Thursday, 26 November 2009

Extract from ''Glasghu Facies''

Rarely has Great Britain been so close to revolution

as in the Eighteen-thirties. Indeed, the brink was so
often reached that continentals spoke of this country
as the place where revolutions refuse to happen.
Such were the social conditions of those times that it

is surprising that this particular revolution did not
happen,at least, in Glasgow. In 1839 a Report to 
Parliament on housing in Great Britain said:

" I have seen human degradation in some of the worst 

places, both in England and abroad, but I did not believe
until I had visited the wynds of Glasgow that so large an
amount of filth, crime, misery and disease existed in one

spot in any civilized country" 

Lord Shaftesbury, in the same year,said in his diary

about Glasgow, " Walked through the ‘ dreadful ’
parts of this amazing city; it is a small square plot

intersected by small alleys, like gutters, crammed
with houses, dunghills, and human beings; hence 

arise . . . nine-tenths of the disease and
nine-tenths of the crime in Glasgow; and well it may. 

`Health would be impossible in such a climate; the

air tainted by exhalation from the most stinking and
stagnant sources, a pavement ,never dry, in lanes 
not broad enough to admit a wheelbarrow.
And is moral propriety and moral cleanliness, 

so to speak, moreprobable? Quite the reverse."

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