‘No separation of the sexes except by means of curtains’
Not all Surrey lodging houses complied readily with the authorities.
In 1874 Matthew McCarthy, the keeper of the Grove Road Lodging House, Warwick Town, twice failed to make the alterations required for the house to be licensed. The report books show that only when Harriett Vinell took over as keeper in the following year did the modifications and the registration progress smoothly.
At the Lodging House, Goosepool, in Chertsey, the keeper, Stephano Capaldi was operating without a license in 1893. The registers show that his house occupied three adjoining properties and had six bedrooms with beds for 35 men and women. The license was initially deferred because there was ‘no separation of the sexes except by means of curtains’. Middle-class commentaries on common lodging houses displayed great concern about inappropriate sexual relationships.
Capaldi’s wife, Scholastica, was the next keeper of the Lodging House, and subsequent keepers also had the same surname. Keeping a lodging house was often a family business.
Chertsey, 1891-1983, p. 4,
Surrey History Centre, 8125/1.
- Introduction – Living away from home
- Common Lodging Houses: page 1
- Common Lodging Houses: page 2
- Common Lodging Houses: page 4
- Royal Holloway University of London website
- Surrey History Centre website
- More about Redhill
- More about Chertsey
- Holloway Sanatorium in the display
- Charterhouse School in the display
- Visit Royal Holloway University of London’s on-line gallery: Snapshots of Institutional Life.