Saturday, 16 September 2017

Black Ribbon: Death on the Canal

The canal in blue down the side of Charlotte Street and Whitmore Lane. The Custom House bridge is middle-left.
This blogpost is part of a series looking at offshoot themes from my book 'Notorious' that recounts the lives people living on Charlotte Street and Whitmore Lane in Cardiff from 1841-1870. It contains mature content. The introduction to the notorious streets can be found here.

The black ribbon, the Glamorganshire Canal, wound it's way down through the Taff valley from Merthyr Tydfil to Cardiff docks.
Charlotte Street and Whitmore Lane were bounded to the west and north by the canal and it had a large influence on the society that lived there, employment only being a small part. It is no coincidence that the other two main areas of prostitution and vice in South Wales, China in Merthyr and Friar's Fields in Newport were also both within close proximity to canals. When historians write about canals, such as in the two volume 'Glamorganshire and Aberdare Canal' by Rawson and Wright, they neglect to mention the dark influences the canal had on the societies that lived alongside it.


The authorities were well aware of one nefarious use the canal had among the prostitutes and bullies of Charlotte Street and the Lane. In 1842 a ships captain was found dead in the canal missing his money. He'd last been seen the night before leaving the Somerset Arms which had entrances on Charlotte Street and Whitmore Lane. Despite an inquest his killers were never found. In 1846 the coroner had this to say about how the canal was used to murder:
John Thomas had come to Cardiff from Treforest to enjoy the Whitsun holiday in 1860 but met his wet end in the canal after drinking with the 'bad characters in Whitmore Lane:

Of course foul play could never be proved.

The Black Ribbon had two other social uses that its makers never intended, suicide and the dumping of babies and foetuses.


It was the sheer proximity of the canal that lent itself as a suicide spot. This close to the sea it was deep and very few people could swim. In April 1850 John Gleeson, who ran a lodging house on Whitmore Lane, lost it shortly after the birth of his only son:

Suicide was of course a crime at this time- hence the five shilling and costs fine (about a weeks rent).
In June 1854 the prostitute Ann Moore alias 'Carrots' (who was working with Jenny Piano in 1861) attempted a suicidal escape attempt, after being arrested for fighting with another Whitmore Lane prostitute:
In 1855 Naomi Oram, a prostitute working out of Mary Prothero's brothel on Whitmore Lane also lost it one Sunday morning in July. She had very probably been up all Saturday night drinking and had not yet gone to bed when she was rescued by an umbrella:
She was taken back to Prothero's brothel and continued to work the streets for another five years.
In June 1857 Ellen Griffiths, another prostitute from Whitmore Lane, threw herself into the canal and is saved, rather poetically by one of the town missionaries:

Hannah Phillips, who was brought up since she was an infant on Charlotte Street and lived at her parents lodging house at number 39 (the canal end of Charlotte Street), decided the same thing in the summer of 1861:
The magistrate, ever tuned to the difficulties of being poor, blames her life on her 'love of dress':
Hannah Phillip's case is interesting as she is evidence of a 'fallen women' who was literally brought up in the environs of brothels and prostitution for most of her life.
In 1862 Elizabeth Williams, who'd been working Charlotte Street and Whitmore Lane for the last five years, also felt distressed enough to jump into the canal:
Jump forward to 1868 and Margaret Mahoney, a Whitmore Lane prostitute also wanted to end her life:
Old age had a depressing effect on some, like William Griffiths, a usually friendly and sociable razor grinder from Charlotte Street who walked up to the nearest bridge and jumped off in the summer of 1869:
In 1871 Catherine Martin, a 24 year old Irish prostitute living at 17 Charlotte Street who had been working there for over ten years, attempted suicide while drunk:
This was the third time she had attempted suicide by jumping into the canal.
The last suicide attempt takes us full circle in a way. John Gleeson attempted suicide in 1850- he opens this section of the blog. Almost 30 years later in May of 1879 his daughter Mary Ann Gleeson, who had been working as a prostitute, jumped in at exactly the same spot.
The lock hospital mentioned was for venereal disease. The way they say her 'illness was very manifest' means that she was probably in the last stages of syphilis- her body was being eaten away by sores and infection and she was using a crutch to walk.

