**I WILL CONTINUE TO ADD TO THIS PAGE**
Queen Victoria was born at Kensington Palace 24 May 1819. She was the only child of Edward, Duke of Kent and Victoire of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfield. In June of 1837 Victoria was made Queen of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and Empress of India.
On 10 February 1840 Victoria married her cousin Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. Victoria and Albert had nine children. Their children would have had the best of care with nurses, servants, governesses or governors to care for them. Their clothing would have been very good quality and their toys would have been expensive. Most nurseries would have books, a rocking horse with real hair, maybe a dolls house full of furniture, beautiful dolls, miniature tea sets, train sets and soldiers for the boys and various games including marbles made of real marble, card games etc. They would often learn to horse ride at an early age.
The boys would go off to boarding school when old enough and the girls would maybe spend their days sewing, reading, playing piano, writing diaries, making scrapbooks or entertaining their friends.
In comparison, children of the poorer families would probably have worn second hand clothes that were often patched to make them last longer. If they were lucky they might have had dolls made from rags, tin soldiers, wooden toys carved by family members. They played outside games when they had time that would cost very little - a hoop to run down the street with, hopscotch or maybe a game of marbles made from clay. You could make dibs from clay which would be shaped then be heated in the oven to make them hard. A small black board and chalk would have been quite a luxury. A game of hopscotch just required a piece of slate and a small piece of chalk to mark out the numbers on the pavement.
At an early age the children would be out looking for work or roaming the streets looking for odd jobs. Some would be stealing for food. Pickpockets were in abundance and even a stolen handkerchief or scarf could be sold for food. The houses or tenements were cramped and a simple cold could often lead to death. Sanitation didn't exist until around 1900's.
It is believed that Victoria's reign saw more changes socially, industrial and scientifically than any other reign in history.
The Empire was enlarged, the Corn Laws were repealed (1846), Free Trade was adopted and Education was made compulsory (1870). Telephone (exhibited in 1876) and railway (1825) came into being and penny postage was inaugurated (1840). Measures were also taken to improve working class conditions.
Queen Victoria celebrated her Diamond Jubilee in 1897 and died on 22 January 1901.
The Victorian era holds a fascination for me. I have made this page to try and give an idea as to what life must have been like during Victoria's reign for the working class and the poor. I am certainly no expert and have found my information from various sources but I hope the following pages are a fair description of what it was like for the poor or working class in the Victorian era. (If you find anything you think may be wrong please let me know)