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The Cries Of London

June 26, 2024
by the gentle author

Click here to book your ticket for THE GENTLE AUTHOR’S TOUR OF SPITALFIELDS this Saturday


I am giving an illustrated lecture about THE CRIES OF LONDON as a prologue to Berio’s CRIES OF LONDON performed by the Carice Singers at St Botolph’s Without Bishopsgate on Tuesday 2nd July at 6:30pm as part of SPITALFIELDS MUSIC FESTIVAL. Click here to book your ticket


It is my delight to show you this tiny anonymous pamphlet no larger than a folded banknote entitled simply THE CRIES OF LONDON. More than two centuries old, it is one of innumerable publications on this subject down through the ages and consequently only of little monetary worth. Yet, to me, this shabby rag is one of my favourites in the series because of the modesty of its production. The stained pages evidence its fond usage by those who, once upon a time, actually saw these mythic characters upon the streets of London.


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

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

2 Responses leave one →
  1. June 26, 2024

    So many reasons to love this. Thanks to these astute photos, I feel like I am holding this tiny treasure in my own hands, carefully-oh-so-carefully turning the old pages, and peering at the details of the intriguing images and the lovely dignified type. I am captivated by the gent selling used clothing — WHO could avoid turning to watch him as he strolls along wearing multiple hats? Like the best of the streetside merchants, he has devised a practical, eye-catching way of presenting his wares. I imagine a buyer and seller exchanging hats (and currency!) and both strolling off in opposite directions, happily going about their business. The customer catching his own reflection with his new purchase in a shop window, and the seller feeling buoyant and ever-hopeful about the next transaction. Done!

    Thank you for this charming slip of a book — it evoked so many thoughts and imaginings.

  2. Ann Vosper permalink
    June 26, 2024

    Lynne Perrella is so right, it is a charming slip of a book. What a little treasure!

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