Infanticide & Concealment of Birth

I have found only one reference, in 1842, to a baby's body being discovered in the privies (outside toilets) of Whitmore Lane. Considering the huge number of brothels and prostitutes on Charlotte Street and Whitmore Lane there must have been a high rate of unwanted pregnancies, still born and aborted babies.
Many of the working women worked right up to the birth of their children, for example Sarah Nips was with a client the day before she gave birth in 1852 and Ann Arnott was working in Mrs George's Dinas Arms brothel until two weeks before she gave birth in 1868. We have recorded the still-born birth of a child of Jane Allen, a Whitmore Lane prostitute, who gave birth in Mrs Donovan's brothel at 24 Whitmore Lane in 1856. The baby was put into a box and placed under the bed while the midwife attended to the mother. If the police had not turned up after hearing the rumours I wonder where that box would have ended up, perhaps the midwife would have buried it, what is certain is that many unwanted babies, still born or not ended up in the Glamorganshire Canal.
This report from 1855 shows how grisly the practice could be:
In January 1857 another baby was found. It had lived and it's umbilical cord has been torn rather than cut, showing the desperation of the birth:
In February of the next year two boys found the body of a baby girl:
In January 1868 another murdered child was found in the canal by Whitmore Lane:

Another dead baby was found five months later in June wrapped in calico hidden between the canal bridge wall and the fence of a timber merchant at the end of Whitmore Lane:

This report, also from 1868 and around the corner in Bute Street, shows how so many mothers and children came to be in this desperate situation:
This servant called in the police, but often these babies were born in dark, secret places to poor and desperate women. Who knows how many ended up in the canal. I'm not saying that they all came from the women and brothels of Charlotte Street and the Lane, we'll never know their stories, but it is likely that many did.


Falling into the canal was not always intentional, it was in fact a frequent occurrence. We begin with a 16 year old boatman man falling off a barge while partying with friends and some lady guests by Whitmore Lane. They took his body to Caroline/Catherine Mouls' brothel on Whitmore Lane. 
This obscene 'tit-bit' masquerading as humour appeared in the editorial section on Glamorganshire in the Monmouthshire Merlin in 1850:

You don't have to be a historian to understand that these children were missed, no matter how poor or inconsequential their parents were. I'm sure Bridget Kirby's widowed father, who was a labourer lodging at Whitmore Lane, missed his five year old daughter after she went to play on the Thursday and was found lifeless in the canal on a Saturday morning in 1855.
Elizabeth George, the landlady of the Dinas Arms on Charlotte Street, almost lost her son George to the canal shortly after moving to Cardiff in May 1858. The brothel keeper and prostitute Susan Stanton wasn't so lucky. Her four year old son, a grandson of Mary the Cripple, fell from a narrowboat into the canal on an April afternoon in 1859 and was only found when his dead body resurfaced many hours later.
This boy from Charlotte Street had a lucky escape from death in 1868:

I've always been interested in the Glamorganshire Canal, having lived alongside it's path at one point, and have been dismayed at the destruction of it over the years. Very little remains of it today, most disappearing under the A470. I never realised how much blood and pain had soaked into it's clay lined channel over the years.

Captain death inquest: 1842 October 8th Cardiff Merthyr Guardian p.3.
Coroner's report: 1846 January 3rd CMG p.2.
Merthyr Man's death: 1864 May 20th Cardiff News p.2.
John Gleeson suicide: 1850 April 20th CMG p.4. & Monmouthshire Merlin p.2.
Ann Moore: 1854 June 9th CMG p.3.
Naomi Oram suicide: 1855 July 7th CMG p.5.
Ellen Griffiths: 1857 June 27th CMG p.5.
Hannah Phillips: 1861 July 19th Cardiff Times p.8. 1861 July 20th CMG p.6.
Hannah Phillips Census 1861 St Marys Cardiff RG9/4033 F85 p55.
Hannah Phillips: See also 1859 July 9th CT p.3.
Elizabeth Williams: 1862 Sept 13th MM p.6. Earlier see 1857 July 4th CMG p.6.
Margaret Mahoney: 1868 February 1st Cardiff Times p.5.
William Griffiths: 1869 July 10th CMG p.5.
Kate Martin: 1871 October 25th Western Mail p.3. 3rd time Oct 28 CMG p.5.
Kate Martin: There's a long list of previous convictions e.g. 1862 July 25th CT p.6.
Mary Driscoll: 1855 November 10th CMG p.3.
1855 July 28th CMG p.8.
1857 Jan 17th CMG p.8.
1858 Feb 27th CMG p.5.
1868 January 25th Cardiff Times p.3.
1868 June 27th Cardiff Times p.5.
Something like a Bull: 1850 August 17th MM p.3.

