Shad Thames. Charles Dickens set portions of Oliver Twist in an area east of Shad Thames, which was then called 'Jacob's Island'. Dickens was taken to this impoverisehed place by the river police. "...crazy wooden galleries common to the backs of half a dozen houses, with holes from which to look upon the slime beneath; windows, broken and patched, with poles thrust out, on which to dry the linen that is never there; rooms so small, so filthy, so confined, that the air would seem to be too tainted even for the dirt and squalor which they shelter; wooden chambers thrusting themselves out above the mud and threatening to fall into it - as some have done; dirt-besmeared walls and decaying foundations, every repulsive lineament of poverty, every loathsome indication of filth, rot, and garbage: all these ornament the banks of Jacob's Island. It was here that Bill Sikes had his den and fell and drowned in the mud.