things for the nobleman and the beggar to jostle against each other day after day, and to live close to each other in the same town. It is the instinctive desire for a separation of classes which causes the large landowner of the West End to stipulate for the erection of good houses only on the property which he lets out to lease,--houses which the rich only are able to pay for, houses in which the poor cannot possibly hope to live. Hence in parishes like St. George's, Hanover-square, the poor, even if they wished it, are utterly unable to find houseroom. They may sweep the streets, may work as bricklayers, smiths, carpenters, painters, paviours, lamplighters, cabmen, butlers, footmen, cooks, housemaids, and so on in the aristocratic parishes of the West End, but it is impossible for them to live in houses of their own, or in the places where they work. There are no lodgings to be had suitable to their means, and so they go away to other neighbour-[-299-]hoods that are compelled to keep them when out of work, or prostrated by sickness, or by any other visitation of Divine Providence. The alteration of the Law of Settlement in 1834, by which hired servants ceased to gain a settlement in the parishes where their employers lived, has been one chief cause of the grievous inequality which has been pointed out. Before that law came into operation the parish of St. George, Hanover-square, paid 2s. 6d. in the pound per annum, and other wealthy parishes in like proportion, but since it became the law of the land, the rates of the West End parishes, whose only poor are almost all livery servants -32 per cent. of the entire population of St. George, Hanover-square, being so employed--have gradually dwindled down to the present insignificant sum of sixpence or sevenpence in the pound per annum. Now, there is no intention of charging the influential inhabitants of the aristocratic parishes with the desire of wronging the poor by that enactment, but it is very certain that it has had that effect. While the servant is strong and healthy, his master in Belgravia has the benefit of his services; when he can no longer discharge his duties, he is turned adrift to seek relief in such parish as he may be able to obtain a lodging in.
   
But besides the alteration in the Law of Settlement above alluded to, great changes in the incidence of the poor rate have been caused by the various improvements that have been made from time to time in the Metropolis. The houses of the poorer classes have been pulled down for the widening of thoroughfares and the formation of new streets. The parish of St. Giles affords a remarkable instance of this. Large companies, [-300-] too, by the purchase of such houses for the purpose of extending their business, have been instrumental in effecting such changes. One of the most palpable instances of this is the contrast which exists between the poor rate paid by the St. Katharine and the London Docks. At the time that the St. Katharine Docks were formed, upwards of one thousand poor men's houses were pulled down, and their places occupied by the warehouses and quays of that powerful company. No provision was made for the ejected tenants of those houses who were driven at one swoop from the parish where they were born, and where they were before chargeable, to the adjacent parishes of Whitechapel, Aldgate, St. George's-in-the-East, and Shadwell.  
    The pauperism of St. Katharine's became at once a vanishing quantity, while that of the neighbouring districts was simultaneously increased in an equal ratio. After five years' residence the poor became irremovable, and the St. Katharine's Dock Company now pay about 700l. a year in poor rates, while the adjoining London Dock paid last year upwards of 19,000l. The two companies employ the same class of labourers, their docks are close together, but the one had the good fortune to occupy the whole of a parish, while the other only occupies portions of the four parishes of St. George's East, Shadwell, Wapping, and Aldgate. But the question arises at once, is it fair that this enormous disproportion should exist between two companies employing the same labourers, and being situate in such near proximity as these are? Is it fair that the one should escape from contributing to the relief of the pauperism which their labour draws around them, and that the [-301-] other should be compelled, not only to pay their own share, but the share of both?  
    The causes, then, of the inequality which at present notoriously exists in the incidence of the metropolitan poor rates, are these, 1st, The tendency which all men, more or less have, to consort with their equals in lifethat tendency which induces the man of wealth to live at the West End, and the poor man at the Eastthat tendency which has its material manifestation in the class of houses which are erected in those respective localities, and which tendency no legislation can remedy. 2ndly, The alteration of the Law of Settlement which deprived the servant living in the rich man's family of his claim upon the rich man's parish; and, 3rdly, The various improvements which have of late years destroyed many of the poor men's dwellings that were scattered here and there in the richer localities, and have driven them to take refuge in places already overcrowded with the poor, generating disease and misery and vice of the most fearful and alarming character. These are the chief causes of the evil whereof so many thousands of the ratepayers of the metropolis complain, and for which they ask, at the hands of an enlightened Legislature, a speedy and effectual remedy.  
    But it will be well to glance at the evils which result from this state of things. It is not the intention of the author of this pamphlet to lay much stress upon the deterioration of property in the overburdened parishes. The landlords and ratepayers, though they have valid reasons for complaint, are yet competent to defend their own interests, and make themselves heard through their representatives in Parliament. It may, however, be [-302-] remarked, by the way, that almost all the inequality which has now grown to such an extravagant height has arisen within the last twenty-five years; and that the present owners are suffering from a burden which, when the property was purchased, they had no right to anticipate. Twenty-five years ago St. George's, Hanover-square, paid as high a rate as St. George'sin- the-East, but now it does not pay more than 1-8th as much. It has dwindled down from 2s. 6d. in the pound to 7d., while St. George's-in-the-East has risen from 2s. 6d. to nearly 4s. in the pound.

