SHARE THIS PAGE

Street cries bibliography for researchers

Street traders' cries were long considered emblematic of London. This page presents an extensive bibliography for researchers, listing books and other materials held in the collections of the British Library. With thanks to Adam Tovell.

Nation of shopkeepers,
city of street traders

Traders' cries have appeared in London literature from at least the early 15th century with the satirical poem London Lickpenny. To medieval minds they'd become as symbolic of the city as the cuckoo was for the seasons in Sumer Is Icumen In. This primordial form of advertising had likely been heard in the streets and marketplaces since Roman times.

18th-century playing card depicting a street trader

The bibliography on the right lists in chronological order books, pamphlets, published illustrations and other materials held in the collections of the British Library. They deal mostly, but not exclusively, with the street cries of London. Many have unknown authors since these works were often intended as no more than cheerful ephemera, the Georgian or Victorian equivalents of souvenir t-shirts.

Some titles pick up on the universal tendency for traders' cries to become arbitrary and indecipherable through long repetition. Others, particularly those aimed at children, sometimes suggest the traders were presented as moral examples of the necessity of work and the ordering of society, reminiscent of the constructive roles projected onto animals in nature.

18th-century playing card depicting a street trader

Popular interest in the subject declined towards the late 19th century as London's population became more settled. Perhaps the traders' cries lost out in the competition with newer, more easily disseminated visual emblems of London such as the Crystal Palace, Big Ben and Tower Bridge.

The melodies of some of the cries were preserved in a few musical works, including Ralph Vaughan Williams's A London Symphony and, finally, in the Thames Television theme Salute to Thames, into which was worked the song of the violet seller.

Before 1800

1. Carracci, Annibale. Diverse figure al numero di ottanta/disegnate di penna, nell'hore di ricreatione, da Annibale Carracci; intagliate in rame, e cavate dagli originali da Simone Gvilino Parigino, per utile di tvtti li virtvosi, et intendenti, della professione della pittura, e del disegno. Rome: Nella Stamperia di Lodovico Grigniani, 1646.

2. Bonnart, Jean Baptiste. Cris de Paris. Paris: Chez H. and N. Bonnart, c.1676.

3. Bouchardon, Edme. Etudes Prises Dans let Bas Peuple, Ou Les Cris de Paris. Paris: Chez Fessard, 1737-1746.

4. Unknown. Cries of London. London: I. Kirk, before 1757.

5. Unknown. The Cries of London calculated to entertain the minds of old and young; illustrated in variety of copper plates neatly engrav'd with an emblematical description of each subject. Vol. III. London: H. Roberts, c.1760.

6. Unknown. The Cries of London, or, Child's moral instructor; for the use of schools, private families, governesses, tutors, &c. Decorated with 32 copper plates, elegantly engraved; with a moral and emblematical description of each particular story; intended at once to make instruction pleasing; and unite humour with decency. Vol. II. London: Edwd. Ryland, c.1760.

7. Unknown. The Cries of London, as they are daily exhibited in the streets: with an epigram in verse, adapted to each. Embellished with sixty-two elegant cuts. To which is added, a description of the metropolis in verse. London: F. Newbery, 1775.

8. Unknown. The Cries of London calculated to entertain the minds of old and young; illustrated in variety of copper plates neatly engrav'd with an emblematical description of each subject. Vol. III. London: H. Turpin, c.1791.

9. Unknown. The Cries of London, as they are daily exhibited in the streets: with an epigram in verse adapted to each. Embellished with sixty-two elegant cuts. To which is added, a description of the metropolis in verse. London: F. Newbery, 1791.

10. Wheatley, Francis. Two bunches a penny, primroses; engraved by Tam. Aliprandi. Colnaghi and Co., 1793.

11. Unknown. The Jack-of-all-trades, or, The merry merry cries of London: improv'd: describing the various methods of getting money, in the metropolis of this mighty empire; adorned with a variety of elegant cuts, adapted to the subject. Gainsbrough: Mozley and Co., 1794.