Margaret Griffiths: 1858 July 31st CMG p.6. Taken in for 'obstructing the pavement' 1854 June 23rd CMG p.3.
George George: 1858 May 15th p.5.
Bridget Kirby: 1855 July 14th CMG p.8. 1855 burial in St Mary's burial records p.279
John Thomas: 1860 June 9th Cardiff Times p.5.
John Jones: 1868 April 25 Cardiff Times p.5.

Map is from the Glamorgan Archives, the newspaper reports are either from the excellent Welsh Newspapers Online site from the National Library of Wales or from microfiche at the Cathays Library in Cardiff.

The book 'Notorious' is almost completed, I'm just adding some final evidence from birth, marriage and death certificates that I need to order, and painting the portraits of the characters within it.
This post in its current form is copyright Anthony Rhys 2017.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Mary No-Nose: Cardiff Prostitute Nicknames

Cranky & Bristol Ann have a fight in 1841.
Nicknames were common throughout Wales, especially with lots of people having the same names. They were also used a lot among the criminal fraternity. This post looks at the nicknames of Cardiff prostitutes working on Charlotte Street and Whitmore Lane in the 1840's to the 1860's.
There's no doubt they were in common use among the inhabitants of Charlotte Street and Whitmore Lane as they are often recounted in conversations from witnesses. They were used so much that people would be unaware of their real names, like this example from 1847 on Whitmore Lane:


Many of the nicknames just identified the women by where they came from:
Kitty Pen Bont: Catherine Williams was from Bridgend (Penybont). She's the earliest reference to a working girl and was arrested at Mr Barnes pub in 1833 after stealing a watch from a punter with her bully.
Chepstow Mary: Eliza Davies worked on Charlotte Street in 1841.
Swansea Sue: Living on King Street, Swansea in 1841, Susan Davies moved to work on Charlotte Street and the Lane in 1848. In 1851 she was working in Ned Llewellyn's brothel on Whitmore Lane:
She worked as a prostitute until the early 1860's. I'll be writing a separate blogpost on Swansea Sue soon.
Welsh Kate: Also sometimes 'Welsh Kit'. Catherine Thomas worked on Whitmore Lane from 1841 to 1846. She hung around with Catherine Atkins- see below- so the nickname was handy to differentiate between the two Catherines, although Catherine Atkins was Welsh too!
The Great Westerns: I think this is a geographical reference. Mary Williams and Eliza Thomas were the Great Westerns in 1842.
Irish Joanna: Joanna Mahoney worked the Lane from 1842 to 1844.
Irish Meg: Margaret Sullivan/John worked on Charlotte Street and the Lane for at least 23 years from 1851 until 1874. Not to be confused with Irish Mag who was Margaret Keyhole. At times Meg was a very successful thief:
£33 pounds in 1861 was a hell of a lot of money, many thousands of pounds today.
Here she is doing a ten year stretch in Parkhurst prison in 1868. She's one of the people in my Notorious book.
Bristol Ann: Ann Daniels worked on Whitmore Lane 1841-4.
Bristol Eliza: See the blogpost 'The Whore and the Mayoress' to read about Bristol Eliza.
Blackwood: Blackwood is a town in the county of Caerphilly. Ann Thomas worked the Lane from around 1846-7 and she was friends with Catherine Atkins (see below).
Abergavenny Poll: Hannah Goodwin, from Abergavenny, was active 1850-8 until she got seven years for a brothel theft and ended up in Brixton prison. She flitted between Cardiff and the China slum in Merthyr.
Ann Pendarren: From Penderyn near Merthyr Tydfil Ann Llewellyn hit it big at the lodging house of William Pimm in 1861:

Physical Descriptions

Big Jane: Jane Thomas worked on Whitmore Lane in 1841 and was in the China slum in Merthyr by 1847. She wasn't too big to be threatened with the stocks in 1841:
Mary Fat: Mary Jones worked on Whitmore Lane in 1844-1846.
Mary the Cripple: Though always a brothel keeper rather than a prostitute Mary the Cripple was disabled since birth and started off in Newport. Read more about her Newport life here. Her sister Catherine Hughes was known as 'Long Kit' or 'Katty', her daughter Elizabeth Jenkins was known as 'Bets the Cripple', 'Betty Yarwood' and 'Cripple Junior' and her other daughter Ann Yarwood was 'The Young Cripple', though the name is not reported after she moved to Cardiff in 1853.
Kitty Pigs Eyes: Catherine Atkins from Cardiff had this rather unfortunate nickname. She worked from 1844 to 1853. Here she is ashaming policemen. Kitty is one of my Notorious people.

