Labour and the Poor Extras

This is a collection of material related to our “Labour and the Poor” series that we hope you’ll find interesting.

Morning Chronicle Labour and the Poor Series Introduction

On the day of the launch of the series of investigations into the working and living conditions of the poor in England and Wales, The Morning Chronicle published this introduction setting out their reasons for undertaking such a vast, unprecedented investigation. Read More »

A Visit to the Cholera Districts of Bermondsey

The article that reputedly gave rise to the Labour and the Poor series of letters, written by Henry Mayhew, which gives an incredible account of his visit to Jacob’s Island, one of the poorest districts of the capital and badly affected by the cholera epidemic that swept the country during 1848 and 1849. Read More »

Contemporary Reviews of Labour and the Poor

Contemporary reviews started appearing in other publications shortly after the Labour and the Poor investigation commenced, of which a number were reprinted in The Morning Chronicle. We have transcribed a selection of these to give an idea of how the letters were being received at the time. Read More »


We have put together a number of emigration-related articles that appeared in The Morning Chronicle during the publication of the “Labour and the Poor” letters in that newspaper. Read More »

Labour and the Poor Quotes

Here is a small selection from the multitude of standout quotes to be found in the “Labour and the Poor” series. Read More »

Health of London

The Morning Chronicle published weekly accounts of the general health of the people of the metropolis. This is an interesting and particularly in-depth analysis and although only loosely connected with our “Labour and the Poor” series, it gives an insight into the kind of information presented to the public. Read More »

Cholera Deaths

During the 1848-49 cholera epidemic that swept across the country—and across the whole of Europe—The Morning Chronicle published weekly accounts of “the more remarkable fatal cases of cholera and diarrhœa” reported in London by the Registrar. The sex, age, relationship, type and length of illness, date of death and address of the victims were given along with various comments. They make grim reading indeed. Read More »

Christmas Day in the Workhouses

This article was published in The Morning Chronicle on Boxing Day, 1849, giving specific details of Christmas Day dinners given to the inmates of the various workhouses in London. Read More »

Dwellings of the Labouring Classes

This article was published in The Morning Chronicle ten years after the “Labour and the Poor” investigation and details some advancements made in the provision of housing for the labouring classes in London. Read More »