Victorian London - Publications - Social Investigation/Journalism - The Criminal Prisons of London and Scenes of London Life (The Great World of London), by Henry Mayhew and John Binny, 1862 - Professional London

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PROFESSIONAL LONDON.

WE now pass from our general survey of the Metropolis, to consider its several parts in detail. For as geographers usually prefix to their Atlases a map of the northern and southern hemispheres of the globe, so have we, in this our literary Atlas of the World of London, first laid down a chart of the two opposite spheres of metropolitan society - the very rich and the very poor - a kind of Mercator's plan, as it were, wherein the antipodes of London life are brought under one view.
    This done, however, we now proceed, in due geographical order, to deal seriatim with each of the quarters of the Metropolitan World.
    And first of Professional London.
    Professional London, we consider to include that portion of metropolitan society of which the members follow some intellectual calling - living by mental, rather than manual dexterity; that is to say, deriving their income from the exercise of talent rather than skill. For the members of every profession must be more or less talented, even as every handicraftsman must be more or less skilful; and as the working engineer acquires, by practice, a certain expertness in the use of his fingers, so the member of a profession learns, by education, a certain quickness of perception and soundness of judgment in connection with the matters to which he attends; and thus people, lacking the faculty which he possesses, are glad to avail themselves of his services in that respect.
    According to the above definition, the members of the professions are not limited merely to lawyers, doctors, and clergymen, but include also professors, teachers, scientific men, authors, artists, musicians, actors-indeed all who live "by their wits," as the opprobrious phrase runs, as if it were a dishonour for a person to gain a livelihood by the exercise of his intellect; and the judge did not depend upon his mental faculties for his subsistence, as much as the chevalier d'industrie whom he tries.

    The professional or intellectual class is not a large one, even when thus extended beyond its usual limited signification; for in all Great Britain there are, in round numbers, only 230,000 people gaining a subsistence by their talents, out of a population of very nearly 21 millions; and this is barely a ninetieth part of the whole.
    Altogether, there are throughout England, Wales, and Scotland, 30,047 clergymen and ministers, 18,422 lawyers, and 22,383 medical men. Indeed, the Commissioners of the Census tell us, that the three professions, even with their allied and subordinate members, amount to only 112,193, and "though their importance cannot be overrated, they add," "yet, in numbers, they would be out-voted by the tailors of the United Kingdom."
    Of the unrecognized professions, the authors in Great Britain are 2,981 in number; the artists, 9,148; the professors of science (returned as such), only 491 ; while the teachers amount to 106,344 ;-making a total of 118,964 individuals
    Now, let us see what proportion of the body of professional people existing throughout Great Britain, is found located in the Metropolis.
    [-65-] According to the returns of the last census, the gross number of persons living by the exercise of their talents in London (including the same classes as were before mentioned), amounts to 47,746; and this out of a population of 2,362,236-so that the proportion is just upon one-fiftieth of the whole. Hence we find that whereas there are eleven people in every thousand belonging to the intellectual classes throughout Great Britain, or rather more than one per cent. of the gross population,* the ratio in the Capital is a fraction beyond twenty to the thousand, or about two per cent. of the entire metropolitan people.

* The distribution of the Professional Classes throughout the country, and the ratio they bear to the rest of the adult population is as follows

TABLE SHOWING THE DISTRIBUTION OF THE PROFESSIONAL CLASSES (MALES AND FEMALES ABOVE 20 YEARS) THROUGHOUT ENGLAND AND WALES, AD. 1851.

