Francis Sandoe and the London Poverty Survey

Charles Booth (1830-1916) was a Liverpool businessman (a dealer in leather and skins, and a  steamship operator), a philanthropist, initially Unitarian but eventually agnostic. From 1883 to 1903 he led and published the London Poverty Survey.

Francis Sandoe (1834-1886) was born at Philleigh (Roseland, Cornwall), married Jane Emily Thomas in 1860 and moved to London to work as a carpenter, settling in Clapham (Crescent Road) and then Battersea (Brougham St and Bagley St over shadowed by Clapham Junction railway station) in SW London. Two of their five children survived.

Charles Booth in 1863

Charles Booth in 1902

London, Booth poverty map, colour-coded from black (poorest districts) through blue and pink to yellow (wealthiest)

The British Library page on Charles Booth.

The London School of Economics page on Charles Booth.

The Booth map for Crescent Road (the Sandoe home 1860-1871)  leading off from semicircular Park Crescent towards the local school. Clapham High Street crosses the top left corner. The district is mostly “comfortably off” or “mixed comfortable and poor” (shades of red). The poorest streets are immediately behind Park Crescent – Pleasant Place and Nelson’s Row are dark blue (“very poor, chronic want”), Whites Square is black (“viscious and semicriminal”).

This area was walked in July 1899, in the company of Seregeant Nunn of the local police, in order to make observations and to interview residents. Park Crescent and Crescent Road are recorded in book 369 pages 32-33.

Crescent Road, Park Crescent etc. survey notebook, page 33 in Book 369

The first lines on page 33 conclude the walk round White’s Square:

“den of iniquity and r…., but much better though still occasional Drunken rows: bk on map”. Then: “South to Crescent Road: 2 st[oreyed]: front gardens: pink on map”.  Then “West to Park Crescent: 2 and 2½ st: some front gardens: pink: purple on map. West to Clapham Park Road: 2 and 3 st: mostly shops: uncol: red to p.k. East to Pleasant Place and Triangle Place: 2 st: Triangle Pl with gardens: poor and rather dirty: uncol: l.b. Just north of Pleasant Place or E of Park Road are two courts:- Wallis’s Court: from 2 st:  n… flowers: purple to l.b: uncol. and  Newman.s Court: asphalted: six 2 st: poor and dirty: two houses with patched windows: uncol: l. to d. b.”.

The family moved to cheaper accommodation in the 1870s, immediately north of Clapham Junction railway station, Brougham Street off Calvert Road.

Battersea: The Sandoe’s second London home from the 1870s to the 1890s, Brougham Street (bottom right corner of the allotments) and Calvert Road. Clapham Junction Station along the bottom edge.

Brougham Street was coded light blue, “poor with 18-20 shillings a week” while the next step down was dark blue “very poor with chronic want”. This area was walked on 30 June 1898, in the company of PC Edwards of the local police, in order to make observations and to interview residents.

Battersea: Brougham St, Calvert Rd, Sheepscote Lane.

Page 115 in Book 366: “West to Brougham Street (which is wider than Bagly Street) and
Berkely Street
: 2 st[oreys]: poor and rather rough but improved: ‘Quiet enough except
sometimes on Saturday night’: l.b. rather than d.b. …. of map. North to Battersea Park Road: in the main a street of shops: the quiet shopping centre of the poor streets n of the LSWRly continues here on Saturday night …”

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