This article gives some insight into living conditions in Hanbury Place, Limehouse in the late nineteenth century. The six houses in Hanbury Place were soon demolished to make way for the artisans dwellings known as Hanbury Buildings.
The Pall Mall Gazette
Thursday 16 September 1886
A SOCIAL SCANDAL
Mr FM Corner, medical officer, in his report to the Poplar board of works for the past year says: a greater scandal cannot be shown in matters vital to health than that, in spite of abundant evidence of the magnitude of the evil, thousands and tens of thousands of families living in houses the rates of which are payable by the landlords may at any moment, without a particle of fault of their own, be suddenly denied one of the first necessities of life – water – through the neglect or willfulness of others. That disease and death are directly traceable to this want no one acquainted with sanitary work in London can doubt. Take this instance – water cut off, drains stopped, opening up of ground and drains, removal of filth accumulation, horrid stench, diphtheria, death. Should the tenant justly refuse to pay the rent, the water supply being included in the charge, the law allows of the broker being put in, as was done in Cotton-street in 1885, when the goods of a widow were seized until the whole was paid, although the house was without water for six weeks.
In Hanbury-place – having six houses – there was no water supply for twenty-six days, and families numbering each seven, nine, two of six, and others had to exist, in May 1885, with choked drains, flooded with sewage, and no water, all because of non-payment of rates by their landlord. In another case there was no water for seventeen days. In a third, from Nos 2 to 10 Galbraith-street, with a population of seventy-four, there was no water supply from the same cause for fourteen days.