Face Of The Day

The Telegraph has a wonderful gallery of photographs from nineteenth century London from the LSE’s digital library. “Street Life in London” (Sampson Low, Marston, Searle and Rivington, London, 1877) is annotated by John Thomson and Adolphe Smith. This one leapt out at me:


Thomson and Smith write of her:

The crawler, for instance, whose portrait is now before the reader, is the widow of a tailor who died some ten years ago. She had been living with her son-in-law, a marble stone-polisher by trade, who is now in difficulties through ill-health. It appears, however, that, at best, “he never cared much for his work,” and innumerable quarrels ensued between him, his wife, his mother-in-law, and his brother-in-law, a youth of fifteen. At last, after many years of wrangling, the mother, finding that her presence aggravated her daughter’s troubles, left this uncomfortable home, and with her young son descended penniless into the street. From that day she fell lower and lower, and now takes her seat among the crawlers of the district.”