MONDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 1888
LORD MAYOR'S DAY, 1888. - REGULATIONS by Sir CHARLES WARREN, the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis. - In pursuance of the powers vested in me, I, Charles Warren, the Commissioner of the Police of the Metropolis, make the following regulation for the prevention of obstruction in the streets and thoroughfares within the Metropolitan Police District, on Nov. 9 inst., being the day appointed for the Lord Mayor's Procession.
On the day above mentioned no person, unless forming part of the Lord Mayor's Procession, shall be allowed to deliver any public speech or to carry placards or banners in any street or thoroughfare through which the Lord Mayor's Procession passes, or in Trafalgar-square, or in any other street or thoroughfare leading to or from, or in the vicinity of the route of the Lord Mayor's Procession.
Nothing in the order of Nov. 18, 1887, shall apply to the Lord Mayor's Procession, but in other respects that order remains in force. (Signed) CHARLES WARREN, the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis.
Metropolitan Police Office, 4, Whitehall-place, Nov. 2, 1888.
Until eleven o'clock yesterday morning a portion of Brick-lane, Bethnal-green, was a crowded street market. Costermongers' barrows and stalls rendered vehicular traffic impossible and the pedestrian had difficulty in moving amongst the piles of vegetables, stores of cheap clothing, and joints of meat, displayed for sale. The purchasers, mostly women, were evidently of the poorest class, and frequently of the lowest type. Some had it was said, been drinking in public-houses until late on Saturday night, and were therefore compelled to do their marketing on Sunday; others had deferred buying because of the chance of making better bargains, whilst a few had had no choice. Beef at 4d. per pound; cauliflowers two for a penny; and other articles equally reasonable were disposed of not merely by the hawkers, but by certain of the tradesmen, whose premises were open. At eleven a.m. there was a decided clearance voluntarily undertaken. A few minutes later a couple of scavengers, with a parish cart, began to clear away the garbage which littered the roadway, the habit of the dealers being to throw their refuse on the ground, to be trodden into mire. The appearance of Dowling, the Sanitary Inspector, was the signal for greater activity in the removal of obstructions, and generally a word from him was quite sufficient. He performed his duty firmly, and without causing irritation, and the three policemen who followed him were not called upon to interfere. In a very short time Brick-lane was comparatively free, although some barrowmen tried to elude the vigilant eye of the vestry official, by dodging round side streets until he had passed. Prohibited from using barrows, they availed themselves of baskets and sacks, but it was obvious that trade was over for the day. Most of the tradesmen, however, chiefly butchers and clothiers, served customers until one p.m.; but some of these people did not hesitate to say that they had no sympathy with the movement in favour of Sunday trading, and would like to see it put down by common consent. Whilst matters were thus quietly progressing in Brick-lane, Sclater-street, or Bird Fair, which at eleven a.m. was thinly attended, was filling up gradually, until at midday it was thronged. In this thoroughfare the few shops which have survived the improvements effected in recent years are tenanted by clothiers, bootmakers, and dealers in birds and live stock. For many years the place has been recognised as the resort for fanciers, and the custom has been for men and lads from distant parts of the metropolis to gather on Sunday mornings to barter and to sell their pets. Almost every individual yesterday carried under his arm a cage wrapped in a coloured pocket-handkerchief. In the cage there was a chaffinch, and occasionally the owner allowed the bird to see the light, when it immediately began to sing, "Tol-lol-lol, chick-we-doo." The fanciers know the notes well, and yesterday, in a side street, might be seen as many as a dozen cages hung against a hoarding, their feathered occupants vieing with each other in song, while their possessors asked prices, determined by the efficiency which the birds displayed. Lads with pigeons, rabbits, mice, tame rats, goats, dogs, and fowls, loitered about, whilst itinerant dealers vended hot peas, whelks, and other toothsome dainties, apparently appreciated. Gambling, also, went on, but a careful watch was maintained for strangers. In Sclater-street there are no costermongers, and yesterday the sanitary inspector contented himself by putting to sudden flight the gentlemen who sold sarsaparilla and dandelion