In his book An Enquiry into the Late Increase of Robbers, Fielding, a London magistrate, describes the common lodging houses in St Giles in the Fields and St George's, Bloomsbury.
These houses exist in large numbers, especially in St Giles. Poor people of both sexes can find lodging in them for two pence a night, or three pence for a double bed.
The houses are filled with beds from the cellars to the garrets. Sometimes nearly sixty people are crammed into a house of ordinary size. In all these places, gin is sold on the premises for as little as a penny a quart (just over a litre).
Most of the people who lodge in these houses are Irish.