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Kendrew’s Cries of London

June 25, 2013
by the gentle author

The latest discovery at the Bishopsgate Institute in my ever-growing collection of The Cries of London is this set of woodcuts printed by J. Kendrew of Colliergate, York, at the beginning of the nineteenth century.

The popularity of the series was such that even publishers in York and Banbury produced their own versions of the Cries of London. Unusually, in an age when hawkers were often considered vagabonds, this chapbook for children illustrates the street sellers as paragons of virtue, as expressed by their industriousness. Yet, for me, the most exciting phrase in this volume is the text ‘from the life’ which allows the possibility that some of these evocative and characterful cuts may be portraits of individual traders from the streets of London two centuries ago.

Come buy my fine Writing Ink!

Green large Cucumbers twelve a penny!

Dainty Sweet Briar!

Mary, Mary, where are you now, Mary? Tiddy dol, tol drol, tiddy dol.

Rue, Sage and Mint, a farthing a bunch!

Diddle, diddle ,Dumplings, Oh!

Buy a fine Bread Basket or Work Basket!

Oars, Sir! Oars or Scullers, Madam, do you want a Boat?

Black your Shoes, your Honour?

Nice Yorkshire Muffins!

Buy a Broom! Buy a Birch Broom!

Come, but my little Jemmies, my little Tartars, but half-penny a piece!

Twelve pence a peck, Oysters!

My good soul, will you buy a Bowl?

Buy a young Chicken or Fowl!

Ripe Strawberries!

Rabbit! Rabbit!

One a penny, Two a penny, Hot Cross Buns!

Pretty Maid, Pretty Pins!

Maids, buy a Mop!

Old Chairs to mend, Old Chairs to Mend!

Buy my Flounders!

Images courtesy Bishopsgate Institute

You may also like to take a look at these other sets of the Cries of London down through the ages

Samuel Pepys’ Cries of London

More Samuel Pepys’ Cries of London

London Characters

Geoffrey Fletcher’s Pavement Pounders

Faulkner’s Street Cries

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

Victorian Tradesmen Scraps

Cries of London Scraps

New Cries of London 1803

Cries of London Snap Cards

Adam Dant’s  New Cries of Spittlefields

4 Responses leave one →
  1. Greg Tingey permalink
    June 25, 2013

    “Rue, Sage & Mint” ?? Really?
    Well both sage & mint are both medicinal & culinary herbs, but Rue? Ruta graveolans well …
    It has to be treated & used with extreme care, as it can cause skin-blisters on sensitive people, especially in sunny weather.
    However, both Mint, & again especially the “strong” varieties, like Pennyroyal ( Which is now regarded as a separate species, ) & Rue are & were often used for one of two common purposes, sometimes also mixed with Wormwood Artemesia absinthum in this context.
    As an emmenagogue, or as an arbortifacient – the traditional “Gipsy’s remedy” in fact!

  2. Donald Carlton Burns permalink
    June 26, 2013

    Delightful, as always…Notice the sailor with the peg leg?

  3. June 26, 2013

    Love these woodcuts, they look like embroideries

  4. July 22, 2013

    I wonder what ‘Yorkshire Muffins’ were. Are we talking individual Yorkshire puddings or something else?

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