Street cries of the world

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


+ British Isles pre-19th century

− British Isles 1800–49

The Dublin Cries 1800

The New Cries of London 1800

The New Cries of London, with Characteristic Engravings 1803

The Cries of London, as They are Daily Exhibited in the Streets 1804

The Itinerant Traders of London in their Ordinary Costume 1804

London Cries for Children c. 1806

Letters from London 1808

London Cries for Children 1810

Six Charming Children 1812

The Cries of York c. 1812

Portraits of Curious Characters in London 1814

Etchings of Remarkable Beggars 1815

The Merry London Cries c. 1815

The Moving Market: or, Cries of London 1815

Vagabondiana 1817

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

Costume of the Lower Orders of London 1820

Rowlandson's Characteristic Sketches of the Lower Orders 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 Every-Day Book and Table Book 1827

The Cries of London, Coloured c. 1830

The Cries in the Streets of London c. 1830

The Cries of Banbury and London c. 1837

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

Knight's London: Street Noises 1841

New Cries of London 1844

The Dublin Cries c. 1844

Old London Cries 1847

The London Cries & Public Edifices 1847

+ British Isles 1850–99

+ British Isles 20th century

+ Continental Europe

+ Russia, Asia and Africa

+ USA, Jamaica and Australia


This article by an anonymous author appeared in the February 1847 edition of Fraser’s Magazine. This New York-based journal described itself as ‘devoted to the graphic arts and the literature related to them’.


In the Bridgewater library (in the possession of the Earl of Ellesmere) is a series of engravings on copper, thirty-two in number, without date or engravers’ name; but called, in the handwriting of the second Earl of Bridgewater, “The Manner of Crying Things in London.” They are, it is said, by a foreign artist, and probably proof impressions, for on the margin of one of the engravings is a small part of another, as if it had been taken off for a trial of the plate. Curious and characteristic they certainly are, and of a date anterior to 1686; in which year the second Earl of Bridgewater died. The very titles kindle old recollections as you read them over:—

1. Lanthorne and a Whole Candell light: hang out your lights heare!
2. I have fresh Cheese and Creame.
3. Buy a Bresh [Brush] or a Table Book.
4. Fine Oranges, Fine Lemons.
5. Elisor Yeards: by [buy] Yeard or Ells.
6. I have ripe straw-buryes, ripe straw-buryes.
7. I have Screenes, if you desier To keepe yr Butey from ye fire.
8. Codlinges Hot, Hot Codlinges.
9. Buy a steele or a tinder box.
10. Quicke paravinkells [periwinkles], quicke, quick.
11. Work for a Cooper; worke for a Cooper.
12. Bandestringes, or hankercher buttons.
13. A Tanker Bearer.
14. Macarell new: Maca-rell.
15. Buy a hone, or a whetstone, or a marking ston.
16. White Unions, whitt St. Thomas Unions.
17. Mate for a bed, buy a Doore mate.
18. Radishes or lettis, two bunches a peny.
19. Have you any work for a Tinker!
20. Buy my Hartichokes. Mistris.
21. Maribones, M aides, Muribones.
22. I ha’ ripe Couccumber, ripe Couc-cumber.
23. Chimney Sweepe.
24. New Flounders new.
25. Some broken Breade and meate for ye poore prisoners: for the Lord’s sake pittey the poore.
26. Buy my dish of great Smelts.
27. Have you any Chaires to mend!
28. Buy a Cocke, or a gelding.
29. Old showes or bootes : wdl you buy some Broome?
30. Mussells, Lilly White MusselIs.
31. Small cole a penny a peake.
32. What Kitchen Stuff have you, Maides?

The figures, male and female, in the engravings, are all three-quarter lengths, furnished with the implements of their various trades, or with the articles in which they deal. The Watchman (one of the best) is a fine old fellow, with a broad brim to his hat, a reverential beard, a halberd in one hand, and a lanthorn in the other. Mark the particularity of his “cry”—our forefathers were prohibited from hanging out the relic of a candle to light the street—“a whole Candell” was required by this Dogberry in the cut. But perhaps the most curious engraving in the set is the “cry” called “Some broken Breade and meate for ye poor prisoners: for the Lord’s sake pitty the poore.” This represents a poor prisoner with a sealed box in his hand, and a basket at his back—the box for alms in the shape of money, and the basket for broken bread and meat. I have a handbill before me at the present moment, printed in 1664, and entitled, “The Humble Petition of the Poor Distressed Prisoners in Ludgate, being above an hundred and fourscore poor persons in number, against the time of the Birth of our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” “We most humbly beseech you,” says the handbill “(even for God’s cause), to relieve us with your charitable benevolence, and to put into this Bearers Boxe, the same being sealed with the house Seale as it is figured on this Petition.” There is a somewhat similar figure in Tempest’s curious collection of “Cries;” but of this hereafter.