Sarah Nips: Sarah Clarke was a prostitute working in the China area of Merthyr until the autumn of 1849 when she came to Charlotte Street. She stayed working in the sex-trade there for the next twenty years, running brothels and pubs. She was running the brothel that Kitty Pigs' Eyes was working in by 1851. Her nickname was not reported in the papers in Cardiff so she perhaps left it behind in Merthyr (though there were very close links between China and Whitmore Lane). She became 'Cora' from the mid 1850's. The Nips nickname could be sexual or from 'nipper' a term for someone small.
Carrots: The probably ginger-haired Ann Moore started prostitution in Newport in 1852 when she was aged just 14. She moved to Charlotte Street at the start of 1854 and was working in Jenny Piano's brothel at 16 Whitmore Lane in 1861. You can read more about her on the blog about Jenny Piano.


Cranky: Mary Rees was obviously a bit moody! She worked on Whitmore Lane in 1841-8.
Mary No-Nose: Maybe Cranky had an accident as Mary No-Nose was a Mary Rees too in 1842.
Betsy Fine-Talk: Elizabeth Lewis obviously had the gift of the gab in 1842.
Miss Molly Crankey: Mary Brewer was also moody in the early 1840's!
Mrs Fillpots: Maria Meyrick moved to Charlotte Street from the Friar's Fields area of Newport in 1845 after she was severely assaulted by her pimp. She appears to have been victimised after he got fifteen years transportation to Australia for the assault. Mrs Fillpots was a character in a 1837 comedy play 'Women's Whims' which may have been shown at Newport. Mrs Fillpots is the landlady of a pub in the play. It obviously refers to Maria's heavy drinking. Maria Meyrick worked in Cardiff until she was transported herself in 1850.
The Grenadier: Mary Lawson was from Cheshire and tall and heavily built, Grenadiers in the army had to be tall- hence the nickname. She worked Whitmore Lane from 1846 until 1856 and appears in the book.
The Little Punch: Ann Owens was five foot and a half inch tall. She also had a mean punch by the sounds of it. She started her life in prostitution aged just 12 in Swansea and moved to Charlotte Street and the Lane in 1850. in 1851 she was working for Mrs Prothero in her brothel along with the Grenadier:
More about The Little Punch can be found in my blog about prostitute tattoes here. In this report she's involved in a brothel robbery with Thomas Thomas, Mrs Prothero's son-in-law:

Nicknames were sometimes reported in official prison records, like in Millbank Prison in 1865 where Ann Morgan is alias Owens alias Punch:


Cockatoo: Mary Ann Jones was a prostitute and brothel keeper who started in Newport in 1843 and moved to Charlotte Street in 1851. She worked there until she got a 14 year sentence for theft in 1855. God only knows how she got the nickname of Cockatoo, perhaps a sexual reference.
Jenny Piano: Jane Roberts was active on Charlotte Street and Whitmore Lane 1848 until 1864. There's a blog post about her life here. I think the most obvious reason for the nickname is she played the piano in the pubs.
All for Love: Eliza Thomas was obviously committed to her job in 1847.
Sancta Maria: This is the only example I have of a woman's nickname changing over time. In Newport Bridget Kelly worked the Friar's Fields area from 1839 and was known as Sancta Maria, I thought she was an Irish Roman Catholic but she was a Protestant, so I'm unsure of why the nickname stuck.  When she moved to Cardiff in 1846 she became known as Sandy Maria and then Saucy Maria, references to her hair colour and her occupation! She was transported to Van Diemen's Land in 1851 aboard the Aurora.

The historian is chained by their sources. It's a sad fact for this book that the Newport and Merthyr press were more likely to give nicknames in their newspaper reports of criminal trials than the Cardiff press. Cardiff was slow to report it's court cases and there are hundreds of newspapers from the 1840's that give a paragraph of court cases from places like Neath, Merthyr and Swansea but nothing at all from Cardiff. The reporting of nicknames was more common in the 1840's, declined through the 1850's and was rare in the 1860's. Newport papers in the 1840's obviously sent a reporter to the courts who often gave highly descriptive reports of it's criminals and their speech, like this one of 'Mrs Fillpots' from 1843:

I love the 'And thank ye, sir' at the end.
Sandy Maria, Kitty Pigs' Eyes, Irish Meg, The Little Punch, Mary the Cripple, Mrs Fillpots, Sarah Nips and The Grenadier are all main people in my upcoming book 'Notorious' about thirty years on Charlotte Street and Whitmore Lane 1841-1870.

