Local History: Description of London
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As late as 1790, Paddington could still be considered a fairly rural area. But this started to change around the turn of the century with the Grand Junction Canal carving out a branch in the area. Various acts were passed to allow the subletting of land. Soon Paddington was divided in two. The grand fashionable Tyburnia suburb, located in the south-east between Edgware and Uxbridge Road was a stark contrast to the ramshackle accommodation of the labourers that lived Tyburnia’s edges.
The British History Online (https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/middx/vol9/pp182-185) explains that by 1811 “Paddington had 879 inhabited houses and a population of 4,609…500 small tenements were inhabited by 2,107 people, of whom 948 had arrived during the past year”. The area was developing a bad reputation – in short it was becoming a slum.