DIVISIONS Clergymen, Prot. Ministers, Priests, &c. Barristers, Solicitors, and others. Physicians, Surgeons, and others Authors, Editors, and others Artists, Architects and others Scientific Persons Music, School and other Masters Total Population above Twenty years Number to every 100
DIVISION I - LONDON 2388 5703 5100 1160 3666 146 14570 32733 1394963 23.4
DIVISION II - SOUTHERN-EASTERN COUNTIES
Surrey (ex-Metro) 372 360 247 23 82 3 1444 2531 111025 22.7
Kent (ex-Metro) 779 332 502 45 145 6 2678 4487 263292 17.0
Sussex 659 345 412 53 99 8 2316 3892 182164 21.3
Hampshire 744 292 372 43 138 8 2260 3857 222633 17.3
Berkshire 417 147 194 20 45 .. 1165 1988 108017 18.4
Total 2971 1476 1727 184 509 25 9863 16755 887131 18.9
DIVISION III - SOUTH MIDLAND COUNTIES
Middlesex (ex Metro) 251 270 243 33 91 4 1255 2147 84190 25.5
Hertfordshire 315 115 231 6 26 2 904 1599 92152 17.3
Buckinghamshire 301 79 99 18 18 .. 668 1183 76570 15.4
Oxfordshire 479 104 145 101 35 3 915 1782 92252 19.3
Northamptonshire 453 105 155 5 30 1 1022 1771 11735 15.3
Huntingdonshire 128 32 37 2 2 .. 305 506 31260 16.1
Bedfordshire 228 45 92 4 16 1 453 839 67029 12.5
Cambridgeshire 393 113 131 123 27 8 934 1729 101587 17.0
Total 2548 863 1133 292 245 19 6456 11556 660775 17.4
DIVISION IV - EASTERN COUNTIES
Essex 624 194 282 29 53 5 1834 3021 183846
Suffolk 686 172 248 24 54 4 1672 2860 180371
Norfolk 860 292 294 25 72 5 2192 3740 239504
Total 2170 658 824 78 179 14 5698 9621 603720
DIVISION V - SOUTH-WESTERN COUNTIES
Wiltshire 484 142 172 22 25 5 1213 2063 129245 15.9
Dorsetshire 375 121 139 16 35 .. 960 1646 95612 17.2
Devonshire 1064 497 625 52 174 9 3110 5531 318707 17.3
Cornwall 450 162 230 17 33 5 1401 2298 184879 12.3
Somersetshire 979 403 473 38 131 10 2635 4669 249581 18.7
Total 3352 1325 1639 145 398 29 9319 16207 978024 16.5
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DIVISION VI - WEST MIDLAND COUNTIES
Gloucestshire 837 478 517 67 201 19 2478 4597 236002 19.4
Herefordshire 217 100 83 20 15 1 447 883 56320 15.6
Shropshire 466 187 229 18 36 3 1100 2039 134691 15.1
Staffordshire 623 278 361 29 147 10 2209 3657 329602 11.0
Worcestershire 421 257 214 22 92 2 1314 2323 140867 10.4
Warwickshire 656 234 459 57 245 5 2226 3882 262905 14.7
Total 3320 1534 1863 213 737 40 9774 17381 1160387 14.9
DIVISION VII - NORTH MIDLAND COUNTIES
Leicestershire 422 100 167 17 61 5 1159 1931 127425 15.1
Rutlandshire 74 8 16 1 1 .. 131 231 13260 17.4
Lincolnshire 729 207 325 19 61 7 2060 3408 213229 15.9
Nottinghamshire 366 118 184 20 69 5 1348 2110 160197 13.1
Derbyshire 320 126 185 14 43 4 1030 1722 140568 12.2
Total 1911 559 877 71 235 21 5728 9402 654679 14.3
DIVISION VIII - NORTH WESTERN COUNTIES
Cheshire 489 307 312 36 106 8 1819 3077 229013 13.4
Lancashire 1567 1025 1338 120 633 52 6488 11223 1122817 10.0
Total 2056 1332 1650 156 739 60 8307 14300 1351830 10.6
DIVISION IX - YORKSHIRE
West Riding 1256 611 857 71 284 28 4726 7833 712114 11.0
East Riding 401 232 282 30 115 3 1430 2493 142672 17.4
North Riding 349 121 183 9 28 2 1017 1710 107159 15.9
Total 2005 964 1322 110 427 33 7174 12036 961945 12.5
DIVISION X - NORTHERN COUNTIES
Durham 382 175 311 31 68 13 1496 2476 216638 11.4
Northumberland 335 169 277 34 80 6 1058 1959 166152 11.8
Cumberland 274 102 142 12 24 5 845 1404 106908 13.1
Westmoreland 128 31 54 7 16 1 283 520 31762 16.0
Total 1119 477 784 84 188 25 3682 6359 521460 12.2
DIVISION XI - MONMOUTHSHIRE AND WALES
Monmouthshire 309 82 126 1 21 4 513 1055 96821 11.0
South Wales 1160 246 300 37 80 2 1493 3318 326367 10.2
North Wales 762 158 224 16 29 .. 884 2073 278492 7.4
Total 2231 486 650 54 130 6 2890 6447 701680 9.2
Total for England and Wales 25975 15377 16969 2547 7453 418 83461 152797 9875594 15.0

By the above table, it will be seen that the professional or highly-educated classes range from about 7.5 to [-67-] 25.5 individuals to every 1000 of the adult population throughout England and Wales; and that whilst the highest ratio of professional people is found in Middlesex, London, Surrey, and Sussex, the lowest proportion obtains in Northumberland, Durham, Stafford, the West Riding of York, Lancaster, Monmouth, and South and North Wales. This result coincides nearly with the returns of the relative amount of education prevailing throughout the several counties of England and Wales, as indicated by the number of persons who sign the marriage register with marks; and by which returns it appears that there is the least number of educated persons in Monmouth, South Wales, and North Wales, and the greatest number in Surrey and Middlesex. Thus we perceive that the proportion of professional classes is an indication of the educated state of the people in the various counties.

