K. Government, Police, Fire Brigade, &c.
K. Government, Police, Fire Brigade, &c.-The metropolis includes within its limits two cities-viz., London and Westminster, one borough- Southwark, and thirty-seren districts, each governed by its own vestry or board of works. The City, properly so-called, is one of the oldest municipalities in the United Kingdom, and as we have noticed earlier in this article, is older than the Conquest. The corporation have a series of charters from the time of Edward the Confessor till 23 Geo. II., and by these its constitution has been altered from time to time. It now consists of a lord mayor who, during his year of office, is the constitutional head of the City, and twenty-five popularly-elected aldermen, from whom one is annually chosen as lord mayor, and two others are selected as sheriffs, and 206 members of the common council. In former days the mayor was elected by a general assembly of the citizens held in St Paul's Churchyard, but as this practice led to strife and riot an Act was passed in 1475 to alter the practice. At the present day a Court of Common Hall is held, composed of four aldermen and the liverymen of the City Guilds, and it nominates two aldermen for the office of lord mayor, from whom the court of aldermen select one. In almost every case the senior alderman below the chair is the man selected, but occasionally an extremely popular lord mayor is re-elected for a second term of office, and on the other hand the alderman first below the chair has been passed over in favour of a junior. The aldermen hold their office for life or until they find it necessary to resign it. The jurisdiction of the sheriffs was, by Edward IV. extended to the whole of Middlesex, and they were entitled sheriffs of London and Middlesex down to the year 1881, when by the Local Government Act of that year they were deprived of any authority outside the boundaries of the city, and are now sheriffs of London only. The election days are for Lord mayor 29 Sept., or if this date falls on Sunday, 28 Sept.; for sheriffs, 24 June, or if this falls on Sunday, then 25 June; for common council, 21 Dec., or if this falls on Sunday, 22 Dec. The freedom of the City may be obtained,-(1) By servitude, that is to say, by having been bound to a freeman, according to the custom of tha city, and having served duly and truly seven years; (2) by patrimony, that is, being the son or daughter (unmarried or widow) of a freeman, born after the admission of the father, and twenty-one years of age; (3) by gift of the city or honorary freedom; (4) by redemption or purchase. The freemen comprise all the constituents and furnish all the candidates for public office. The liverymen are such freemen and members of the City Guilds as enjoy certain privileges additional to those of other freemen; they formerly were only such as possessed superior wealth, but now may be any of the members of the great majority of the guilds. The City Guilds or companies were originally eighty-seven in number, but are now seventy-seven; many are very rich, but most have ceased to exercise their old privileges; the twelve leading ones are styled "Honourable," and called "the Twelve Great Companies;" thirty-nine of the whole have halls, while thirty-eight have none; and each is under the direction of a master, a senior warden, a junior warden, and a court of assistants, chosen by the members. The principal halls are noticed in our section on Public Buildings. The city arms are the sword of St Paul and the cross of St George. Among the personal privileges of the Lord Mayor are the following:- He has the right to maces; he is summoned to the Privy Council on the demise of the Crown; he receives a golden tankard, and acts as chief butler at a coronation banquet; he is communicated with by the Home Secretary on the occasion of births, deaths, and other important events in the Royal Family; he is Coroner, Escheator, Clerk of the Markets of the City of London, Admiral of the Port of London, Chairman of the Thames Conservancy Board, a trustee of the fabric of St Paul's Cathedral, head of the Royal Hospitals, and a member of the governing bodies of a number of charitable institutions. He has a salary of £10,000 for his year of office, but usually expends a sum considerably beyond this. His official residence is the Mansion House. Elected on 29 Sept., he is sworn into office on 8 Nov., and on the following day presented to the Lord Chief Justice at the Royal Courts of Justice to take the