We’ve been debating the rights of the destitute for centuries, distributing relief and pushing for social reform, but have we been getting something wrong?

The perspectives represented in this resource are influenced by my work as a governing member of Four Walls. Before researching the history of homelessness in London, I had the privilege of speaking to and developing relationships with rough sleepers living in the nation’s capital. It goes without saying that my point of view has been influenced by the stories I’ve heard on the streets. Their insights and anecdotes have changed the way I view the world.

The London Society for the Suppression of Mendicity 

The Vagrancy Act 

The Rise of the Casual Ward

"Houseless and Hungry" in Household Words

"Applicants for Admission to a Casual Ward", Sir Luke Fildes RA

The Early Life of John Castle

Poor Law Amendment Act

London Labour and the London Poor, Henry Mayhew

"A Night in a Workhouse" in The Pall Mall Gazette

Street Life in London, Adolphe Smith and John Thomson