The following statement will show the gradual increase of the burden in an Eastern parish, which is only a sample of the rest of its poor neighbours.

St. George's-in-the-East.

 

Quarter

Indoor Poor.

Outdoor Poor.

Poor Rate Collected.

Medical Relief Indoor.

Medical Relief Outdoor.

Michaelmas, 1836

813

1,297

3,250

109

228

Midsummer, 1837

941

1,388

3,940

110

224

Michaelmas, 1837

661

1,219

4,294

100

184

Midsummer, 1841

1,145

1,211

6,241

132

416

Michaelmas, 1841

1,003

1,096

4,594

118

441

Midsummer, 1846

948

1,830

5,120

292

725

Michaelmas, 1846

844

1,692

5,014

281

913

Midsummer, 1851

1,114

2,405

6,728

575

2,495

Michaelmas, 1851

 

 

5,551

 

 

Midsummer, 1856

1,414

3,698

7,974

588

2,789

Michaelmas, 1856

 

 

8,456

 

 

From the foregoing figures it will be seen that an enormous increase of pauperism has taken place during the last twenty years. That the rates paid are nearly trebled, the number of persons relieved by the rates trebled, and the medical cases relieved more than quin-[-303-]tupled. Indeed it is a startling fact that the meat given per week to the sick poor in 1836 was about 6 or 7 lb., and that it now amounts to 300 lbs. per week. And this is the normal state of most of the poorer unions in the metropolis. Fulham, with its 138,000l. value, relieved more poor on the 1st of January, 1858, than Paddington and St. George's, Hanover-square, with their 1,600,000l. of value. Meanwhile the wealthy parishes at the West End have been gradually diminishing their expenditure, or at all events not increasing it. In 1847, St. George's, Hanover-square, paid 21,363l.; in 1852, 14,516l.; in 1856, 21,315l.; and in 1857, about 23,000l. This statement shows the inevitable tendency of the present law, which is to make the rich parish richer, and the poor parish poorer. It tends to impoverish the ratepayers and to reduce the poor man to the very verge of starvation. It will be found on a careful calculation that the 44,539 paupers in the poorer unions above alluded to, are relieved at an expense of 322,589l. per annum, and that this gives about 71. 5s. per head, or 2s. 9d. per week. Of course this sum includes every item of expense, relieving officers, medical officers, and all the charges incidental to the relief of the poor. Now, it must be very evident that the great body of the outdoor poor are the chief sufferers from the inadequacy of the relief afforded by such a sum as this. The indoor poor are all fed on the same dietary principles, or at all events there is not much variation in this respect in the different metropolitan unions; nor is it supposed that the salaries of union officials vary very much, though their duties are ten times more arduous in some parishes than in others. The hardship [-304-] then falls chiefly on the outdoor poor. They, in fact, as a general rule in the poorer parishes are got rid of- not relieved, for it would be a mockery to call it reliefat the expense of a shilling and a loaf per week.  