[-66-] When, therefore, we come to consider that the above estimate includes the whole of the "learned professions" (as they are invidiously styled), as well as all those whose lives are [-67-] devoted to the equally learned pursuits of literature, art, science, and education; that is to say, not only those versed in divinity, law, and physic, but the historian, the poet, the critic, the painter, the sculptor, the architect, the natural philosopher, and the musician, together with the teachers of youth and professors of science - in fine, not only the modem Butlers and Paleys, the Blackstones and Bacons, the Harveys and Hunters, but, in the words of the Census Commissioners, the living "Shakespeares, Humes, Handels, Raphaels, Michael Angelos, Wrens, and Newtons" - when we consider this, we repeat, it must be confessed that the proportion of one, or even two, per cent. of such folk to the entire population, appears but little complimentary to the taste or culture of our race. Otherwise, surely every hundred persons in Great Britain would think it requisite to maintain more than one person for the joint cure of their bodies and sods, as well as the redress of their wrongs and the enlightenment or refinement of their minds.
    Still, another view must, in prudence, be taken of the matter. However much the intellectual classes may contribute to the honour and glory of a nation, nevertheless, we must admit, they add - directly - but little, if any, to its material wealth. Religion, health, justice, literature, art, science, education-admirable as they all be - are mental and spiritual riches, instead of commodities having an exchangeable value - being metaphysical luxuries, rather than physical necessities: for wisdom, taste, and piety do not tend to appease those grosser wants of our nature, which the grosser riches of a country go to satisfy; nor will the possession of them fill the stomach, or clothe the limbs, or shelter the head; so that those who give up their lives to such pursuits cannot possibly be ranked as self-supporting individuals, since they must be provided for out of the stock of such as serve directly, by their capital or their labour, to increase the products of the nation.
    Accordingly, the maintenance of even one such unproductive person to every hundred individuals (especially when we bear in mind that three-fourths in every such hundred must, naturally, be incapacitated from the severer labours of life, by either sex or age, as women and the very old and very young) reflects no little credit on our countrymen; since, in order to uphold that ratio, every twenty-five producers (i.e., one-fourth of each century of people) throughout the kingdom, must, in addition to the support of their own families (which may be taken at three-fourths in every such century), voluntarily part with a considerable portion of their creature comforts, in order to enjoy the benefit of the teachings, the advice, or the aspirations of their "professional" brethren.* [*The average number of persons to a family in England and Wales is 4.827.- Census Report for 1851.]
    It is, however, hardly fair to rank professional men among the non-producers of a country; for though your doctors in divinity, law, and physic, as well as poets, philosophers, and pedagogues, till not, "neither do they spin," it is certain that they contribute, indirectly, to the wealth of a nation, as much - if not more, perhaps - than any other class.
    Newton, for instance, by the invention of the sextant, as well as by that vast opening-up of our astronomical knowledge which served to render navigation simpler and safer, did more to extend our maritime commerce than any merchant enterprise could ever have effected. Again, all must allow that the steam-labourer created by Watt has tended to [-68-] increase our manufactures more than many million pairs of hands; whilst the steam-carriage of Stephenson has helped to distribute the products of particular districts over the entire country, far beyond the powers of an infinite number of carriers. Row many working men would it have taken to have enriched the nation to the same amount as Arkwright, the penny barber, did by his single invention of the spinning-jenny? What number of weavers would be required to make as much cloth as he, who devised the power-loom, produced by the mere effort of his brain? Surely, too, Lee, the university scholar, has given more stockings to the poor, by the invention of his "frame," than all the knitters that ever lived. Farther, have not the manures discovered by our chemists increased our crops to a greater extent than the whole of the agricultural labourers throughout the kingdom, and the reasonings of our geologists and metallurgists added to our mineral wealth more than the entire body of our miners and smelters?
    Still, these are merely the "economical" results springing from science and education; those results, on the other hand, which are due to the practice of the "learned" professions, though perhaps less brilliant, are equally indisputable. The medical skill which restores the disabled workman to health and strength surely cannot be regarded as valueless in the State; nor can we justly consider the knowledge which has prolonged the term of life, and consequently of industry, in this country, as yielding nothing to the wealth-fund of the nation. Moreover, that honourable vocation which has for its object the prevention and redress of wrong, and the recovery of every man's due, serves not only to give a greater security to capital, and so to induce the wealthy to employ rather than hoard their gains, but also to protect the poor against the greed and power of the avaricious rich-this, too, cannot but be acknowledged to be intimately concerned in promoting the industry and increasing the riches of the community; whilst that still higher calling, which seeks to make all men charitable and kind, rather than sternly just, to their less favoured brethren, which teaches that there are higher things in life than the "rights of capital" and political economy, and which, by inculcating special respect and duties to the poor, has been mainly instrumental in emancipating the labourer from the thraldomn of villanage, and consequently in giving a tenfold return to his industry as a free workman-such a calling may also be said to have a positive commercial value among us.
    Surely, then, professions which yield products like these cannot be regarded as altogether unproductive in the land.