12. Unknown. Mulld. Sake. London: Caulfield and Herbert, 1794.

13. Unknown. Nice, spice gingerbread cakes, two a penny. London: 1795?

14. Unknown. The Cries of London: for the instruction of good children; decorated with twenty-four cuts from life. London: Booksellers in Town and Country, between 1795 and 1805.

15. Ticklecheek, Timothy. The cries of London: displaying the manners, customs & characters of various people who traverse London Streets with articles to sell: to which is added some pretty poetry applicable to each character, intended to amuse and instruct all good children. London: J. Fairburn, 1797.

16. Rowlandson, Thomas. Cries of London: a set of 8 large colored aquatints, engraved by H. Merke and serialized by Rudolph Ackerman between January and May. 1799.

1800-1849

17. Unknown. The A,B,C Book with Cries of Cities. Northampton, Massachusetts: early 1800s.

18. Unknown. New milk from the cow: new London cries for good children. London, between 1800 and 1820.

19. Craig, William Marshall. Description of the Plates Representing the Itinerant Traders of London in their Ordinary Costume with Notices of the Remarkable Places given in the Background. 1804.

20. Unknown. The New cries of London; with characteristic engravings. London, 1804.

21. Unknown. The Cries of London, as they are daily practised: in forty-eight engravings of those most prominent in its squares, streets, and lanes. London: J. Harris, 1804.

22. Unknown. The Cries of London, as they are daily exhibited in the streets: with an epigram in verse, adapted to each ... to which is prefixed, a poetical description of the Metropolis. Part 1. London: J. Harris, 1804.

23. Unknown. The Cries of London, as they are daily exhibited in the streets: with an epigram in verse, adapted to each ... to which is prefixed, a poetical description of the Metropolis. Part 2. London: J. Harris, 1804.

24. Unknown. The Cries of London, as they are daily exhibited in the streets: with an epigram in verse, adapted to each ... to which is added, a description of the metropolis in verse. London: J. Harris, 1805.

25. Unknown. The Cries of London, as they are daily exhibited in the streets: with an epigram in verse adapted to each. Embellished with forty-eight elegant characteristic engravings. To which is prefixed, a poetical description of the metropolis. Tenth edition. London: J. Harris, 1806.

26. Unknown. Letters written from London: descriptive of various scenes and occurrences frequently met with in the metropolis and its vicinity: for the amusement of children/illustrated by plates. London: Darton and Harvey, 1807.

27. Unknown. The Infant's cabinet of the cries of London. London: J. Marshall, 1807?

28. Unknown. Trades adapted to the convenience & happiness of society: he that hath a calling hath an estate. London: W. & T. Darton, 1808.

29. Unknown. The cries of London: with suitable cuts. Vol. II. London: R. Harrild, between 1809 and 1821.

30. Unknown. The New London melodies, or, Cries of London: embellished with neat cuts. London, 181–?

31. Unknown. The Cries of London; embellished with twelve engravings. London: R. Miller, c.1810.

32. Unknown. "Fine rabbits!" London: S. & J. Fuller, 1812.

33. Unknown. "Milk O!" London: S. & J. Fuller, 1812.

34. Darton, William. London Melodies; or, Cries of the Seasons. 1812.

35. Craig, William Marshall. Description of the Plates Representing the Itinerant Traders of London in their Ordinary Costume with Notices of the Remarkable Places given in the Background. 1812.

36. Unknown. The London cries, for the amusement of all the good children throughout the world. Taken from life. York: Thomas Wilson and Son, 1812.

37. Unknown. Cries of London: for the amusement of all good children throughout the world; adorned with cuts. London: J. Poole, 1813.

38. Unknown. The Merry cries and sports of London: a collection of those daily exhibited in the streets, embellished with 32 characteristic prints. London: Whitrow and Co., c.1815?

