Whitechapel in the 1880s

For centuries the East End had been a great melting pot, and until this massive flood of immigrants it had dealt well with incomers, but now it was stretched to breaking point, and anyone who could afford to move away did, leaving a population who were, by and large, scraping by. Survival was the key, food and lodging the most important aims. Typhoid, cholera and venereal disease were rife, and the area had the highest birth rate, the highest death rate and the lowest marriage rate in the whole of London. Housing was the big problem. Whereas parts of Whitechapel and Spitalfields had once been prosperous and semi-rural, demand throughout
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