I am not aware of any earlier collection of old London Cries than Lydgate’s, in his celebrated London Lackpenny, or London Lickpenny, as it is sometimes written. John Lydgate, monk of Bury St. Edmund’s, and a prolific poet withal, died, it is said, in the year 1482. The “Cries” he enumerates, are, therefore, very old London Cries. Lydgate’s Lackpenny is in Westminster Hall:—

“Within this Hall, nether rich nor yett poore
Wold do for me ought, although I shold dye.
Which seing, I gat me out of the doore,
Where Flemynges began on me for to cry,
‘Master, what will you copen or by [buy]?
Fyne felt hattes, or spectacles to reede?
Lay down your sylver, and here you may speede.’”

Sir Walter Scott has copied this (with great good judgment) in his Fortunes of Nigel, where Jin Vin, at his master’s shop in Fleet Street, is crying, “What d’ye lack, what d’ye lack?” to every likely passerby. But to proceed with the monk of Bury and his London Lackpenny,—

“Then unto London I dyd me hye,
Of all the land it beareth the pryse:
‘Hot pescodes!’ one began to crye,
Strabery rype, and cherrye in the ryse;
One bad me come nere and by [buy] some spyce,
Peper and safforne they gan me bede,
But for lack of money I myght not spede.

Then to the Chepe I began me drawne,
Where mutch people I saw for to stande;
One ofred me velvet, sylke, and lawne;
An other he taketh me by the hande,
‘Here is Parys thred, the fynest in the land,’—
I never was used to such thyngs indede,
And wantyng mony I myght not spede.

Then went I forth by London Stone,
Throughout all Canwyke Streete,
Drapers mutch cloth me offred anone;
Then comes me one cryed ‘Hot shepes feete;’
One cryde ‘Makerell?’ ‘Rysters grene,’ an other gan greete;
On bad me by [buy] a hood to cover my head,
But for want of money I myght not be sped.

Then I hyed me into Est-Chepe,
One cryes ‘Rybbs of befe,’ and ‘many a pye.’
Then I hyed me to Belyngsgate,
And one cryed, ‘Hoo I go we hence?’ ”

“Hot pescodes” is hardly so attractive as “rybbes of befe,” or “makerell,” or “rysters grene,” or “fyne felt hattes,” or “Parys thred, the fynest in the land.” Yet it was once a popular cry. Hear Mr. Halliwell, the editor of Lydgate, in a note on the London Lackpenny:—  “About fifty years ago, there used to be a cry in the metropolis of ‘hot grey pease and a suck of bacon.’ The ‘suck of bacon’ was extracted by the ‘little unwashed’ from a piece of that article, securely fastened by a string, to obtain a ‘relish’ for the pease! I have this from unquestionable authority.” Surely our modern refinement of “A plate of veal cut with a hammy knife!” is a vast improvement on the coarse luxury described by Mr. Halliwell’s informant. Dr. Mackay, in one of the best of his contributions to our literature, Songs of the London Prentices and Trades, has printed a curious little poem, called “Citie Bounds;” but from whence he obtained it he has omitted to tell us. Here it is, rich in old London cries:—

Citie Rounds.

‘Broomes for old shooes! pouchrings, bootes and buskings!’
‘Will yee buy any new broome?’
‘New oysters! New oysters! New, new cockels!’
‘Cockels nye!’ ‘Fresh herrings!’ ‘Will yee buy any straw?’
‘Hae yee any kitchen stuffe, maides?’
‘Pippins fine’ — ‘Cherrie ripe, ripe, ripe! Cherrie ripe.’
‘Hae any wood to cleave?’
‘Give eare to the clocke!
Beware your locke!
Your fire and your light!
And God give you good night!
One o’clocke.’ ”

I think the reader will agree with me, that the most curious part of the “Citie Rounds” is the “cry” of the watchman,—

“ ‘Give eare to the clocke!
Beware your locke!
Your fire and your light!
And God give you good night!
One o’clocke.’ ”

“New Brooms,” seems to have been one of the most popular of the “cries.” The following song, from “A right excellent and famous comedy, called The Three Ladies of London,” written by R. and printed in 1584, is excellent—right excellent, in its way.


“New broomes, green broomes, will you buy any?
Come, maydens, come quickly, let me take a peny.
My broomes are not steeped, but very well bound:
My broomes be not crooked, but smooth cut and round.
I wish it should please you to buy of my broome:
Then would it well ease me, if market were done.

