7: Beware Woolfs and Lyons: Jews at the edge of town
Address: Aldgate Pump.
Directions from the previous stop: Head back the way you came, north up Fenchurch Place, turning right into Fenchurch Street. Cross over and head towards the church (St. Botolph’s Aldgate) but before you reach that, on the left hand side of Fenchurch Street, you will reach Aldgate pump at the junction with Leadenhall Street and Aldgate.
Wentworth Street, Whitechapel by Gustav Doré
The illustration of Wentworth Street by the already-famous and successful French artist Paul Gustave Doré was part of a popular book of illustrations published in 1872, 'London: A Pilgrimage', which contained 180 wood-engravings. Doré and his co-author, Blanchard Jerrold, had toured many of the least salubrious parts of the Victorian metropolis, sometimes with police protection, to witness for themselves the workings and malfunctions of the city. Some British newspapers and art magazines disparaged the work as tending towards what we would now call ‘poverty tourism’.
(Image: Bibliothèque nationale de France)
Lord Bexley on The Jews, Lords Debate, Thursday 25 February 1830, recorded in Hansard
“Lord Bexley said, he had been requested to present to their Lordships a Petition from certain British-born subjects, called Jews, praying to be relieved from the disabilities under which they at present laboured. The Petitioners represented that in loyalty and good conduct they yielded to no portion of his Majesty's subjects. The noble Lord observed, that in ancient times, under several Christian monarchs, a system of persecution and cruelty had been adopted against the Jews, in which our ancestors had their share. For three centuries they were nominally excluded from this Island. When they were allowed to return, they did not, it was true, suffer the same degree of persecution as before, their condition was gradually ameliorated, but they still laboured under this diffi- culty, that their rights were undefined. The laws affecting the Jews were so obscure and uncertain, that the greatest lawyers differed as to their application. This was particularly the case with respect to the question of their right to hold landed property. He would not longer occupy the time of the House, because he understood a proposition was about to be made in the other House of Parliament on the subject. He would merely express a hope that their Lordships would reflect gravely upon the question, and endeavour to shake off the hereditary prejudices which prevailed regarding it, prejudices which he had once entertained in common with others, though he had now brought his mind to think that the claims of the Jews ought to be conceded. He concluded by presenting the Petition.”
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