Esoteric London

No. 566: Carey Street, WC2

Posted in Architectural, London Labour by esotericlondon on April 30, 2012

Carey Street, London, WC2. Photo © Roger Dean 2012

The Wilds of London – James Greenwood, 1874:

Does the reader know what a parish ‘stone-yard’ is? It is the scene of the ‘labour test’ sanctioned by Act of Parliament. The sorely distressed mechanic or labourer, unable to obtain work, and with too much manliness as yet remaining in him to beg, having sold and pawned every available article of wearing apparel and household furniture, and borrowed of friends and relatives to the extremity of their means or their patience, as a last resort applies to the workhouse authorities. Not as a pauper. He is told that if he is willing to work he may even yet obtain food for his family, and avoid the shame of pauperism. He is willing to work. Show him the job that he will not undertake, provided it is possible for him to accomplish it. Nothing is more easy of accomplishment he is assured; a born fool would find it not at all difficult to do the work suggested in a satisfactory manner; it is merely to take a hammer in hand, and with it to convert big stones into little stones…