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House of Commons on the Police of the Metropolis," in July, 1828. One object of this Report is to show "what proportion the increase of crime bears to the increase of the population." From the census of 1801 it appears, that London and Middlesex then contained 845,400 persons; in 1811 these amounted to 985,100; and, in 1821, to 1,167,500. Hence we learn that the inhabitants had been augmented, in 20 years, 322,100; and from the latter date to the commencement of 1829, we may safely assert that the population has increased in a greater ratio than during any preceding nine years. It may be presumed that it now amounts to the enormous number of 1,350,000 persons. Out of this population it is stated that 3400 committals, and 2300 convictions for criminal offences, occurred in one year. The Committee proceed to observe, that although this amount of crime is disgraceful and dangerous, yet" there are in the same community such evident and unquestionable proofs of individual and general regard to religion, morality, and propriety of demeanour," that they do not think " any permanent and material deterioration of society can have taken place."
As respects the person and the property of individuals, the Committee have classed the various crimes which come within the scope of legislative enactment under six heads, and have detailed a list of thirty-six different grades of offences; viz. 1st, Manslaughter, murder, shooting, stabbing, and poisoning.-2dly, Burglary, embezzlement by servants, frauds, highway robbery, house-breaking, larceny, receiving stolen goods, stealing from letters.-3dly, Cattle, horse, and sheep-stealing. 4thly, Rape, assault with intent to commit rape; sodomy, and assault with intent to commit it. 5thly, Arson,
bigamy, cattle-maiming, child-stealing, concealing the birth of a child, offences against game-laws, perjury, piracies and murder, sacrilege, sending threatening letters, treason, traffic in slaves, transports at large, felonies, and misdemeanors not otherwise described. 6thly, Coining, coin putting off and uttering, forgery, and uttering forged instruments, possessing forged bank-notes.
There is a class of capital offenders, or rogues, not coming immediately under either of the above terms, but the amount of whose depredations has been immense within the last few years. These are called "putters up" and "fences," and consist of persons possessing large property, with their agents, who engage only in a sort of wholesale business of knavery. Their plunder is mostly bankers' parcels, country banks, and articles of high value. After obtaining large booty, they engage either with some dishonest solicitors, called "thieves' attornies," or equally dishonest police officers, to negotiate a compromise with the injured party. By this agency, 20,000l. value was returned for 10007.; in another case, where bills had been stolen of 16,000l. or 17,000l. value, but not easily negotiable, restitution was offered for 300%. A country bank had been robbed of about 20,000l., for which the thieves received only 2007.; but the legal owners gave 2800l. to obtain its restoration. Though some of these "putters up" and " fences' are well known to the police magistrates, and to their officers, they have hitherto escaped conviction, and seem to set at defiance all the legal machinery of the country. The volume, already referred to, contains a mass of evidence on the crimes and criminals of the metropolis; and it is hoped and presumedthat some strong and efficient measures will be adopted by the Parliament to bring at once to con
dign punishment old and remorseless rogues, and to put some stop to the initiation of the young and inexperienced into the "high-ways and bye-ways" of delinquency.
It has been customary to annex to this volume a series of cautionary remarks for Strangers; but as most of them seem to be irrelevant to the present times, they are now omitted. We do not deny that there are various classes of sharpers and impostors in London; but as their places of rendezvous are generally gaming-houses, fives-courts, brothels, and the occasional crowds on public occasions, these may be easily avoided by the wary stranger. He should also forbear to carry much money in his pocket; at places of public resort he should resist the apparently kind and polite attentions of unknown persons guard against intoxication - the company
of " the frail sisterhood" retire to his home before twelve o'clock at night; and he will then be likely to avoid personal dangers, and be freed from impositions. When flats voluntarily place themselves in the way of sharps, the latter will readily transpose them into naturals. If fools obtrude themselves into the company of knaves, they have no right to complain of being cheated.
The numerous Institutions and Societies that have recently been established in the metropolis, for the benefit and improvement of mechanics for literary and scientific purposes for the rational employment of men in hours. exempt from business, are highly conducive to good order, to morality, and to real happiness,
"our being's end and aim.”
If any sentiment or statement in the following pages may be construed as indicative of party feel
ing, or to favour any prejudice, the Editor unequivocally disclaims any such intention, and protests against the conclusion. He has earnestly endeavoured to guard against every political and religious bias, with a view of recording truth, of making impartial and disinterested statements, and of leading the reflecting stranger to just, honest, and discriminating results. Falsehood and sophistry may seduce and deceive persons for a short time, but truth and sincerity must stand the test of investigation, and be permanent.
During the progress of these sheets through the press, a few events have occurred, and changes taken place respecting public establishments, public characters, &c., whereby two or three passages may be found to be inaccurate.
DESIROUS OF RENDERING THIS WORK AS ACCURATE, ORIGINAL, AND IMPARTIAL AS POSSIBLE, THE EDITOR WILL THANKFULLY AVAIL HIMSELF OF ANY CORRECTIONS, SUGGESTIONS, OR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION, FOR A FUTURE EDITION, ADDRESSED TO HIM AT THE PUBLISHERS.
[Embracing a brief review of the New Buildings, and other recent Improvements of the Metropolis.]
A Literary "Picture of London" must necessarily be compiled from a multiplicity of materials, selected from a variety of sources, and composed of a miscellaneous and heterogeneous mass of discordant matter. There can be nothing like unity of design-congruity, and symmetry of composition
harmonious distribution of parts and effects, to attract, and command attention. It must consist rather of a series of miscellaneous Sketches; and these must be marked with fidelity of outline, with strong characteristic touches, if they aspire to be appropriate, intelligent, and effective. In the present Topographical Manual this has been attempted, and it is hoped will be found to answer the expectations and wants of the reader. As an Introduction to the general contents, it has been thought advisable to take a sort of Panoramic Sketch of London, in its present aspect and bearings; adverting at the same time to the most prominent and remarkable alterations that have recently been made.
The year 1825 will ever be memorable in the annals of the metropolis; for more novel improvements, changes, and events occurred in that one year than during any other corresponding period. Schemes for the formation of new Companies vast speculations arising out of them, tending to the aggrandisement of a few persons, and to the ruin of