Within the Victorian era, there really were only two classes of people. You were either upper class or lower class. Unfortunately, the Industrial Revolution which had been going on for several years had totally diminished what previously was a very strong middle class.
The upper class primarily consisted of royalty and large business owners. This was truly the start of the downfall of the small mom and pop stores that England was accustomed to. Those who had special trades either went out of business because other large businesses were selling for cheaper and had more to sell or the company grew into a large corporation.
It was essentially a do or die situation for the vast majority of companies. Unfortunately, most small businesses failed particularly if they did not stay ahead in technology where machines were capable of doing more work than several people each hour of the day.
The upper class had everything they needed. They could get work done at cheap rates, they had nice homes, and education was beginning to become more important. Therefore, children of upper-class citizens were often educated at an early age.
The lower class had very little. They were the working group or what I consider to be blue collar workers of today. Unfortunately, there were simply not enough jobs to support a number of people now living in London.
London grew almost twice the size in a very short period of time. Businesses were failing, and those that were thriving did not have enough jobs to support the entire population. Therefore, lower-class people were frequently taking jobs that were way below needed wages. The vast majority of lower-class was living in severe poverty.
The worst situation would be if the father got ill. They would often lose their home and live in places something like public housing. This form of housing would sometimes require children to be separated from their parents. Many people would live under a single roof and when lethal illness came through, it killed numerous people since they were living in such close quarters and health care was minimal.
The Victorian Era and the Industrial Revolution was a bright spot in many families lives, but for the vast majority, it had a very dark consequence that took some time to recover from.