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Jemmy Catnach’s Cries Of London

October 17, 2020
by the gentle author

Jemmy (James) Catnach of Monmouth Court was celebrated for publishing ballads, penny awfuls, and children’s farthing and halfpenny chapbooks. As publisher, compositor and poet, he established the Seven Dials Press in 1813.

Notorious for playing fast and loose with the truth, he published a sensational pamphlet in 1818, claiming that a butcher in Drury Lane was selling sausages made of human flesh, and ended up in the Middlesex House of Detention in Clerkenwell.

Such was Catnach’s love for ballads, he kept a fiddler on the premises at one time so that ballad singers could come in and audition their compositions for publication. Of all the Cries of London I have published these are most modestly produced and crudely wrought images, yet I love them for their strong images and graphic vitality.

Clothes Pegs, Props & Lines Come buy and save your clothes from dirt, they’ll save you washing many a shirt!

Filberts – I sell them for a groat a pound and warrant them all good and sound!

Sweep If you rightly understand me, with my brush, broom and my rake, such cleanly work I’ll make…

Peas & Beans – Come buy my Windsor beans and peas, you’ll see no more this year like these!

Toys for Girls & Boys – only a penny, or a dirty phial or bottle

Strawberries Strawberries & cream are charming and sweet, mix them and try how delightful to eat

When Good Friday comes, Hot Cross Buns!

Oranges – I sell them at two for a penny, ripe, juicy and sweet, just fit for to eat, so customers buy a good many

Milk Below! Rain, frost or snow, or hot or cold, I travel up and down, the cream & milk you buy from me is the best in town for custards, puddings, or for tea, there’s none like those you’ll buy from me

Crumpling Codlings Come buy my Crumpling Codlings, some of them you may eat raw, of the rest make dumplings

Cherries – Here’s round and sound, black and white heart cherries, twopence a pound!

Toy Lambs to sell – If I had as much money as I could tell, I never would cry young lambs to sell!

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



3 Responses leave one →
  1. Amanda Bush permalink
    October 17, 2020

    To save others the task of googling, codlings are apples.

    I love the donkey.

  2. Pamela Traves permalink
    October 18, 2020

    Winderful pictures, Thank You!!????????

  3. October 18, 2020

    You might like to know that two books by Charles Hindley about Catnach and his press have been reissued by Cambridge University Press: ‘History of the Catnach Press
    At Berwick-upon-Tweed, Alnwick and Newcastle-upon-Tyne, in Northumberland, and Seven Dials, London’ ( and ‘The Life and Times of James Catnach, (Late of Seven Dials), Ballad Monger’ (

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