No. 1072: Rotherhithe Street, London, SE16
Rotherhithe Street, London, SE16. Photo ©RogerDean 2014
London Characters and the Humorous Side of London Life – W.S.Gilbert and “Mr. Jones”, 1871:
The question arises, In what does the superiority of one district over another consist? Without entering into the reasons that induce people to prefer one to the other, we may briefly describe them as follows:– Grosvenor Square and its immediate environs as the most aristocratic, Belgravian the most fashionable, Tyburnia the most healthy, Regent’s Park the quietest, Marylebone and Mayfair the most central, and Bayswater and Eccleston Square quarters as the most moderate. People’s views and means may be guided, in a general manner, by these leading features. The man of small income finds he must locate himself in a region verging upon what in former years one would have called Shepherd’s Bush, or in a quarter uncomfortably near Vauxhall and the river; if a family man, solicitous for the health of his children, he decides in favour of the former, where he finds a cloice of houses, from £60 a year and upwards to £200, and the rates moderate.
But, if either he or his wife are linked by ever so small a chain to the world of fashion, he chooses the latter, where, for much the same rent and rates and taxes, he finds an abode with all the modern improvements; extra story, light offices, plate glass windows, portico, white-papered drawing-rooms, &c., and deludes himself into the notion of his being in Belgravia.