|Genre||Investigative journalism; social commentary|
|Subject||London's working poor|
|Notable works||A Night in the Workhouse, 1866;
In Strange Company, 1874;Toilers in London, 1883
James Greenwood (1832-1927) was an English social explorer, journalist and writer, who published a series of articles which drew attention to the plight of London's working poor. He was one of the first journalists to cover stories incognito, and is regarded as one of the pioneers of investigative journalism.
James Greenwood was born in 1832 in London. He was one of eleven children of a Lambeth coach trimmer. He became notable Victorian journalist and social commentator. He began his career as a printer, but soon took up an interest in writing. From 1861 he began writing adventure stories which were published in Boy's Own. He subsequently turned to journalism, joining the ranks of the reporters at the Pall Mall Gazette in 1865. He first became interested in the plight of the poor after spending a night spent in a Lambeth workhouse. His brother Frederick, the then editor of the Gazette, prompted Greenwood to dress as a tramp and check into the workhouse incognito. Such a practice was unknown amongst journalists in Victorian England until then. Greenwood's account, "A Night in the Workhouse" dispensed with Victorian practice of sanitising stories for publication, presenting a brutal picture. Serialized in the Pall Mall Gazette 12-15 January 1866, it caused a public outcry, established Greenwoods' credentials as an investigative journalist and social commentator, and helped to establish his brother's magazine.
In the 1870s, William James Orsman (1838-1923), a Methodist minister, invited Greenwood to tour the Costermonger's Mission, which heightened his interest in London's labouring classes and poor. He published an article, "A Mission Among City Savages", in the Daily Telegraph and subsequently in a collection, In Strange Company, in 1873.  His commentary relates especially to the street vendors working around Whitecross Street, London. He also wrote, Toilers in London in 1883 In 1869, Greenwood's The Seven Curses of London was published. In it, he identified the curses as neglected children, professional beggars and thieves, prostitution, drunkenness, betting, and misguided charity.
Greenwood was a prolific writer, turning out numerous novels, children's books and articles in a career of more than three decades. The Daily Telegraph on 6 July 1874 published an article by him, in which he reported witnessing on 24 June 1874 a human-baiting. In 1876, Greenwood republished the article in his book Low-Life Deeps in a chapter called In the Potteries. The book was illustrated by artist Alfred Concanen. The True History of a Little Ragamuffin appeared in 1866.
Greenwood's use of disguise in social reporting was influential and copied by later generations. As a journalist he used the pseudonyms The Amateur Casual and One of the Crowd. He is seen as a pioneer of investigative journalism.