    Now what is done in the richer unions, in Paddington and St. George's, Hanover Square? The poor-rates in 1857 amounted in the former of these parishes to about 13,000l., and in the latter to about 23,000l. The total amount of their poor on the 1st of January, 1858, was 2,343. Now this gives an average of 15l. 7s. expended on each poor person relieved, against 71. 5s.; or nearly 6s. per week, instead of 2s. 9d. Every reflecting person will ask whether this is fair to the poor man. Is he, because he belongs to the City Union, to receive out-door relief to the amount of 5s. and a loaf per week, with a new suit of clothes at Christmas; or, because he belongs to Paddington, to be amply supported in his distress; and is he, on the other hand, because he belongs to St. George'sin- the-East or Bethnal Green, to be reduced to starvation? The law ought to be equal for all. But it is not equal, nor will it ever be equal till the whole of the Metropolitan area is subjected to an equalized rate, on a fair and just basis of assessment.  
    But some may say that the condition of the poor in London is after all not so very bad, that we do not hear of any outbreaks of starving people, or any resistance to the laws as at present administered. Those who have a stake in the welfare of this great city ought not to be left in ignorance of the fact that almost every winter some of the bakers' shops are stripped of their contents by the starving multitudes, [-305-] assisted, of course, by persons of bad character who make the prevailing distress the excuse for robbery. Instances of this have occurred within the last two months, and large bodies of the unemployed have been marching about terrifying the timid, and creating feelings of alarm even amongst the boldest. Perhaps it may be objected, that these men were not in distress, but have only made distress an excuse for their lawlessness. This is not the case, for such exhibitions are never seen except in seasons of distress. It is a remarkable fact, for which the writer appeals to personal experience, that when work is scarce, or unattainable, there will be upwards of one hundred applications for assistance, in one day at the church vestry, after week-day service, and this will continue as long as the distress continues; but as soon as employment is obtainable, the applications drop off from one hundred to less than ten in the course of a single week. This is a strong proof that the London poor are not mendicants from choice, that they only apply for assistance when they stand absolutely in need of it. And doubtless there are many whom even the pressure of the most urgent distress will not drive from their seclusion to seek the aid of the charitable, much less of the relieving officer. During the last winter the writer relieved  on the same day the daughter of a rector, and grand-daughter of an Irish bishop, and one who had been the chief constable in one of the largest parishes in London. Nor are such cases as uncommon as many would suppose. What would the weekly shilling and the weekly loaf do for such as these! These are the people, and such as these that are ranged under the head of "deaths [-306-] by privation," which forms so fearful an item in the Registrar-General's periodical report.  
    Let the rich men of London read the following extract from that report, and ponder well upon it while they enjoy the temporal blessings which God has given them with no unsparing hand:--

Deaths from

1848

1849

1850

1851

1852

1853

1854

1855

1856

1857

Total.