final declaration of office, the pageant conducted with some degree of civic state and always attracting much popular interest, being popularly known as the "Lord Mayor's Show." Among the officials of the corporation the Chamberlain was formerly a royal officer, and is so mentioned in 1195; when he became an officer of the corporation is not known. The Recorder was first appointed in 1298, and the Town Clerk and Common Sergeant are referred to as "ancient" officers in the charter of Edward II. granted in 1319. Among the officers of the City of London appointed by the Court of Aldermen are the Recorder, with a salary of £4000; Clerk to Lord Mayor, with £900; Clerk to Sitting Justices, with £600; and Steward of Southwark, with £57. The Chamberlain, who receives a salary of £2000, is elected by the livery. Other officers who are appointed by the Court of Common Council are the Town Clerk, with a salary of £3500; Judge of the City of London Court (with other offices), with £3200; Common Sergeant, with £2000; Remembrancer, with £2000; Solicitor, with £2000; Comptroller, with £1500; Commissioner of Police, with £1500; Assistant Judge of the Mayor's Court, with £1200; Medical Officer and Food Analyst, with £1200; Principal Clerk to the Chamberlain, with £1200; Registrar of Mayor's Court, with £1000; Registrar of City of London Court, with £1000; Surveyor, with £1000; Head Master of City of London School, with £1000; and Medical Officer of the Port of London, with £900. The Sword Bearer receives £500, and the Common Crier, £250. With respect to the foregoing officials, the duties discharged by the majority are sufficiently indicated by the titles of the offices they sustain, but it may be noted that the Chamberlain is the Treasurer; the Remembrancer is the Ceremonial and Parliamentary Officer of the Corporation, the Comptroller is the Conveyancing Officer; and that the Town Clerk transacts all the municipal business, attends meetings of the various courts and committees, and is the City Secretary and Recording Officer, The corporation, unlike the County Council, has its own police, and it possesses certain powers of taxation within the city limits. The income of the city is chiefly derived from the rents and quitrents of the property held, market dues and fees, and amounts to about £430,000 per annum, its annual budget, including loans, being about £780,000.
The corporation maintain a library, an art gallery, and a museum- all of which are noticed under Public Buildings- an orphan school for the children of freemen, and they liberally assist the City of London School and the Guildhall School of Music. The Court of Common Council have the presentation to the livings of St Peter's (Cornhill), St James's (Duke's Place), St Margaret Pattens (alternate with Crown), and St Katherine Cree (alternate with Magdalene College, Cambridge).
The London County Council was constituted, in common with county councils all over England and Wales, under the Local Government Act of 1888. London is an administrative county, with the boundaries conterminous with those of the area over which the former Metropolitan Board of Works exercised its jurisdiction under the Metropolis Management Act of 1855, or a total of 75,462 statute acres, so that it has absorbed, so far as rateable value is concerned, about seven-eights of Middlesex, about two-thirds of Surrey, and nearly one-third of Kent. The city takes its place within the county as an electoral division, but the city itself was not materially affected by the Act. Its ancient corporation retains all its exclusive powers and dignity, and it nominates its quota of representatives on the Standing Joint Committee, to which matters in which it and the County Council are interested are referred. The council comprises a chairman, 19 aldermen, and 118 councillors- together 138; or if the chairman be already a member of the council, 137. The councillors are elected for three years directly by the ratepayers, and they all retire together. The aldermen are elected by the councillors, their term of office being six years, but ten or nine retire every alternate three years. The first council was elected in 1888, and its first meeting was held on 21 March, 1889. Of the first council the Earl of Rosebery was elected chairman, and Sir John Lubbock, M.P., and Mr. J.B. Firth, M.P., vice-chairman and deputy-chairman respectively. The offices of the council are at the building formerly occupied by the Metropolitan Board of Works in Spring Gardens.