Chepstow Mary: 1841 July 10th p.3. Monmouthshire Merlin
Swansea Sue: 1848 June 23rd p.5. The Principality
1852 March 1st p.4. Cardiff & Merthyr Guardian
Welsh Kate: 1846 June 20th p.2. MM
Irish Joanna: 1842 December 24th p.3. Cardiff & Merthyr Guardian
Irish Meg: 1861 May 24th p.6. Cardiff Times
Bristol Ann: 1841 September p.3. The Welshman
Ann Pendarren: 1861 August 31 p.5. CMG
The Great Westerns: 1842 August 6th p.3. The Cambrian

Big Jane: 1841 June 18th p.2. The Welshman
Mary Fat: 1846 June 13th p.3. MM
Kitty Pigs' Eyes: 1849 August 18th p.1. CMG

Cranky: 1841 September 17th p.3. The Welshman
Miss Molly Crankey: 1842 November 12th p.3.CMG
Mary No-Nose: 1842 August 6th p.3. The Cambrian
Mrs Fillpots: 1843 August 19th Glamorgan Monmouth Brecon & Merthyr Gazette
Betsy Fine-Talk: 1842 December 24th p.3. CMG

Cockatoo: 1847 July 17 p.3. MM
All For Love: 1847 March 27th p.2. CMG
Sarah Nips: 1849 April 6th p.8. The Principality
Last report: 1843 September 9th p.3. MM

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

'Swaggering Gait': Pimps of Victorian Cardiff

'Has a swaggering gait, blotched face and dimpled chin' so reads the description of Lemuel Anderson, a bully of Charlotte Street in 1850. This post looks at the role of the bully, or pimp, in Cardiff from 1839-1851.
Lemuel was typical of the Charlotte Street and Whitmore Lane bully (the older term for pimp). He was a 21 year old, born in Bristol where he had already been flogged in gaol as a child. He was a labourer who, as a teenager, had already had several minor scrapes with the law linked with his poverty, including washing naked in the canal feeder and stealing a goose and a bucket.
Lemuel was also involved in petty crime with other young men on Charlotte Street and Whitmore Lane. In 1849 he was out breaking lamps with his brother Stephen, alias 'Mouse', James Loynes who had grown up in his grandmother's brothel and Daniel Ryan who went on to be a bully and a thief for the next fifteen years. When these lads were put into the police station cells they turned on the police station windows: 
1849 December 22nd Cardiff Merthyr Guardian p.4.
In 1851 Lemuel was the bully of Mary Ann Powell, a prostitute originally from Newport. He had her name tattooed on his arm and she had his name tattooed on hers. These young lovers both robbed a man at the notorious Noah's Ark brothel by hitting him over the head with a poker while he slept:
1850 August 8th Cardiff Merthyr Guardian p.2.
They both got hefty transportation sentences for this attack.
The bully was a staple figure on Charlotte Street and Whitmore Lane. They were tough men with a propensity for violence like 19 year old Daniel Beddoe:

1849 September 8th Cardiff Merthyr Guardian p.4.
The worst bullies were not linked to a single prostitute and instead terrorised any woman who had earned money like John Thomas:
1847 March 27th Cardiff Merthyr Guardian p.2.
Ann Anthony, the woman he kicked and threw the pint glass at was five months pregnant.
Many of the bullies of Charlotte Street and Whitmore Lane were also boatmen on the Glamorganshire Canal that went past Charlotte Street and Whitmore Lane. The dual tasks of boatman and bully seemed to suit these men- I suppose the piece work and the odd hours they did on the boats meant they could bully when they were not barging.
1846 October 10th Cardiff Merthyr Guardian p.3.
The bully also mirrored the prostitutes in terms of age and longevity of service in the role, most lasting a few years, generally from 18-25 years of age, before they either moved into less stressful and more settled occupations or were imprisoned for long terms. There are exceptions to this rule such as William Bennett was still bullying on Whitmore Lane in 1848 at the age of 43. Like Lemuel usually the bullies were partnered with specific prostitutes and lived with them:
1856 March 15th Cardiff Merthyr Guardian p.8.
The bully was not always just a pimp and a delinquent however. Some bullies had relationships with prostitutes that lasted many years and some gravitated towards more of a gangster role.
Davey Rees and Ann Green first worked together in the China slum of Merthyr Tydfil in 1851. They came to Cardiff soon after and ran The Cornish Arms at 38 Charlotte Street, staying together until 1856. This was a step-up from the bully/prostitute role as Davey and Ann could now get rent money from the other girls in the house, have a base to fence stolen goods and also sell beer. A similar arrangement existed with Harry Kickup and Rachel Holiday who ran The King's Head at 30 Charlotte Street. Rachel had been a prostitute for years and their relationship, though starting as a bully/prostitute role, lasted for eleven years until she died.