    The professional classes constitute what, in the cant language of literature, is styled "the aristocracy of intellect;" and it must be admitted, even by those who object to the introduction of the title aristos into the republic of letters, that the body of professional men form by themselves a great intellectual clan-the tribe which is specially distinguished from all others by the learning, wisdom, or taste of its members, and the one, moreover, which in all philosophic minds cannot but occupy the foremost position in society. For, without any disposition to disparage those classes who owe their social pre-eminence either to their birth or their wealth, we should be untrue to our own class and vocation if we did not, without arrogance, claim for it-despite the "order of precedence" prevalent at Court - a position second to none in the community; and, surely, even those who feel an honourable pride in the deeds and glory of their ancestors, and they too, who, on the other hand, find a special virtue in the possession of inordinate riches or estates, must themselves allow that high intellectual endowments have an intrin8ic nobility belonging to them, compared with which the intrinsic nobility of "blood" or "lands" is a mere assumption and pretence.
    Now it must not be inferred, from the tenor of the above remarks, that we are adverse to the aristocratic institutions of this country. Far from it; we believe in no equality on this side of the grave: for as Nature has made one man wiser, or better, or braver, or more

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[-69-] prudent than another, it is our creed that society must always own a superior class of some sort-superior in intellect, goodness, heroism, or worldly possessions, according as the nation chooses to measure by one or more of those standards. The Stanleys, the Howards, the Russells, &c., are, to all unprejudiced minds, unquestionably more worthy of social respect, as nature's own gentlemen, than the descendants of Greenacre, Burke, and Rush - nature's own ruffians; and so, again, we cannot but regard the Barings and the Jones-Lloyds as more dignified and useful members of the community than your able-bodied pauper or sturdy vagrant.
    But, while making these admissions, we must at the same time acknowledge that we hold the Shakespeares, the Newtons, the Watts, the Blackstones, the Harveys, the Fullers, the Reynolds, the Purcells, and indeed all who have distinguished themselves either in law, divinity, medicine, literature, art, science, or education, not only as being among the very worthiest of England's worthies, but as constituting the class which lends the chief dignity to a nation in the eyes of all foreign countries - the untitled nobility of the world, rather than of any mere isolated empire.
    Nor would it be just to ourselves, and our own order, if we did not here assert that the literary vocation - truthfully, righteously, and perfectly carried out - claims kindred, not only with all philosophy as the ground-work of each particular science, and ethics as the basis of all law, and humanism which enters so largely into medical knowledge, and aesthetics as the foundation of all arts connected with the beautiful, but also with religion itself, in its inculcation of the Christian principles - its use of the parabular* [* This word is hardly formed upon correct etymological principles, the Latin adjectival affix, "ular" - as in tabular, from "table" - cannot strictly be applied to a Greek substantive. The use, however, of the true graeco-adjective "parabolic" in a wholly different sense is, perhaps, sufficient apology for the formation of the mongrel term.] form of instruction - as well as its denunciation of wrong, and its encouragement of good-will and charity among all men.
    Moreover, it is our pride to add, that, of all pursuits and ranks in the world, there is none which depends so thoroughly on public acclaim, and so little on sovereign caprice, for the honour and glory of its members; and none, therefore, in which honours and glories cast so high and sterling a dignity upon its chiefs.