The powers, duties, and liabilities of the Council are:(1) Those formerly belonging to the Metropolitan Board of Works in connection with the raising and loaning of money; main drainage, including precipitation of sewage and disposal of the sludge; sanctioning new sewers constructed by vestries; the control and management of the fire brigade; the control over parks and open spaces; works for the prevention of floods; care of the bridges over the Thames within the metropolis, the maintenance of the Woolwich Ferry, and the construction and maintenance of a tunnel under the Thames at Blackwall; numerous street improvements, regulation of the width of new streets, lines of building, naming and numbering, temporary closure, subways and buildings; district surveyors; dangerous structures and buildings unfit for habitation or use; structures of theatres and music halls; artisans' dwellings; the regulation of dairies and cowsheds, and the enforcement of the roles necessary for protection against cattle diseases; the control over explosive substances, petroleum storage, and the regulation of offensive businesses; infant life protection; tramways and locomotives for roads; gas and gas meter testing; and constant supply of water. (2) The powers transferred from counties in connection with the granting of music and dancing licenses in the metropolis, including the City; asylums for pauper lunatics; reformatories and industrial schools; inspection of weights and measures; county buildings; coroners' districts, and other minor powers. (3) Powers transferred from various authorities with regard to highways; the licensing of houses or places for the performance of stage plays beyond the limits of the Lord Chamberlain's authority; the licensing of slaughter-houses and of cow-keepers, and the election of coroners. (4) New powers, which are conferred by Acts of Parliament from time to time to meet the ever-increasing requirements of the metropolis. In order to cope with the multifarious duties implied in the foregoing list, extensive powers are delegated to the standing committees appointed for asylums, bridges, building acts, corporate property, charities, &c.; finance, fire brigade, general purposes, highways, improvements, industrial and reformatory schools, local government and taxation, main drainage, offices, parks, and open spaces, parliamentary, public control, public health and Lousing, and theatres and music halls. The meetings of the council are held weekly. The budget of the council is a very elaborate affair, and the duties of the finance committee are of a very responsible nature. The necessary expenditure is defrayed out of capital money raised by the issue of stock and current income raised in a county rate. The power to raise and expend capital money is conferred upon the council by an annual Act of Parliament. The total debt of the county in 1895 was about £32,000,000; but against this there were loans owing to the council from the vestries, the School Board, and other public bodies amounting to about £10,500,000; property was held by the council of the estimated value of about £2,275,000; and there were also other assets bringing down the total net liability of the county to about £18,000,000. The annual maintenance income administered by the council is considerably over £2,000,000. Among the important public works undertaken by the council may be mentioned the excavation of a huge tunnel under the Thames at Blackwall to accommodate both vehicular and foot traffic, estimated to cost about £900,000 without the cost of the approaches; the acquisition of new parks and open spaces for recreation; the clearance of insanitary areas, and the erection thereon of improved dwelling-houses for artizans; and the erection and maintenance of model lodging-houses for casual labourers. Some important street improvements and the making of new roads are contemplated, but these are being held over until the "betterment" question is settled by the legislature.
Another question, however, of even greater importance awaits settlement. Neither in the Corporation of the City nor in the County Council of London does the metropolis possess a municipality with full municipal powers such as are enjoyed by most of the great cities and towns of the kingdom, but there is a very general and strong desire among its inhabitants that it should do so. This desire led to the appointment of a Royal Commission in 1893 to inquire as to the best method of effecting the amalgamation of the City and Council of London into a single municipality. The suggested amalgamation was strenuously opposed by the Corporation of the City of London, who, after preparing for the use of the commissioners an elaborate volume on the origin, position, duties, and finance of the corporation, ultimately withdrew from the Commission and refused to give any further evidence or assistance. The London County Council, on the other hand, eagerly welcomed the Commission, compiled a vast array of facts and figures for the use of the commissioners, and also appointed a special committee to draw up a scheme of amalgamation, which was presented early in 1894. The plan favoured by the Council was designed to effect amalgamation with as little disturbance of existing laws as possible, its main principle being the proposal to extend the city with its rights and privileges over the whole metropolis, retaining at the same time in the hands of the new corporation all the powers of the London County Council.
