The East End has been a centre for trade since Charles I of England issued a licence for a market to be set up in Spittle Fields in 1638. At that time, Spittle Fields was a rural area on the eastern edges of the City of London – a far cry from the bustling metropolis that grew up in the centuries that followed.
The area of London and the market that bears the name Spitalfields is still there, but is more of an artisans market now, but in its heyday, it dealt with fruit, vegetables and meat brought into the London Docks….
Weavers and tailors moved into Spitalfields, bringing their skills to the London populace, whilst the plight of the East End match girls and their subsequent strike for better working conditions changed the face of employment forever.
To read more about trade in the East End, click on the links below…
THE MATCH GIRLS
Social deprivation was nothing new in the East End of London in the mid 1800’s, but it is hard to imagine the plight of The Match Girls at Bryant and May’s factory in Worship Street, Bow. (more)