39. Cruikshank, George. The cries of London: as they are heard daily; with character cuts of those who traverse the streets of London with articles to sell. Calculated to entertain little masters and misses. London: J. Chappell, 1815?

40. Unknown. The Cries of London: taken from the original characters, as they now appear, New ed. London: Whittingham and Arliss, 1815.

41. Unknown. The Moving market, or, Cries of London. For the amusement of good children. Glasgow: J. Lumsden & Son, 1815.

42. Smith, John Thomas. Vagabondiana; or, Anecdotes of mendicant wanderers through the streets of London; with portraits of the most remarkable, drawn from the life. London, 1817.

43. Unknown. The Cries of London. London: G. Martin, between 1817 and 1827.

44. Unknown. The Cries of London, adorn'd with copper plates. London: J. Bysh, between 1818 and 1821.

45. Unknown. London cries: Part I. London: E. Wallis, between 1818 and 1825.

46. Unknown. The Cries of London; illustrated by plates of many original characters. London: John Marshall, 1819.

47. Unknown. London cries. London: William Darton, 1820.

48. Unknown. The cries of London: shewing how to get a penny for a rainy day. Birmingham: T. Brandard, 1820?

49. Unknown. The Cries of London: shewing how to get a penny for a rainy day. Wellington (Shropshire): F. Houlston and Son, 1820?

50. Vernet, Carle. Cris de Paris dessines d'apres nature. Paris: Delpech, c.1820.

51. Unknown. The Moving market, or, Cries of London: for the amusement and instruction of good children. Adorned with cuts. Wellington (Shropshire): F. Houlston and Son, 1820?

52. Rowlandson, Thomas. Rowlandson's characteristic sketches of the lower orders, intended as a companion to the new picture of London; consisting of fifty-four plates, neatly coloured. London, 1820–1822?

53. Unknown. The New cries of London; with elegant coloured engravings. London, between 1820 and 1840.

54. Unknown. London melodies. England, between 1820 and 1840.

55. Unknown. London cries. Derby: Thomas Richardson, between 1820 and 1840.

56. Unknown. The Cries of London; illustrated by plates of many original characters. London: E. Marshall, between 1820 and 1840.

57. Syntax, Sam. Sam Syntax's description of the cries of London: as they are daily exhibited in the streets, with appropriate engravings. 2nd ed. London, 1821.

58. Unknown. Costume of the lower orders of the metropolis. London, 1822?

59. Unknown. The Cries of London; illustrated by plates of many original characters. London: John Marshall, 1822.

60. Busby, Thomas Lord. The cries of London: drawn from life; with descriptive letter-press, in verse and prose. London: L. Harrison, 1823.

61. Unknown. The New cries of London, or, Itinerant trades of the British metropolis; with characteristic engravings. London: Harvey and Darton, 1823.

62. Darton, William. Little Jack of all trades, or, Mechnical arts described: in prose and verse, suited to the capacities of children, with engraved representations of the different trades. London: Harvey and Darton, 1823.

63. Unknown. The London cries: the figures in the costume of the last century; with a moral lesson derived from each; shewing, that although fashions vary with time, man and his wants remain the same. Embellished with numerous coloured engravings. London: Hodgson & Co., Juvenile Press, 1823?

64. Unknown. London scenes, or, a visit to Uncle William in town; containing a description of the most remarkable buildings and curiosities in the British metropolis. Illustrated by 78 copperplate engravings. London: John Harris, 1824.

