09 December 2019

Poverty and Crime in 1830s Liverpool

Proceedings of the Statistical Society of London, Vol. 2, No. 12 (1837—1838) contains the following items:

A report, drawn up by Mr. Langton, "Upon the Number of inhabited Courts and Cellars, occupied as Dwellings in Liverpool in 1835-6" was then read.
The number of the former was 2,271; of the latter 7,493, which are mostly dark, damp, confined, ill-ventilated, and dirty. Thus, not less than one-seventh of the population of Liverpool dwell in cellars; for, supposing each cellar to contain one family, averaging four persons, there will be about 30,000 persons inhabiting cellars out of a population of 280,000.
These statements, exaggerated as they might appear, were confirmed on the following day by a Liverpool gentleman, who reported that, feeling doubtful of their accuracy, be had procured a similar report from the police, in which the numbers exceeded those stated by Mr. Langton.

Mr. Walmsley, of Liverpool, read a Paper “ On the State of Crime” in that town; which confirmed a previous Report upon the same subject. It was stated that the number of criminals in Liverpool consisted of 4,200 female thieves and prostitutes, and 4,520 males; of the latter 2,270 were professional, and the remainder occasional thieves. The annual amount of their profits and plunder was estimated at £700,000; and Mr. Walmsley, who is the chief of the police at Liverpool, assured the Section that, upon a second examination, the calculation appeared by no means exaggerated.

No comments: