Poverty in London, 1885-95.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
Poverty is a relative term. Therefore the first task in this study was to establish working definitions of "poverty" and the "poor" together with an estimate of the extent of poverty in London in our period. This task had already been done for us by Charles Booth in his great survey of the Life and Labour of the People in London. The problem was thus reduced to one of testing Booth's conclusions; this question is dealt with in Chapter I. The rest of this work is concerned with describing the structure of poverty in London in our period. The end of that period is marked by the completion of the investigations carried cut for the Industry Series of the Booth Survey, the beginning by the finish of the Royal Commission on the Housing of the Working Classes of 1884-5. The Booth Survey is the major source for our study, but the decade 1885-95 also saw a number of Royal Commissions and Select Committees on topics related to the structure of poverty. Indeed, the Parliamentary Papers of the period contain a wealth of material on our subject. It was not possible to utilize this material quite as fully as had been hoped because the microcards of the Parliamentary Papers did not arrive at Canterbury as expected. Consequently, the Papers had to be used during a somewhat extended visit to Wellington. However, it must be emphasized that this is not a thesis about the Booth Survey but a thesis about poverty in London in the decade 1885-95.