    Well, it is with the professional, or rather let us say the intellectual, portion of metropolitan society that we purpose first dealing here.
    The professionals resident in London number, as we have said, 47,000 and odd individuals in the aggregate; and, therefore, constitute nearly one-fifth of the entire intellectual class distributed throughout Great Britain.
    Included in the gross number of metropolitan professionals are, 5,863 lawyers, 5,631 doctors, 2,393 clergymen and ministers, and 11,210 "subordinates" - making altogether 25,097 persons belonging to the so-called "learned" professions; whilst to these must be added the sum of 22,649 persons connected with the "unrecognized professions; and including 1,195 literary men, 17,241 teachers, 156 professors of science, and 4,057 artists and architects.*

[*The distribution of the professional classes throughout the several districts of London is as follows:-

[-70-] DIVISIONS Clergymen, Prot. Ministers, Priests, &c. Barristers, Solicitors, and others. Physicians, Surgeons, and others Authors, Editors, and others Painters, Architects and others Scientific Persons Music, School and other Masters Total Population above Twenty years Number to every 100
WEST DISTRICTS
Kensington 219 722 394 89 337 8 1334 3103 73205 42.4
Chelsea 80 130 119 29 122 3 470 953 33619 28.3
St. George (Hanover Sq.) 121 329 380 52 153 7 589 1631 48969 33.3
Westminster 59 130 74 32 90 .. 366 751 39722 18.9
St. Martin in the Fields 35 90 107 31 67 .. 141 471 16154 29.1
St. James, Westminster 41 159 192 41 91 4 199 727 24023 30.2
Total West Districts 555 1560 1266 274 860 22 3099 7636 235692 32.4
NORTH DISTRICTS
Marylebone 195 477 588 79 429 23 1344 3105 99445 31.2
Hampstead 36 101 41 9 32 1 165 385 7110 54.1
Pancras 209 661 515 149 710 13 1450 3707 99809 37.1
Islington 146 255 192 57 167 9 888 1714 55446 30.9
Hackney 103 126 111 26 60 1 584 1021 33268 30.7
Total North Districts 689 1620 1417 330 1398 47 4431 9932 295078 33.6
CENTRAL DISTRICTS
St. Giles 67 381 206 41 147 6 297 1145 34469 32.2
Strand 33 267 141 82 124 10 232 889 27317 32.5
Holborn 47 403 101 40 80 3 203 885 28104 31.5
Clerkenwell 47 121 127 35 87 3 383 803 37749 21.2
St. Luke 29 35 93 5 24 .. 194 380 31231 12.1
East London 26 25 84 8 13 2 186 344 26194 13.1
West London 18 138 70 19 23 .. 87 355 17890 19.8
London City 74 120 146 22 42 4 242 650 34656 18.7
Total Central Districts 341 1490 968 252 540 28 1824 5451 237610 22.9
EAST DISTRICTS
Shoreditch 52 37 100 28 72 3 487 779 61150 12.7
Bethnal Green 61 17 51 10 25 9 262 435 47636 9.1
Whitechapel 36 12 83 5 19 5 221 381 45988 8.3
St. George in the East 24 7 47 5 13 6 169 271 27894 9.7
Stepney 77 32 114 13 56 4 564 860 62661 13.7
Poplar 23 12 43 1 19 .. 180 278 26398 10.5
Total East Districts 273 117 438 62 204 27 1883 3004 271727 11.0
SOUTH DISTRICTS
St. Saviour (Southwark) 13 15 65 7 41 .. 130 271 21040 12.8
St. Olave (Southwark) 13 4 79 2 3 .. 72 173 12342 14.0
Bermondsey 23 5 35 4 21 .. 214 302 26587 11.3
St. George (Southwark) 41 45 79 13 50 1 264 493 29924 16.5
Newington 47 82 112 44 97 2 365 749 37298 20.0
Lambeth 114 284 253 90 223 4 1084 2052 80322 25.5
Wandsworth 84 159 83 20 46 3 543 938 29236 32.1
Camberwell 57 130 109 30 94 2 521 943 31699 29.7
Rotherhithe 9 3 13 1 6 .. 80 112 10026 11.1
Greenwich 68 92 132 18 56 8 616 990 58033 17.0
Lewisham 61 97 51 14 27 2 336 588 19303 30.4
Total South Districts 530 916 1011 243 664 22 4225 7611 355810 21.4
Total for all London 2388 5703 5100 1161 3667 146 15462 33634 1395917 24.0

    Of each and all of these varieties of Professional London it is our intention to treat, seriatim, under the several divisions of Legal London - Medical London - Religious London - Literary London - Artistic London - Scholastic London, and so on, dealing with each of those phases of Metropolitan life as if it were a distinct Metropolis - estimating its population - marking out its boundaries and districts - and treating of the manners and customs of the people belonging to it, from the highest to the lowest; indeed, attempting for the first time to write and photograph the history of our multifarious Capital, in the nineteenth cen-[-70-]tury; and we shall now begin to set forth the several details in connection with the first of those divisions.