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In the Victorian era the basal population of poor English country stock was swelled by immigrants from all over, particularly Irish and Jewish.
Writing of the period 1883 – 1884, Yiddish theatre actor Jacob Adler wrote, " The further we penetrated into this Whitechapel, the more our hearts sank.
Was this London?
Never in Russia, never later in the worst slums of New York, were we to see such poverty as in the London of the 1880s.
" This endemic poverty drove many women to prostitution.
In October 1888 the Metropolitan Police estimated that there were 1, 200 prostitutes " of very low class " resident in Whitechapel and about 62 brothels.
Reference is specifically made to them in Charles Booth's Life and Labour of the People of London, specially to dwellings called Blackwall Buildings belonging to Blackwall Railway.
Such prostitutes were numbered amongst the eleven Whitechapel Murders ( 1888 – 91 ), some of which were committed by the legendary serial killer known as ' Jack the Ripper '.
These attacks caused widespread terror in the district and throughout the country and drew the attention of social reformers to the squalor and vice of the area, even though these crimes remain unsolved today.

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