The Uroborus Papers
London is the hub of the great British Empire, with a population of approximately six and a half million souls as of 1887. A significant number of these live in the densely-packed East End. London itself is divided into 28 metropolitan boroughs, each governed by its own mayor and council, plus the City itself, which is headed by the Lord Mayor. Several surrounding suburbs are considered part of London as well.
The East End of London is the commercial and money-making section of the metropolis, harboring the docks, the Stock Exchange, the Bank of England, the Royal Mint, the post office, and other public buildings. The West End is more exclusive, where the wealthy and the upper classes make their homes, and where the center of government for the Empire is located. Here may be found Whitehall, the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, and cultural and scientific adornments, such as the British Museum and the Royal Albert Hall. The luxurious houses of the aristocracy found to the West starkly contrast with the poorer, crowded hovels of the East End, particularly east of the City in Whitechapel and Spitalfields. North of the City are the comparatively comfortable homes of the lower middle class, while south of the Thames (the “Surrey Side” of London) are poor dwellings near the river and more fashionable residences further south. Though gas works and such are south of the Thames, London has no specific manufacturing sector: factories and workhouses can be found scattered throughout the county.
Isle of Dogs
A large peninsula formed by a bend in the Thames, the site of the West India Docks and several smaller docks and warehouses. To the east of the Isle are the Victoria Dock and the Albert Dock, the Royal Arsenal, and the Plumstead Marshes.
The westernmost borough on the Surrey Side; the poorer section just south of the river is known as Kennington.
Life is cheap in this lower-class area, which encompasses Chinatown and the dock/warehouse areas and is home to numerous opium dens and other seamy establishments.
Primarily a residential area, middle to upper class, located north and northwest of Hyde Park.
The northern region of the borough of Bermondsey, containing most of the Surrey Side dock systems, particularly the extensive Surrey Commercial Docks. Also a manufacturing district inhabited primarily by dockworkers, sailors, watermen, and others who make their living from the river.
This foreign quarter also contains a number of restaurants, theaters, and entertainment halls.
A poor section of the East End, where new immigrants tend to congregate.
A middle-class residential and commercial area of flats and small shops south of Regent’s Park. Notable for Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum.
St. John’s Wood
A very fashionable residential district just northwest of Regent’s Park.
Also known as Southwark, a poor and crowded district directly across the Thames from the City. The population of the Borough is mostly employed in its river wharves and factories.
The financial center of London, and the oldest part of the city—the original site of Roman Londinium. Within its boundaries, which stretch from the Temple on the east to the Tower of London on the west, are the Bank of England, the Stock Exchange, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Custom House, General Post Office, and other structures of note. The City is also the home of the Cockney, whose clipped tones can be heard daily mixed with the more cultured tones of financiers.
The seat of government, stretching from Hyde Park on the west to the City on the east, and containing many of London’s best-known landmarks, such as Westminster Abbey, Scotland Yard, Big Ben, the government offices, and Parliament, along with most of the foreign embassies.
The East End, where the poor and miserable huddle in decrepit buildings and common-lodging or doss houses, clinging to life as laborers, costermongers, criminals, streetwalkers, beggars, and scavengers.