65. Unknown. The Cries of London. Glasgow: Richard Griffin & Co., between 1824 and 1844.

66. Unknown. The New London cries, or, Humorous alphabet. London, between 1825 and 1828.

67. Unknown. Cries of London. New York: Mahlon Day, between 1825 and 1833.

68. Unknown. Cries of London. Part second. New York: Mahlon Day, between 1825 and 1833.

69. Unknown. The Cries of London. London: T. Birt, 1828 or 1829.

70. Unknown. The Oyster girl. London, 1828 or 1829.

71. Unknown. The cries of London. Derby: Henry Mozley and Sons, c.1830.

72. Langley, Edward. Langley's cries of London. London: E. Langley, 183–?

73. Unknown. The Cries of London. London: J. Limbird, Mirror Press, between 1830 and 1850.

74. Lloyd, Richard. Lloyd's cries of London. London: R. Lloyd, 1831.

75. Tilt, Charles. Figures of fun, or comical pictures & droll verses: for little girls and boys. Charles Tilt, 1833.

76. Unknown. The London cries in London Street: embellished with pretty cuts, for the use of good little boys and girls, and a copy of verses. London: T. Birt, between 1833 and 1841?

77. Unknown. City cries and the London sights. New York: Mahlon Day, 1834.

78. Unknown. London cries: in verse. New York: Mahlon Day, c.1835?

79. Unknown. New London cries. Marks's edition of New London cries, or, A visit to town. London: J.L. Marks, between 1835 and 1855.

80. Unknown. Alphabetical London cries. London: A. Park, between 1836 and 1841?

81. Unknown. London cries, or, A walk through London's busy streets; with well-known scenes engraved. London: Orlando Hodgson, between 1836 and 1844.

82. Jones, T. H. London cries, or, Addition made easy!!! London, between 1836 and 1854?

83. Unknown. Syllabaire grotesques sic fran├žais et anglais. Paris: D. Marchand, 184–?

84. Unknown. The New London cries, or, A visit to town: embelished with eight coloured engravings. Baltimore, between 1840 and 1842.

85. Unknown. The new London cries. Bellow Falls, Vermont, 1843.

86. Unknown. Aunt Affable's new London cries. London: Dean & Co., 1844?

87. Bishop, James. The new cries of London; embellished with sixteen neatly-coloured engravings. London: A. K. Newman & Co., 1844?

88. Unknown. London cries: illustrated for the young. London: Darton and Co., between 1845 and 1862.

89. Unknown. The new London alphabet. London: W. S. Johnson, between 1846 and 1862.

90. Bishop, James. The cries of London: for the information of little country folks; embellished with sixteen neatly-coloured engravings. London: Dean and Munday, A.K. Newman, not after 1847.

91. Bishop, James. The Cries of London. London: Dean and Son, between 1847 and 1854.

92. Unknown. The Modern cries of London. London: J. March, between 1849 and 1868.

1850-1899

93. Unknown. The New cries of London: with illustrations. 'New Haven, 1850.

94. Marchand, D. Alphabet des cris de Paris. Paris, c.1850.

95. Punch, Professor. The laughable game of What d'ye buy. London: J. Passmore, c.1850.

96. Leighton, John. London cries & public edifices by Luke Limner. London: Grant and Griffith, 1851.

97. Unknown. London cries. Derby: John and Charles Mozley, between 1851 and 1871.

98. Unknown. Aunt Busy-Bee's new London cries. London: Dean and Son, between 1852 and 1854.

99. Unknown. London cries. London: Webb, Millington & Co., between 1853 and 1862.

100. Unknown. Cries of London. London: T. Good, 1854?

101. Unknown. The Shilling alphabet: trades of London. London: George Routledge & Sons, between 1866 and 1876.

102. Unknown. Wood's London cries. London, between 1870 and 1890.

103. Unknown. The Streets of London: a new game. London: Jaques & Son, Ltd, 188–?

104. Tuer, Andrew White. Old London street cries: and the cries of to-day; with heaps of quaint cuts including hand-coloured frontispiece. London, New York: Colnaghi and Co., 1885.

After 1899

105. Wheatley, Francis. Cries of London; with an introduction by Stanford Rayner. London: Art Publishing Co., 1929.

Undated

106. Unknown. The cries of famous London town: as they are exhibited in the streets of the metropolis: with twenty humorous prints of the most eccentric characters. London, John Arliss.