Monuments and Dust
London Times: 21 Dec 1850
Two Letters: London at Present, London in the Past.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE TIMES.
Sir, -- Will you allow me to correct an error into which your reporter has fallen in giving the particulars of an accident to a sausage-maker in High-street, Portland Town, in your paper of the 14th inst.? You state that "while feeding the sausage-chopping-machine with meat his arm was caught by the wheel, and before he could be released three of his fingers and his thumb were cut off." This was not the case. The man was brought to the hospital with a compound comminuted fracture of the little finger, a lacerated wound of the ring finger, a compound comminuted fracture of the fore finger, and an incised wound opening into the wrist joint. The little finger and fore finger were both removed after the patient's admission into the hospital, and not by the sausage-chopping machine, as stated in your report.
The earnest request of the sausage-maker in High-street, Portland Town, whose business has fallen off and been so much injured by the prevalent notion in the neighbourhood that the poor man's fingers were removed by the chopping-machine, and made up with the rest of the meat into sausages, has induced me to forward this correction, in the hope that the insertion by you may tend to remove the prevailing prejudice.
I enclose my card, and am, Sir,
Your obedient servant,
THE HOUSE SURGEON OF THE MIDDLESEX HOSPITAL.
LONDON IN TIMES PAST. -- Considering the enourmous, and in many parts demoralized, population of London, it is marvellous there should be so little personal insecurity, and it is rather a rare occurrence for people in the habit of going about town, to meet with the slightest molestation, by day or night, comparatively speaking, to times past, as the following instances will serve to show: -- At Kensington, on Sunday evenings, a bell used to be rung at intervals to muster the people returning to town, and as soon as the multitude had assembled sufficiently strong to insure mutual protection, it set off. George IV. And the late Duke of York, when very young men, were stopped one night in a hackney-coach and robbed on Hay-hill, Berkeley-square. To cross Hounslow-heath or Finchley-common, now both enclosed, after sunset, was a service of great danger; those who ventured were always well armed, and some few had even ball proof carriages. In those days there was a house on Finchley-common well known as the place of rendezvous for highwaymen. Fortunately these occurrences are now matters of history. -- in The Builder