Privation

39

46

23

28

23

34

32

35

28

29

317

Want of Breast Milk

171

176

180

252

267

302

325

358

366

363

2760

Neglect

8

7

5

6

2

10

1

13

8

11

71

Cold

4

6

3

6

12

12

22

54

12

13

144

Totals

222

235

211

292

304

358

380

460

414

416

3,292

These four classes of deaths are all more or less the result of inadequate food; the first absolutely so; and the second generally arises from the nursing mother not obtaining such nourishment as is necessary for her at such a time. And it will be observed that as the poor rates have diminished in the richer, and increased in the poorer parishes of the metropolis, so these deaths have increased in an equal ratio. In the short space of ten years they have nearly doubled: they have risen from 222 in 1848, to 416 in 1857. Three thousand two hundred and ninety-two victims of want in ten years!  
    Some people say that if the rates be equalized over London extravagance will be the result. But what extravagance can possibly be so extravagant as the extravagance of human life which the present state of things encourages and keeps up! What money extravagance is worthy to be compared with that which the telltale record of the Registrar-General here discloses to our view!  
    [-307-] It can be neither politic nor economical to permit the wanton waste both of property and of human life which the present operation of the poor-law undoubtedly causes in the metropolis. It is not politic, because the large amounts of relief given in the rich parishes of the City and West End, tend only to increase idleness and sloth; to make the poor depend more upon parochial assistance than upon their own exertions: and at the same time the miserable pittance doled out to the suffering poor of the destitute parishes only tends to make them discontented and even dangerous; leading sometimes to suicide and despair, and at other times to the commission of wilful and deliberate crime.  
    The suicides by hanging in London in 1857, were 106; by poison, 107; by drowning, 371: making a total of 584. There can be no moral doubt whatever that if the circumstances of each were known, destitution would prove to be the cause of a very large percentage of these deaths.  
    The cases of privation which occurred in the first six weeks of the present year (1858), were all without exception in poor and oppressively rated parishes, in Shadwell, in Chelsea, in St. Margaret's, Westminster, in Bethnal Green, in Poplar and in Lambeth; every one of which complains of the unfair distribution of the poor rate in the metropolis. The clergy of Shoreditch, Bethnal Green, Chelsea, Poplar and Lambeth have petitioned for an alteration in the present law; and have they not a cause? shall they suffer their poor to be starved to death and raise no cry in their behalf?  
    [-308-] They are of opinion that private charity will never be able to supply an adequate cure for the disease. It has done much, and doubtless without its aid the number of persons perishing annually from destitution would have been much greater than they are at present. But all the charity of all the societies established in London for the relief of the distressed, will be found to amount to less than a farthing in the pound on the property tax value of the metropolis. There are two societies which take the lead in ministering to the urgent wants of the necessitous in the winter season, these are the Metropolitan District Visiting and Relief Association, whose offices are in St. Martin's-place, Trafalgar-square, and the Philanthropic Society. Now the total income of both these societies does not amount to more than 5,000l. per annum. The income of the former is a little over 3,000l. a year, and of the latter somewhat more than 1,000l. These sums are very judiciously expended, and have saved many valuable lives every year; but what are they when compared with the expenditure of the poor rates, which amounts to 800,000l. per annum?  
    It is calculated that 1d. in the pound on the whole value of the metropolis would give 50,000l., or ten times the amount of the sum expended by both the associations alluded to. And is it likely that the benevolent donations of the rich will ever reach a sum like this? If private charity then be utterly inadequate to meet the difficulty, no other plan remains but an equal rate over the whole of the Metropolitan Districts.  
    Notwithstanding the multitudes of returns made to [-309-] parliament in the statistics of poor-law relief, there is yet a considerable amount of difficulty in ascertaining the exact sums spent for the relief of the poor. And this difficulty is very much increased by the want of explicit information from the lightly rated parishes. They usually return the police and county rate with the poor rate, and then say that the inequality is not so great as it really is. Now police and county rates do not vary much, and the former would probably be higher in the West than in the East, because of the greater amount of property to be protected; they therefore ought to be discarded from the computation altogether as having nothing whatever to do with the relief and maintenance of the poor. But St. George's, Hanover-square, includes poor, police, county, baths and washhouses, and burial board, in one item, amounting, in the aggregate, to 1s. 10d. in the pound. Probably the poor relief is not more than 7d. or 8d. For the police cost 6d. in the pound, and the county rate 4d., so that there is only 1s. left for baths, washhouses, burial board, and poor. Again, the return from Paddington includes the same items under one head, and the amount is only 1s. 1d. Now it would not only be much fairer, but much more in accordance with the form of the required return, that the items should be stated separately, as in Shoreditch, where it stands thus,--county rate, 4d.; police rate, 6d.; poor rate, 3s. 10d.; baths and washhouses, nil. Or in St. George's-in-the-East, where the items are,--county rate, 3d.; police rate, 6d.; poor rate, 3s. 9d.  
