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Dicky Lumskul’s Ramble Through London

August 22, 2022
by the gentle author

Tickets are available for my walking tour this Thursday & Saturday 



Courtesy of Mike Henbrey, it is my pleasure to publish this three-hundred-year-old ballad of the London streets and the trades you might expect to find in each of them, as printed and published by J. Pitts, Wholesale Toy & Marble Warehouse, 6 Great St Andrew Street, Seven Dials

Courtesy Mike Henbrey Collection


by Spitalfields Life Contributing Slang Lexicographer Jonathon Green

Bellman – one who rings a bell and makes announcements, a town crier
Clogger – a clogmaker
Cropper – one who operates a shearing machine, either for metal or cloth
Currier – one whose trade is the dressing and colouring of leather after it is tanned
Edger – is presumably Edgeware
Fingersmith – a pickpocket
Gauger – an exciseman, especially who who checks measurements of liquor
Lumper – a labourer, especially on the docks
Shees (Wentworth St) – a misprint for shoes [nothing in OED]
Tow hackler (or Heckler) – one who dresses tow, i.e. unworked flax, with a heckle, a form of comb, splitting and straightening the fibres
Triangles – my sense is that these are triangular, filled pastries [again, nothing in OED]
NOTELumskul is not in my Green’s Dictionary of Slang nor indeed the OED where one might have expected it as an alternative spelling of num(b)scull/num(b)skull. Seems to combine that word and lummocks/lummox.

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4 Responses leave one →
  1. Marcia Howard permalink
    August 22, 2022

    Well that’s quite a CV!

  2. Annie S permalink
    August 22, 2022

    Interesting that he included two places in the West Midlands!

  3. Paul Loften permalink
    August 22, 2022

    To survive those days Jack was far better off being of all trades. An enterprising spirit indeed. Now we are ruled by the one great skill of smart talking lawyers who fine tune their skills in Parliament . I would prefer voting for the Jack of all trades. Thank you Dickie Lumskull , Mike Henbrey and The GA

  4. Dan permalink
    August 27, 2022

    I’m interested in the use of both the long S and small s we recognise now. He uses both forms in the word shoes. Was there a correct use of both s’s or was it more random and idiosyncratic? 🙂

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