The Commission presented their report in the form of a blue-book in Sept., 1894. They said that a consideration of the evidence they received confirmed the opinion suggested by the course of previous inquiries that the government of London must be intrusted to one body, exercising certain functions throughout all the areas covered by the name, and to a number of local bodies exercising certain other functions within the local areas which collectively make up London, the central body and the local bodies deriving their authority as representative bodies by direct election, and the functions assigned to each being determined so as to secure complete independence and responsibility to every member of the system. The commissioners pointed out that the recent treatment of the large area of London outside the city as a county, while adequately recognising its essential unity, gave undue prominence to county rather than to city characteristics. London is really a great town, and requires town and not county government. Proceeding from this basis the commissioners recommended that the whole area of the present administrative county of London, including the city, should in future be called the City of London, and should be a county in itself, while the city as now known should hereafter be styled the "Old City." The governing body, practically the existing County Council, with representatives of the Old City added, should be incorporated under the name of the "Mayor and Commonalty and Citizens of London," and should succeed to the present corporation of the Old City and the London County Council. A lord mayor should be elected by the council from the citizens of London, to be admitted in the same manner and with the same ceremonies as the lord mayor of the Old City is now admitted. He should be the titular chairman of the council, but it should not be necessary for him to be present or preside at its meetings. He should be the official representative of the people of London, and should exercise and enjoy, except as otherwise provided, all the personal rights, offices, dignities, and privileges which belong to the lord mayor of the Old City. The commissioners expressed an opinion in favour of the appointment of a town-clerk as head of the municipal staff rather than of a salaried deputy-chairman, as obtains in the County Council. As to the functions of the new corporation, the commissioners considered that everything possible should be done to maintain the strength, authority, and dignity of the local bodies of London. They proposed to transfer to the new corporation the whole of the general estates of that of the Old City, with all the attendant liabilities; but the new corporation should pay over to the authorities of the Old City an annual sum of, say, £10,500. The sheriffs of London should be appointed by the council of the new corporation, and the jurisdiction of the court of quarter sessions and justices of the county of London should extend into the area of the Old City, which should cease to be a county of itself. The recorder of London should be chairmnn of quarter sessions for the county of London, and should in future be appointed, as in other boroughs, by the Crown. Freemen by patrimony, apprenticeship, redemption, and gift should be abolished, and the power of granting and fixing the numbers of the livery of the City Companies transferred to a department of the Imperial Government. The City police should be fused with the Metropolitan police, and be under the same control. The commissioners recommended that there should be one city or borough rate for London and a rate levied by the new corporation to be called the "city or borough rate." Various suggestions were offered as to the administration and disposition of the funds thus provided. The outlines were submitted of a scheme for the reconstruction of the municipal authority of the Old City, and the functions that should be assigned to it. Whatever may be the final settlement of this important question there can be no doubt but the presentation of this report marks an important and decisive step in the history of London government.
Police.-The Metropolitan Police Force was established in 1829 by Sir Robert Peel to supersede a previous force of constables and watchmen, many of the latter being feeble old men, quite incompetent to perform the duties required of them. The popular name for the older force being "Charleys," it was natural that Sir Robert's new men should be called "Bobbies" or "Peelers," nicknames which have ever since attached themselves to this useful class of public servants. As mentioned in an earlier part of this article the metropolitan police have jurisdiction over a district which extends to a radius of about 15 miles round Charing Cross, and covers more than 700 square miles. The force at the present time consists of about 30 superintendents, 650 inspectors, 1800 sergeants, and 12,650 constables, in addition to the commissioners and chief officers. There are also about 850 men who have charge of the dockyards belonging to the Government. The force is distributed into divisions, designated severally by letters of the alphabet, and each policeman is dressed in a dark-blue uniform, and has on his coat collar the letter of his division with his number. The divisions, with their respective regions, are :-C. O., or Commissioners' Office; A, Whitehall; B, Chelsea; C, St James's; D, Marlebone; E, Holborn; F, Paddington; G, Finsbury; H, Whitechapel; J, Bethnal Green; K, Bow; L, Lambeth; M, Southwark; N, Islington; P, Camberwell; R, Greenwich; S, Hampstead; T, Hammersmith; V, Wandsworth; W, Clapham; X, Kilburn; Y, Highgate; Thames, Woolwich Dockyard, Portsmouth Dockyard, Devenport Dockyard, Chatham Dockyard, and Pembroke Dockyard. The City Police Force comprises 1 commissioner, 1 assistant commissioner, S superintendents, 4 chief inspectors, 8 district inspectors, 22 station inspectors, 12 detective inspectors, 66 sergeants, 7 detective sergeants, and about 780 constables, with about 85 additional constables on private duty. The divisions of the City police are :-(1), Cripplegate; (2), Snow Hill; (3), Bridewell Place; (4), Clonk Lane; (5), Tower Street: (6), Bishopsgate. The chief Metropolitan police office is at New Scotland Yard, S.W., and the chief office of the City police is at 26 Old Jewry, E.C. A portion of the force of the Metropolitan police is mounted for duty in the suburbs, and for their use and for other services about 350 horses are maintained. In addition to the police stations there are a large number of "fixed points" scattered throughout all the more populous districts of the metropolis, where a constable may always be found between 9 a.m, and 1 p.m. If the constable at the fixed point is called away on special duty his place is taken by the first patrol who arrives at the vacant post. Of the enormous actual value of the property in charge of the police it is impossible to form any estimate, but the mean rateable value of the City is now considerably beyond £4,000,000, and the rateable value of the Metropolitan Police District considerably over £37,000,000. The annual net cost of the Metropolitan police is about £1,600,000 at the present time -a sum which is equal to 4s., 8½d. per head of the population, or £1 3s. 3¾d. for each inhabited house, these amounts being in each case considerably in excess of the figures for any other large town in Great Britain. The annual net cost of the City police is about £112,000. With respect to crime in the metropolis, some recent returns showed that the number of summary convictions in one year was about 111,000, and there were 3034 persons who were committed or bailed for trial. In addition there were 2342 habitual offenders known to the police who were not committed during the year. The foregoing figures, however, when compared with the statistics of the population of the police district, are less formidable than they appear at first sight, the total number of persons convicted known to be habitual criminals being only 116,524 out of a population of 5,633,806, or 2·07 per cent.
