Ancestry UK


One of the earliest and best-known 'social explorers' was James Greenwood, who in January 1866 spent a night in the casual ward of the Lambeth workhouse. His titillating account of the experience, A Night in a Workhouse, was published in three instalments in the Pall Mall Gazette. His revelations about the repugnant conditions at the institution, and the characters who frequented it, caused a sensation and the articles were subsequently reprinted in pamphlet form.

In 1906, forty years after his original expedition, Greenwood was commissioned by The Tribune newspaper to repeat his adventure in a visit to the Islington casual ward. You can read his reports of his 1906 experience here.

His original 1866 articles can be viewed here.

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Ancestry UK

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