Punch,  54 (1868), 8–9.

"Beggars of Bethnal Green"





Class, Education, Museums, Human Development, Nationalism, Cultural Geography, Government, Patronage, Amusement, Narcotics

    Begins by announcing that 'It is not all dark in East London' and proceeds to describe the attempt by Septimus C H Hansard and three other individuals to establish a 'Museum of Science and Art' in Bethnal Green (opened in 1872 as the Bethnal Green Branch of the South Kensington Museum). Notes that the museum will 'be the means of enabling our workmen to compete on more equal terms than at present with the skilled workmen of foreign countries, especially in matters of taste', and describes the government's enthusiasm and progress towards building the museum. Points out that 'All that remains to be done [...] is to pay for the land' and invites readers to subscribe. (8) Explains that since the museum will have long opening hours it will be able 'to fight the gin-shop and the tap-room on fair terms' and anticipates that the flowers that will grow in the museum garden will be 'flowers of Hope', unlike those of 'sorrow and despair' which have usually graced Bethnal Green.

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