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Faulkner’s Street Cries

May 12, 2012
by the gentle author

These cards produced by W. & F. Faulkner Ltd and issued with Grenadier Cigarettes in 1902 are the latest discovery in my ongoing exploration of the myriad versions of the Cries of London created down through the ages. Even the most sentimental images can reveal something of the reality of the working lives of hawkers, and I especially like this precisely observed set of surly, cantankerous portraits which convey the relentless nature of street trading with a rare mixture of wit and affection.

Flypaper seller.

Cats’ meat man.

Ice cream seller.

Chimney sweep.

Knife grinder.


Baked potato seller.


Lavender seller.

Newspaper seller.

Novelties seller.

The muffin man.

You may like to take a look at these other sets of the Cries of London

William Craig Marshall’s Itinerant Traders

London Melodies

Henry Mayhew’s Street Traders

H.W.Petherick’s London Characters

John Thomson’s Street Life in London

Aunt Busy Bee’s New London Cries

Marcellus Laroon’s Cries of London

John Player’s Cries of London

More John Player’s Cries of London

William Nicholson’s London Types

John Leighton’s London Cries

Francis Wheatley’s Cries of London

John Thomas Smith’s Vagabondiana of 1817

John Thomas Smith’s Vagabondiana II

John Thomas Smith’s Vagabondiana III

Thomas Rowlandson’s Lower Orders

More of Thomas Rowlandson’s Lower Orders

Adam Dant’s  New Cries of Spittlefields

3 Responses leave one →
  1. May 12, 2012

    Amazingly, several of these were still around in my London childhood….and I’m a post -war baby

  2. May 13, 2012

    Yet again you have posted another completely captivating slice of history. I don’t post very often (sorry), but really look forward to reading your blog!

  3. January 4, 2014

    The “Street Cries” of the myriad characters explicated and produced by Faulkner of London are of particular interest to me at this moment, as I am absorbing the irascible characters of another Faulkner (William, that is) near his home of Oxford, Mississippi. The idiosyncratic complexity of the Faulkners’ respective characters cause me to muse on whether there might be any ancestral connection between them. Hmm …

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