pills from smartly got up gigs; but these folk did not take themselves off altogether, and reappeared when the official was no longer to be seen. The chief offenders, according to the vestry, are not the quacks, street mountebanks, Socialists (who, in spite of their three red flags, had a poor following), and the preachers, all of whom interrupt traffic, but the birdshop-keepers. The cages containing canaries, chaffinches, starlings, blackbirds, linnets, and many other varieties of small birds, are exhibited outside the shops, and before them assemble groups of men and boys, intent upon deciding their respective merits. Summonses have been taken out against these dealers, whose contention has been that eleven o'clock is too early for them and that one o'clock is time enough to close their doors to customers. On Saturday night a committee meeting of the protection society which has been formed agreed that at one p.m. on the Sunday the tradesmen would, in order to show their good faith take their goods into their shops. Accordingly this plan was in several instances adopted yesterday. There is a feeling that some compromise may be accepted, but the vestry in their action are not exceeding what has been done elsewhere, and they are encouraged to persevere by ratepayers, who contend that no hardship has been imposed upon the poor by the new regulations to limit Sunday trading.
With regard to the prosecution of Isaac Twist at the Worship-street Police-court, for the non-attendance of his daughter Florence, aged eleven years, at school, a correspondent writes: I found my way to Bath-buildings, Bath-street, City-road, on Saturday afternoon and discovered the residence of Isaac Twist. It is a rather depressing neighbourhood, and there are sad evidences of poverty all round. The father was ill in bed suffering from asthma and bronchitis, in a small room without a fire, scarcely the conditions suited to his state, but his wife told me she had not the money to buy coal. I examined the child who was the subject of the prosecution. She read the newspaper report of her case, which she had not seen before, fairly well, and I saw a letter she had sent to her parents which was by no means badly written nor ill-expressed. The other facts were substantially as the child stated them in the court. There is a second family of four little girls, of which Florence is the eldest, the others being three, seven, and nine years old respectively. The burden of their support falls mainly on the mother, a monthly nurse, the father doing what he can as a medical herbalist, selling his simples in the street when weather permits, and on the eldest child comes the care of most of the domestic arrangements. It seemed to me quite clear that the parents were anxious the children should be taught, but the eldest had been sent back from Central-street School because she went without the 2d fee, and they are too poor to be able to find the pence regularly for the four little ones - in addition to food and clothing. Indeed, to be candid, I should have said food for the body was more urgently needed than for the mind. Part of this case the education officials themselves admitted, for they called on Saturday morning and undertook to remit the fees for the future. On the whole, I could not resist the impression that this was not the case for a prosecution, and that an arrangement might easily have been made, as it is now, without dragging this poor man or his child before the Court and fining them 6d, and 2s. costs.
On the other hand, the School Board and its visitors have a difficult task. It is for them to see that this little Florence is not sacrificed altogether, while she is within the school-going age, to domestic calls. To their credit, the parents conceded all this, and, further, that hitherto Mr. Saunders, the superintendent of visitors, and the members of the Board, have treated them considerately and kindly. They had remitted fees, and provided one of the children with shoes to enable her to attend school. In the case of Florence Twist, it is somewhat reassuring to find that there is some one to look after the eldest girl, who is so often sacrificed for the younger ones, and that the standard of the three R's in this poor district is such that this child, though by no means badly taught on the whole, had not reached it. I was glad to see that the lowliest of those for whose benefit the Education Act was passed recognised the righteousness of its intention, even when pressed, as they thought, rather severely against them. The neighbours were very kind to the family, and, thanks to the notice in The Daily Telegraph, generous visitors called upon them, and I am happy to believe that before the day was over the much-needed fire was lighted in the grate.