    The difficulty of ascertaining the exact amount of inequality was fully admitted by the assistant secretary [-310-] to the Poor Law Board, Mr. Lumley, in the able paper read by him before the Statistical Society, on the 20th of April last, which paper it may be well to offer a few remarks upon in this place. Mr. Lumley, as the groundwork of his observations, divides the whole of the metropolitan unions into five districts, the Western, Central, Eastern, Surrey, and the Kentish. After giving the comparative amounts raised in each of these districts in 1803, and showing that the rate per pound then varied very little indeed, the Western being 2s. 8d., the Central, 2s. 9d., the Eastern, 2s. 8d., the Surrey, 2s. 9d., and the Kentish portion, 3s. 5d., he went on to show that a great alteration had taken place of late years, the return for 1857 making the Western only 1s., the Central about 1s. 3d., the Surrey and Kentish about 1s. 6d., while the Eastern district had risen to 2s. 4d., proving that in the last half century the separation of the richer from the poorer classes has mainly taken place.  
    Perhaps some persons may be inclined to say that the difference between the western portion and the eastern is not so very great, only 1s. 4d. in the pound, it is hardly worth the outcry that is made on the subject; the inequality is not so extensive after all. But if the subject is examined a little more carefully, it will be seen that Mr. Lumley's statements are no criteria whatever as to the inequalities of the existing rates. In every one of the districts averaged by Mr. Lumley there are poor parishes thrown in with rich ones, and the small rates of some make amends in the average for the large rates of others. For example, the Western average is 1s. in the pound, but Fulham, which is a [-311-] component part of the average, paid last year 3s. 6d. against Paddington's 4d.; Chelsea paid 2s. 5d. against St. George's 7d. It is true that the average may be 1s., but does Fulham only pay 1s.? does Chelsea, does Hammersmith? The central portion again was shown to average 1s. 3d. How is this average made up? Of such glaring facts as this: St. Christopher-le-Stock, rated at 9,000l. a year, paying 2l. for the next six months, and St. Mary Mounthaw, rated at 900l., paying over 600l. for the same period. The one a sum too small to calculate, the other 13s. 4d. in the pound for the six months. The average therefore is an utter fallacy, as far as the inequality of the parochial poor rates are concerned. Mr. Lumley admitted, and it was a great admission to make, that an union rate might be very well applied to the whole of the ninety-eight City parishes. And if so, why not to the whole metropolis? Again, with regard to the Kentish district the same observation is applicable. The average is about 1s. 6d. But the utmost disparity exists in the component elements of that average. It will be enough to say that Kidbrook pays only 1/2d. in the pound per annum, and St. Nicholas, Deptford, over 6s. And in the Surrey division, inequalities of the same kind, though perhaps not so glaring, undoubtedly exist. The average is about 1s. 6d. But St. George, Southwark, paid 3s. 1d., Rotherhithe, 3s. 2d., Bermondsey, 3s. 2d., St. Saviour's and Christ Church about 3s., while Putney, Battersea, Clapham, and Streatham paid comparatively little in the shape of poor rates. And in the Eastern district also, the average of which was shown to be 2s. 4d., the same remarks may be made. Shoreditch, paying [-312-] 3s. 10d., and St. George's-in-the-East, 3s. 9d., are placed by the side of St. Katharine, where the poor rates are merely nominal. It is no consolation whatever to the struggling ratepayers to assure them that the average is but light, when they pay not according to the average, but according to the arbitrary demands made for the starving poor, dwelling in the limited area of their own parish. 2 + 10 would give an average of 6, but that average does not destroy the original inequality between 2 and 10. It still remains 5 to 1. Though Mr. Lumley admits that an equal rate would be a blessing to the City, and that the Eastern district pays 2 1/3 times as much for the poor as the Western, and that this disparity is on the increase, Shoreditch having increased its expenditure for the poor, 10,418l. in the last year, and St. George's-in-the-East, 9,508l. during the same period, yet he refuses to decide for or against the proposal which has been made to equalize the rates over the whole area. He states that this has been done in Oxford, Liverpool, Bristol, Exeter, and other places, and therefore there is his official authority for the fact that the measure which this pamphlet is intended to support, involves no novelty, but is recommended for adoption, not only by the sympathies of the humane, but by the practical deductions of the experienced.  
    The increase of the poor rate in the distressed Eastern districts during the last five years has been enormous, and is still going on. The six unions of Bethnal Green, Whitechapel, St. George's-in-the-East, Shoreditch, Stepney, and Poplar, though their annual value is under a million and a half, have increased [-313-] 90,000l. per annum in the last five years, i. e. from 1852 to 1857. It would startle any of the respectable ratepayers of the richer parishes to be informed of the number of summonses that are issued every quarter for the rates: they amount to upwards of 4,000 in the parish of George's-in-the-East alone. And, of course, many of the poor persons summonsed are unable to pay.