Rev. Thomas Beames (1815 – 1864) was a Preacher and Assistant of St. James, Westminster in London. After witnessing first-hand some of the extreme poverty within Victorian society he compiled his own eye-witness accounts of the most notorious of the slum areas, known as rookeries. He published these observations in 1852 in the book The Rookeries of London.
- You can read The Rookeries of London (2nd edition) on our site. Use the links below or the side bar to navigate between chapters.
Click on a link to access a chapter.
- Preface to the Second Edition.
- Chapter 1. ROOKERIES – a definition.
- Chapter 2. ROOKERIES – in their childhood.
- Chapter 3. ST. GILES.
- Chapter 4. SAFFRON HILL.
- Chapter 5. JACOB’S ISLAND.
- Chapter 6. RATCLIFFE HIGHWAY.
- Chapter 7. BERWICK STREET DISTRICT OF ST. JAMES’.
- Chapter 8. PYE STREET, WESTMINSTER.
- Chapter 9. ROOKERIES – as homes.
- Chapter 10. ROOKERIES – as schools.
- Chapter 11. THE MIDDLE-MAN – THE BROKER – THE CRIMP – THE TALLYMAN – THE LOAN SOCIETY – THE LEASE.
- Chapter 12. ROOKERIES – their remedies.
- Chapter 13. CONCLUSION.
- POSTSCRIPT – The Great Fire of London.
The folowing map shows the modern locations of the rookeries, or slum areas, mentioned in Thomas Beames’s book.