We have received the following sums with the request that they may be forwarded to the family: Mrs. Chalk, Caterham Valley, 10s; "Bis Dat" (National Liberal Club), 5s; George Way, 5s; "A Sympathiser with the Poor," 2s 6d. These amounts will meet the immediate necessities of the case.
SIR - With reference to the paragraph in your issue of the 3rd inst., will you be kind enough to place the following facts before your readers. The child, Florence Twist, has been attending the Central-street Board School for some considerable time. She is eleven years of age, and has passed no standard. Her attendances from May 2 last to Oct. 26 were sixty-two times out of a possible 214; having been entirely absent from school for the last nine weeks. The plea of the father's illness was never set up by the parents as a reason for the child's absence from school. The only reason ever given to the officer was that she had been sent away from school because the father could not pay the school fees. The fees have been remitted for a very considerable time, but the period of remission expired in September. The parents were again invited to attend a meeting of the local managers on three separate occasions; but no one attended, consequently the child had to be sent home for non-payment of fees. It is, no doubt, correct to state that the father is a delicate man; but the officer for the district saw him at the door on Oct. 31, and he has always been in the habit of answering the visitor when he has called at the house; and the mother assured me this morning in the presence of her husband, that the only reason why the child did not attend school regularly, was because she could not pay the fees. The mother is the principal support of the family, and the father attends to the domestic duties of the house, while she is out nursing; and this he has been able to do up to the present time. Mr. Twist has kept a herbalist's shop in the parish of St. Luke's for many years; how long he has been out of business I am unable to say, and though they are very poor there does not appear to be any substantial reason why the child should not attend school, as the parents can always have their fees remitted if they will take the trouble to see the local managers of the school at which the children attend. - I am, Sir, your obedient servant
London, Nov. 3.
Dr. Debenham, house physician at the London Hospital, stated on Saturday to Mr. Wynne E. Baxter, coroner for the Eastern Division of Middlesex, during his inquiry into the circumstances of the death of a child at Walthamstow from diphtheria, that cases of this disease in the East-end had, within the last few days, increased to the proportions of an epidemic. So numerous had they become that it was found expedient to forbid the hospital officials to admit any but extreme cases. In order to relieve the strain on the hospital, all the less virulent attacks were ordered to be sent on to the fever hospitals. He could not say off-hand which particular locality in East London was most affected, but he believed they had received most of the urgent cases from Hackney and the surrounding districts. The father of the deceased child stated that where he lived there were no sewers, the sewage being drained into cesspools at the rear of the houses. Each cesspool was common to several houses, and at times the stench was horrible. He had heard that several deaths in the neighbourhood recently had been attributed to diphtheria. Some time ago the sanitary authorities had been moved in the matter, but beyond issuing some printed notices nothing was done. The coroner observed that if such a state of things existed as described steps should immediately be taken to improve matters. It was beyond doubt that bad drainage, if it did not cause diphtheria, propagated and aggravated it enormously, and in face of the alarming information given them by Dr. Debenham, he felt sure the jury would heartily join with him in making strong representations to the local sanitary authority at Walthamstow. The jury unhesitatingly concurred with the coroner's remarks, and added a special rider to their verdict calling the attention of the Walthamstow local sanitary authority to the matter.
After a recess of twelve weeks, the two Houses of Parliament will reassemble to-morrow - the Commons at three o'clock and the Lords at a quarter-past four. - - -
Ministers hope to make rapid progress this week with the business of Supply, which will be at once pressed on the attention of the House. The votes yet to be obtained number in all 135, namely seventeen for the army, nine for the navy, five for the revenue departments, and 104 for the civil services. Upon several of these estimates important debates are likely to arise. The question of the administration of the metropolitan police will be debated on the vote of £1,500, which is to be opposed by Mr. Stuart, for the salary of Sir Charles Warren; and on the vote of £7,000 for the salary of the Attorney-General, Mr. Philip Stanhope will take the opinion of the House as to the propriety of the chief law officer of the Crown appearing as counsel before the Parnell Commission.