Fire Brigade.-As mentioned in the historical section of this article, London in past times has suffered severely from fire, and, though under its improved modern construction it may no longer fear the widespread desolation of former times, it is still subject to frequent and severe though limited conflagrations. Upon an average there are from three to four "serious" fires every week, with about sixty which are described in the returns of the fire brigade as "slight," or a total of about 3200 in all every year. The quantity of water used for extinguishing fire in the metropolis during one year is considerably over 30 millions of gallons, or 137,000 tons, more than half of which is taken from the river, canals, and docks, and the remainder from street pipes. The number of lives lost in these fires varies considerably, the return for a recent year being sixty-four, of which twenty-four were either suffocated or burnt to death, and forty who were rescued alive but afterwards succumbed to the injuries they received. The chief causes of these conflagrations were returned by the brigade in the following order:- Unknown, 981; lights thrown down but not extinguished, 277; gas in various ways, 255; oil lamps upset, 233; sparks from fire, 206; candles, 175; children playing with matches or with fire, 129; oil lamps exploding, 82. Only two fires were returned as arising from incendiarism, but it is to be feared that those returned as from causes unknown cannot all be ascribed to accident. In former times the apparatus maintained for protection against fire was of a miserably inadequate character. Two fire-engines, in terms of an Act of 1688, were required to be kept by every parish, and so many as 300 of them were at one time in use, but they were mere "hand-squirts " of little effective service. The formation of insurance companies began in 1682, went on slowly until 1717, accelerated rapidly during the rest of the 18th century, and led the way to more efficient methods for suppressing fire. The companies, for a long time, were too rivalrous with one another to originate common action against fires, but at length in 1833 ten of them agreed to place their engines under one committee of management, with an organized body of men to work as one force. The new organization took the name of the fire brigade, had soon about 100 trained men, with two floating engines on the Thames, and twenty-seven other large engines and nine small ones, and disposed them at a central station in Watling Street and at nineteen other stations. An institution for rescuing persons from burning houses rose simultaneously with the fire brigade, divided the metropolis into sixty-two sections, each with an area of half a mile square; had trained men every night in readiness to act on the alarm of fire: kept at forty-two stations fire-escapes in constant readiness for action; and is computed to have rescued, on the average, about eight persons every year. A new fire brigade in room of the previous one, under the control of the Metropolitan Board of Works, began to act at the commencement of 1866. Under the management of the board the service of the brigade was greatly improved, but, as time passed, the contributions of the fire insurance companies of £35 per million of the gross amount insured on property in the metropolis, and the authorised rate of one halfpenny in the £ on the net annual value of the property rated, proved inadequate to maintain a proper standard of efficiency. In 1887 the board applied to the legislature for additional powers, but as it was at that time rapidly approaching its deserved dissolution, these powers were refused, and the following year saw the control of the brigade pass to the newly appointed County Council. Unlike their predecessors the County Council were entrusted with unrestrained powers in the matter of rating, and the strength of the brigade was rapidly increased. The headquarters of the brigade are in Southwark Bridge Road, S.E., and it includes at the present time 56 land fire-engine stations, 4 river or floating stations; 52 hose cart stations, 179 fire escape stations, 9 steam fire-engines on barges, 48 land steam fire-engines, 78 six-inch manual fire-engines, 17 under six-inch manual fire-engines, 34 miles of hose, 105 hose carts, 8 steam tugs, 13 barges, 12 skiffs, 221 fire escapes, 9 street stations, 126 watch boxes, 710 firemen - including chief officer, second officer, superintendents and all ranks, 25 men under training, 17 pilots, 73 coachmen, and 133 horses. Information as to the outbreak of fires is obtained by means of 55 fire-alarm circuits around stations, with 546 call-points, 21 telephones to police stations, 2 telegraphs, 73 telephones, and 8 bell-ringing fire alarms to public and other buildings. The total annual cost of the brigade is about £175,000, of which sum the Treasury contributes £10,000, and the various insurance companies about £29,000, the balance being raised by a rate.
