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Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Street Sweepers and Shoe-Blacks

In my earlier blog posts I wrote about the poverty suffered by many Georgian and Victorian children and orphans. Many swept streets or cleaned shoes to earn a pittance. The shoe-black brigades were voluntary organizations linked to the ragged school movement. (As I've mentioned previously, child labour was all part of growing up during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries).

This week author Michelle Higgs, whose new book A Visitor's Guide to Victorian England is out now, has very kindly allowed me to write a guest post for her blog, and you can find out more about child street-sweepers and the shoe-black boys here. Michelle gives updates on her work and fun facts about Victorian England on her Twitter feed @MichelleHiggs11.

Image from my collection:   
Homeless street-sweepers sleeping under a railway arch in London in the 1880s. Cassell’s Family Magazine, Cassell & Co. Ltd (London, 1883).

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