Ancestry UK

A Real Casual on Casual Wards (1866).

On 23 Jabuary 1866, the following advertisement appeared in the Times newspaper:

It was placed by Joseph Charles Parkinson, a civil servant and journalist with an interest in social issues and particularly in the conditions that existed in workhouses. The date mentioned in the advertisement, January 8th, had been the occasion of reporter James Greenwood's undercover visit to the establishment, the account of which had caused a sensation when it was published a few days afterwads in three successive editions of the pall Mall Gazette. By contacting others who had been inmates of the Lambeth casual ward on the same night, Parkinson hoped to ascertain the veracity of Greenwood's report.

Parkinson received two replies, the first of which soon proved to be a hoax. The other was from a man who had indeed been at Lambeth on the night in question and who was also familar with many of London's casual wards and who was willing to provide Parkinson with an insider's account of them.

In March 1866, Parkinson published an article in the journal Temple Bar, which included the reports provided by the man, who was not named and referred to simply as the Real Casual. The casual wards described are listed below in the order they appear in the article:

[Top of Page] [Journalism Index] [Explorers Index] [Home Page]

Ancestry UK

* * * Amazon US For US readers Amazon US * * *