The bullies were often the primary thieves in the partnership, the woman brought in the victim so the bully could steal their money and valuables. Here a man picks up 17 year old Kesiah Jones from the doorway of Mrs Prothero's brothel in 1839 and they go 'to talk' down the street. In the shadows there's a surprise waiting in the form of Liverpool Dick:
1839 March 9th Cardiff Merthyr Guardian p.2. 'Maria' Jones is an error.
Richard Edwards alias 'Liverpool Dick' got 15 years transportation for this theft, Kesiah was released. This was what usually ended the bullies career- because they were the one who stole the money they did the time.
The bully shadowed the girls on the streets and inside the brothels and beerhouses. Here Frank Clark helps one of his girls Ann Lewis take a purse from a ship master in 1851:
1851 October 25th Cardiff Merthyr Guardian p.2.
The bully would also intimidate the victim after the theft like here where Mary Tremain and Catherine Atkins alias 'Kitty Pig Eyes' robbed a mark:
1849 November 2nd The Principality p.5.
The beerhouses and brothels on Charlotte Street and Whitmore Lane often had resident bullies that were hired by the landlady or brothel keeper- they did all of the above jobs for all the women in the house, sort of a bouncer role. William Jones is house bully here at the Noah's Ark, a notorious brothel and beerhouse on Charlotte Street in 1851:
HO107/2455 F537 p.26
He later worked for Mary the Cripple at The Farmer's Arms.
William Evans was house bully at Cora Clarks brothel on Whitmore Lane in 1851. She was the brother of Frank Clark (see above) and one of her girls was Kitty Pig Eyes (also see above):
HO107/2455 F257 p.2.
Mary Prothero's brothel has James Loynes (erroneously written as Thomas Loynes here) as her bully:

HO107/2455 F267 p.23.
He was also her grandson, so he was literally brought up to the role. Three months after this census was taken James Loynes cracked open the head of an Austrian seaman who was hassling his girlfriend. He died within a few hours so James escaped up the canal and this description of him was issued:
1851 June 27th Monmouthshire Merlin p.3.
Where the brothel owners were men, as in the case of the brothers Bill and Ned Llewellyn, they also acted as bully for all of the women in their house.
1846 August 8th Cardiff Merthyr Guardian p.2.
Ned would stand outside his brothel door smoking and keeping an eye out for his women most nights, or patrol the streets looking out for them. When he saw they were in trouble- it didn't matter if the girls were getting aggro from drunken seamen or being taken in by the police- he'd pounce:
1851 August 2nd Cardiff Merthyr Guardian p.3.
This was by no means the rule however and some brothels such as Mary Wright's, which was in business for over 15 years, is never recorded as having a bully. Not all of the prostitutes kept bullies either, they often worked for themselves or from the safety of an established brothel but the bully was often hard to avoid:
1850 October 5th Cardiff Merthyr Guardian p.3.
Given the bullies propensity for extreme violence it is worth pointing out that only two people died from bully assaults, in 1847 and 1851. Of course there were plenty more broken bones, cracked ribs and bruises but cholera, smallpox, consumption and other diseases linked with poverty were the main killers on Charlotte Street and Whitmore Lane. You were more in danger from the water and the air around you than you were from any bully.

The life stories of Ned Llewellyn, Davey Rees, Ann Green, Kitty Pigs Eyes, Kesiah Jones, Cora Clark, Mrs Prothero and Mouse are all in my upcoming book Notorious, about thirty years on these two streets. To read about the book see here.

All images are from the excellent Welsh Newspapers Online site run by the National Library of Wales. This article in its current form is copyright Anthony Rhys 2017.