Water Supply.-The supply of water to the metropolis in its early periods and down to the formation of the New River has been incidentally noticed in our historical section. The supply eventually came to be furnished from the works of eight public companies - all powerful and wealthy corporations, who by their exactions and overbearing manners keep their helpless customers in a chronic state of irritation which may one day bring about important changes. The eight water companies included in the term "metropolitan water companies" are the New River Company, the East London Company, the Chelsea Company, the West Middlesex Company, the Grand Junction Company, the Lambeth Company, the Southwark and Vauxhall Company, and the West Kent Company. The districts supplied by the first five of these are on the north side of the Thames, and those supplied by the last three are situated on the south side of the river. Together they form a district usually spoken of as "Water London," which comprises an area of about 620 square miles. The areas supplied by the companies are not co-extensive with any districts of which the populations are given by the Registrar-General in the census returns, and no exact statement of the population is obtainable from official sources, but according to the returns made by the water companies themselves, the total population supplied by them in 1891 was estimated at 5,490,791. It would, seem, however, that the method they employed in computing the number of persons supplied by them was somewhat illusory, and that, while it was not possible to estimate exactly the number of persons supplied from private sources, 5,237,062 persons must be accepted as the closest approximation that could under the circumstances be made. It appears from the returns made by the various companies, that the quantity of water consumed per head of the population differs widely in the districts of the several companies, ranging from 47.72 gallons per head per day in the district of the Grand Junction Company to 26.71 gallons in the case of the West Middlesex Company. The average consumption for the whole of the population of the metropolis is about 31.19 gallons per head per day. The total daily average consumption of water in London was for-
|Years.||Gallons.||Increase per cent.|
|Southwark and Vauxhall,||"||26,300,000|
The eight companies differ widely as to the sources whence they supply and the portions of the metropolis which they serve. The Kent Company, which supplies south-east London, draws its water from the chalk, and furnishes water that is purer originally than any other supplied to the metropolis, but which at the same time is rather hard. The New River Company, which serves the City, Islington, Highbury, Hornsey, Highgate, and Hampstead, draws from Chadwell Spring near Ware, from other small springs, from the river Lea, and from some artesian wells, and supplies a water which is purer than that taken from the Thames. The East London Company draws its chief supply from the river Lea and from wells in the Lea valley, and serves from Upper Clapton southward to Bethnal Green and Limehouse, and eastward to Stratford and Plaistow. The other companies, viz., the Grand Junction, which supplies Paddington and part of the neighbourhood round Picadilly; the West Middlesex, which serves Regent's Park and Portland Town; the Chelsea which serves Chelsea and Belbravia; the Southwark and Vauxhall, which serves Southwark, Kennington, Wandsworth, Clapham, Peckham, &c.; and the Lambeth, which serves Lambeth, Newington, Camberwell, Brixton, Tooting, Streatham, and Dulwich - all draw their supplies from the Thames. Neither the Thames nor the Lea are free from danger arising from pollution, but the filtration is so carefully and efficiently conducted by the companies, that the members of a Royal Commission which was appointed in 1892 to consider the water supply of London, were unanimous in their opinion, "that the water, as supplied to the consumer in London, is of a very high standard of excellence and purity, and that it is suitable in quality for all household purposes." During the latter part of the 19th century many projects have been formed by engineers and others to enable the metropolis to dispense with the water drawn from the Thames and Lea, and to obtain an entirely fresh supply from uncontaminated sources. It has been suggested that the waters of the Severn, the Wye, the upland vales of certain groups of the Welsh mountains, and the lakes of Westmorland and Cumberland might be laid under contribution, at an outlay varying from £3,000,000 to £12,000,000; but it was the opinion of the Royal Commissioners, that by gradually increasing the works of the present companies it would be easy to increase the supply to 440,000,000 gallons per day, or 257,500,000 gallons beyond the present supply - a quantity adequate to furnish 30 gallons per head per day to a population of 12,000,000. The total income of the water companies in 1891 was as follows:- Chelsea, £134,126; East London, £274,688; Grand Junction, £178,659; Kent, £135,842; Lambeth, £221,792; New River, £495,121; Southwark and Vauxhall, £206,945; West Middlesex, £213,402. Of the total sum, £13,552 was derived from rent of land and fees, and the remainder, £1,847,026, from the water rates.
