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Charles Hindley’s Cries Of London

July 25, 2014
by the gentle author

The most recent acquisition in my Cries of London collection is a second edition of Charles Hindley’s ‘History of the Cries of London, Ancient & Modern’ from 1884. My predecessor had the same idea to collect images of the Cries and trace their development over time and, in his book, he reprints many wood blocks from earlier chapbooks, including the set below. Originally just the size of a thumbnail, these anonymous finely-observed prints evoke the circumstance and demeanour of hawkers and pedlars in early-nineteenth century London with startling economy of means.

The Rabbit Man – Buy my rabbits! Rabbits, who’ll buy? Rabbit! Rabbit Who will buy?

New Cockles – Buy my cockles! Fine new cockles! Cockles fine and cockles new!

Banbury Cakes – Buy my nice and new Banbury Cakes! Buy my nice new Banbury Cakes, O!

Mulberries Mulberries, all ripe and fresh today! Only a groat a pottle – full to the bottom!

Capers, Anchovies – Buy my capers! Buy my nice capers! Buy my anchovies! Buy my nice anchovies!

Lavender – Buy my lavender! Sweet blooming lavender! Sweet blooming lavender! Blooming lavender!

Mackerel – Live mackerel! Three a-shilling, O! Le’ping alive, O! Three a-shilling,O!

Shirt Buttons – Buy my shirt buttons! Shirt buttons! Buy shirt buttons! Buttons!

The Herb Wife – Buy rue! Buy sage! Buy mint! Buy rue, sage and mint, a farthing a bunch!

The Tinker – Maids, I mend old pots and kettles! Mend old pots and kettles, O!

Buy fine flounders! Fine dabs! – All alive, O! Fine dabs! Fine live flounders, O!

You may also like to take a look at these other sets of the Cries of London I have collected

John Player’s Cries of London

More John Player’s Cries of London

Faulkner’s Street Cries

Samuel Pepys’ Cries of London

More Samuel Pepys’ Cries of London

Kendrew’s Cries of London

London Characters

Geoffrey Fletcher’s Pavement Pounders

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

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

Julius M Price’s London Types

Adam Dant’s  New Cries of Spittlefields

4 Responses leave one →
  1. July 26, 2014

    What a brilliantly evocative, yet simple, post!

    I was transported back to memories of watching a certain Lionel Bart film. So informative – new words: rue, pottle, groat and incredible insight into what was sold and bought in those long gone times! Thank you

  2. Victoria permalink
    July 27, 2014

    Very much like this series. And so many of the products must be be brought in from further afield. The Banbury cakes seller has just reminded me of a special Christmas spent in a hotel by Banbury Cross; there was snow on the ground and freshly made Banbury cakes on offer to welcome the guests.

  3. Stephen Barker permalink
    July 27, 2014

    Fascinating woodcuts, thank you for making them available to a wider audience. It would be great to see a selection of these and from the other series you have featured reprinted.

  4. July 27, 2014

    Your readers may like to know that they can get a paperback reissue of Hindley’s 1881 edition from the Cambridge Library Collection (, as well as his Tavern Anecdotes and Sayings (1875) and History of the Catnach Press (1886). We also ‘do’ Knight’s wonderful 6-volume London (1841–4) and many other eighteenth- and nineteenth-century works on London and its people.

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