Old publications about street cries

Street cries were once a popular subject of songs and literature in Britain, continental Europe and elsewhere. Each month throughout 2018 I'll be scanning and transcribing publications to build this collection.

Introductory page

The Cryes of the City of London Drawne after the Life 1688

Twelve London Cries done from the Life 1760

Cries of London, as they are daily exhibited in the Streets 1796

The New Cries of London, with Characteristic Engravings 1803

Russian Cries 1809

London Cries for Children 1810

Six Charming Children 1812

The Moving Market: or, Cries of London 1815

The Cries of London, Shewing How to Get a Penny for a Rainy Day c. 1820

The Moving Market; or, Cries of London c. 1820

The Cries of London, for the Instruction and Amusement of Good Children c. 1820

Sam Syntax's Description of the Cries of London 1821

Costume of the Lower Orders of the Metropolis 1822

The Cries of London, Drawn from Life 1823

London Melodies; Or, Cries of the Seasons c. 1825

The New-York Cries, in Rhyme c. 1825

The Cries of London, Coloured c. 1830

The Cries in the Streets of London c. 1830

The Cries of London: Exhibiting Several of the Itinerant Traders 1839

Knight's London: Street Noises 1841

New Cries of London 1844

City Cries: Or, a Peep at Scenes in Town 1850

Les Cris de Paris: Marchants Ambulants 1850

Alphabetical London Cries 1852

Cries of London c. 1854

Alphabet Grotesque des Cris de Paris 1861

Scenes and Cries of London 1861

London Street Cries1867

The Street-Cries of New York1870

The Cries of Sydney 1876

The Street-Music of Calcutta c. 1880

Bombay Beggars and Criers 1892

The Cries of London 1892

Boston Street Cries 1899

Grenadier 'Street Cries' cigarette cards 1902

Noisy Street Cries 1902

A Walk through the Bazaars of Damascus 1906

Street Cries of an Old Southern City 1910

Owbridge's Old London Cries & Characters c. 1910

Players 'Cries of London' cigarette cards, 2nd series 1916

Wonderful London: London Cries 1927

Calls, Sounds and Merchandise of the Peking Street Peddlers 1936

Les Cris de Paris 1950


The ‘K.R.’ of this book’s preface was the Indian writer Krishnanath Raghunathji, who later wrote The Hindu Temples of Bombay and contributed to The Indian Antiquary journal. Raghunathji expresses regret that he wasn’t able to photograph the beggars and traders he describes in exhaustive detail. I’ve included some photographs from Forbes and Watson’s 1868 The People of India – sometimes they’re directly relevant to the adjacent text, more often they’re not. Both works, however, share an enthusiasm for listing and categorising their human subjects.


“A beggar begs that never begged before.” - Shak.






Price 1 Rupee.


In publishing the Third Edition of my book, I beg to thank the public for their appreciation of my humble efforts to interest them in some of the obscure members of humanity. I have incorporated in this book several extracts from the Bombay Gazzetteer which is a mine of valuable information and I beg to express my heartfelt acknowledgments to the author Dr. J. M. Campbell, C.S., C.L.E, for the help I have thus derived from the book. I regret, I could not carry out my intention of publishing the book, with illustrations, as the people that had to be photographed could not all be got together for the purpose, but earnestly hope that should another edition be called for, I should be able to give the illustrations.