Drainage.-A system of drainage was instituted in the time of Henry VI.; underwent improvement and vast extension at various subsequent periods: was investigated by a committee of the House of Commons in 1834; and acquired a condition which, though well seen to be far from perfect, was thought for a time to be sufficiently effective. That system included on the N side of the Thames no fewer than fifty main sewers, aggregately 106 miles long - on the S side twenty-one main sewers, aggregately 60 miles long; comprised, subsidiary sewers, not less than an aggregrate of 1000 miles of underground channels, discharged daily into the Thames, on the N side, about 7,045,120 cubic feet of sewage - on the S side about 2,457,600 cubic feet; and was enlarged, during the fifteen months ending in March, 1857, to the aggregate of 44 miles of sewers, at a cost of nearly £100,000. But some of its sewers were, in fact, mere subterranean canals. constructed along the beds of ancient streams; so many as drained about 3 square miles of streets and other densely edificed places, discharged into the Thames at points from 6 to 7 feet below high-water mark, with the effect of rendering them, throughout these 3 square miles, during a large proportion of every twelve hours, a vast series of sheer cesspools; and all poured their contents into the river in direct contact with the metropolis, converting all its waters into foul diluted sewage, offensive enough if the current had always been running seaward, and made intensely offensive by the stemming of the tides. An entirely new system, under the direction of the Metropolitan Board of Works, was begun to be formed in 1859; went steadily on in formation during subsequent years; was completed about 1870; and is estimated to have cost about £1,100,000. This comprises three main sewers, called the high level, the middle level, and the low level, on the N side of the river, and two main sewers, called the high level and the low level, on the S side; it was based on the principle of intercepting the old drainage by new lines of sewers, at right angles to the previous sewers, and a little below their levels; it conveys the entire sewage of the metropolis, and as much as practicable of the rainfall, to outlets at Barking Creek on the N and at Crossness Point on the S, about 14 miles below London Bridge; it carries off as large a proportion as possible by gravitation, and provides a discharge for the remainder by constant pumping. The High-level Sewer, on the N side, commences immediately below Hampstead, and runs by Holloway, Stoke Newington, Hackney, and Bow, to the outfall at Barking Creek. The Middle-level Sewer commences near Kensal Green, follows the Uxbridge Road and Oxford Street, crosses Clerkenwell Green, Bethnal Green, and Old Ford, passes on to the Hackney Marshes, and there falls into the high-level sewer. The Low-level Sewer commences above Millbank Penitentiary, runs nearly parallel with the Thames, by Abingdon Street, Palace Yard, and Parliament Street, to Whitehall; is joined there by a sewer draining the W, and passing between Belgravia and Chelsea proceeds from Whitehall so closely to the Thames as to have connection with the Thames Embankment; goes on in contiguity to the Thames to the vicinity of the Tower, proceeds thence nearly in the line of the Blackwall railway, and joins the high-level sewer at Bow, The Low-level Sewer, besides intercepting the sewage from the low-level area of 11 square miles, is also the main outlet for a district of about 14½ square miles, forming the western suburb of London, which lies so low that the sewage has to be pumped up at the Low-level Pumping House near Chelsea Bridge (completed in 1875), a height of 17½ feet, into its upper end. The sewage has again to be raised 36 feet at the Abbey Mills Pumping Station before it reaches the level of the high-level sewer there. The High-level Sewer, on the S side, commences at the foot of the high ground at Clapham, runs N of Stockwell, Camberwell, and Peckham, to Kew Cross, passes under part of Greenwich and part of Greenwich Park, proceeds through the marshes to Woolwich, goes in a tunnel under Woolwich, passes throush Plumstead Marshes, and proceeds to the outfall at Crossness Point. The Low-level Sewer commences at Putney drains Wandsworth, Battersea, Lambeth, and Southwark, crosses the Kent Road, drains Bermondsey and Deptford, and joins the high-level sewer at a point in the Ravensbourne Valley between Deptford and Greenwich. The whole main drainage system is estimated to be equal to the disposal of 63,000,000 cubic feet per day, the quantity at present carried being about 10,000,000 cubic feet on the northern side, and about 4,000,000 cubic feet on the southern side daily. As arranged in the first instance, it was expected that when the sewers emptied themselves at high water the discharge would be carried off by the ebb to a point 24 miles below London Bridge - too far for it to return by the following flood; while the sewage would be so diluted by the large mass of tidal water as to be rendered harmless. These expectations, however, were far from being realized, and in the course of a few years the condition of the Thames in its lower reaches became almost intolerable, foul banks of sludge being formed in its channel, and the stench arising from the water being most offensive. To meet this difficulty a new system of treating the sewage has been introduced, by which the solid matter is separated from the water, and after being mixed with proto-sulphate of iron and lime is shipped into special "sludge vessels," huge tank steamers which convey it out into Barrow Deeps in the German Ocean, where it is deposited in deep water. This has already effected an enormous improvement in the condition of the Thames, which is much better now than it has been at any time during the past half-century. The annual cost of maintaining and extending the drainage system of London is about £170,000 a year, and it is estimated that there are now 1300 miles of ordinary and 82 of intercepting sewers.
Pauperism.-The total number of paupers in London at the close of the census year, 1891, was 109,090, or about 2 per cent. of the population. These consisted of-
|Temporarily disabled males,||2,770|
|Temporarily disabled females,||2,339|
|Children under 16,||2,967|
|Children under 16,||13,377|
|Children under 16,||786|
|Children under 16,||11,677|
|Children under 16,||1,863|
|Children under 16,||24|
|Less persons relieved both indoor and outdoor,||32|
The cost of Metropolitan pauperism for the year 1890-91 is given in the Local Government Report at £2,435,164. The yearly cost of each pauper in 1890-91, calculated on the mean number of paupers of all classes, was £22 16s. 1d.
Lighting.-The lighting of London at night, like the lighting of every other city in Europe, was formerly of a most pitiful kind, and oil lamps were not introduced until 1684. A great progress was made in 1714 by ordering the citizens to hang out lamps at their doors on dark nights from six in the evening till eleven; but the lighting in 1734 comprised no more than about 1000 small lamps; and even so late as 1797 it had mere glimmerings from lamps at about every tenth door. The lamps, too, were lighted only from Michaelmas till Lady Day, only from six in the evening till midnight, and only from the third day after each full moon till the sixth day after the new one. Gas was first introduced into London in 1807; Pall Mall was illuminated by it in 1809: and it had come into general use about 1814. There are now about 1,000,000 gas lamps in the metropolis, consuming daily about 28,000,000 cubic feet of gas. The three chief London gas companies are the Gaslight and Coke Company, the South Metropolitan, and the Commercial. Some idea of the magnitude of their operations may be gleaned from the fact that the total income of the Gaslight and Coke Company is about £3,700,000 a year, the total income of the South Metropolitan above £1,075,000, and the total income of the Commercial £350,000 a year, the gross profits being about £775,000, £225,000, and £57,000 respectively. Other companies supplying London and the surrounding district are the London Gaslight; the Brentford, Wandsworth, and Putney; Crystal Palace District; and the Mitcham and Wimbledon Companies. In 1878 the Thames Embankment was first lighted by electricity, but the introduction of this mode of illumination was hindered by unwise legislation for several years, and it was not until 1889 that the new regulations of the Board of Trade opened the way for its extension. It is now rapidly making its way in London, and powerful companies have been formed to supply the electric current for illuminating purposes. Some of the London vestries have also erected works for electric supply.