Have you any olde bootes, or any old shoone?
Powch-rings or buskins to cope with new broome?
If so you have, maydens, I pray you bring hither:
That you and I friendly may bargen together.
New broomes, green broomes, will you buy any ?
Come, maydens, come quickly, let me take a peny.”

Thomas Heywood, “the Prose Shakspeare,” as he is called by Charles Lamb, has appended to his Rape of Lucrece (4to. 1608) a curious collection of London cries, as sung by “the stranger that lately acted Valerius.” There is some humour in the classification, and if the cries were well imitated by the singer, the song must have been extremely popular.

The Cries of Rome [i. e. London].

“Thus goe the cries in Rome’s faire towne,
First they goe up street, and then they goe downe.
‘Round and sound, all of a collor.’
‘Buy a very fine marking stone, marking stone,’
‘Round and sound, all of a colour.’
‘Buy a very fine marking stone, a very very fine.
Thus goe the cries in Rome’s faire towne,
First they goe up street, and then they goe downe.
‘Bread and—meat—bread—and meate
For the—ten—der—mercy of God to the
Poore pris—ners of Newgate, foure
score and ten — poore—prisners.’
Thus goe the cries in Rome’s faire towne,
First they goe up street, and then they goe downe.
‘Salt—salt—white Wor—ter shire salt.’
Thus goe the cries in Rome’s faire towne,
First they goe up street, and then they goe downe.
‘Buy a very fine mousetrap, or a tormentor
For your fleaes.’
Thus goe the cries in Rome’s faire towne,
First they goe up street and then they goe downe.
‘Kitchin stuffe, maides.’
Thus goe the cries, &c.
‘Ha you any wood to cleave?’
Thus go the cries, &c.
‘I ha white radish, white
Hard lettice, white yong unyons.’
Thus goe the cries,’ &c.
‘I ha rocke Sampier, rocke Sampier.’
Thus goe the cries, &c.
‘Buy a mat, a rich mat,
Mat, a hasocke for your pew,
A staple for a close stoole,
Or a pesocke to thrust your fute in.’
Thus go the cries, &c.
‘Whiting, maides, whiting.’
Thus goe the cries, &c.
‘Hot fine oatcakes, hot.’
Thus goe the cries, &c.
‘Small coales here.’
Thus goe the cries, &c.
‘Will you buy any milk to-day?’
Thus goe the cries, &c.
‘Lanthorne and candle light here,
Maid, ha light here.’
Thus goe the cries, &c.
‘Here lies a company of very poore
Women in the darke dungeon,
Hungry and cold and comfortlesse night and day.
Pittie the poore women in the darke dungeon.’
Thus goes the cries where they doe bouse them,
First they come to the grate, and then
They goe to lose them.”

The old London cry of “Hot fine oatcakes, hot!” would have formed a capital hit for Boswell when teased by Johnson about the poverty of his countrymen; and what was food for horses in England, was food for men in Scotland. But, perhaps, the most extraordinary cry in the whole of Heywood’s list, is that of the “Mousetrap Man;”—

“Buy a very fine mouse-trap, or a tormentor
For your fleaes!”

I am willing to confess that I can form but a very indistinct idea of what “a tormentor for your fleaes” could possibly have been like; yet it was once a common article of traffic. Thus the Mouse-trap Man in Ben Jonson’s Bartholomew Fair (1614), is made to cry,—

“Buy a mouse-trap, a mouse-trap, or a tormentor for a flea;”

and in The Bondaca of Beaumont and Fletcher I observe the following allusion:—

First Daughter. Are they not our tormentors?
Caratach. Tormentors?—flea-traps?”

Another author who mentions it is Taylor the Water Poet, in his Travels of Twelve-Pence. Perhaps when the gallery of British antiquities in the British Museum is once fairly established, we may see “a tormentor for a flea” among the curiosities of the collection.

In Mr. Collier’s recent publication, A Book of Roxburgh Ballads, there is a capital old song printed from a broadside of the year 1662, and called “The Common Cries of London:”—

The Common Cries of London.

“My masters all attend you,
 if mirth you love to heare,
And I will tell you what they cry
 in London all the yeare.
I’ll please you if I can,
 I will not be too long;
I pray you all attend awhile,
 and listen to my song.

The fish-wife first begins:
 Anye muscles, lilly-white!
Herrings, sprats, or place,
 Or cockles for delight.
Anye Welflet oysters!
 Then she doth change her note:
She had need to have her tongue be greas’d,
 for she rattles in the throat.

Old shoes for new brooms!
 the broom-man he doth sing;
For hats, or caps, or buskins,
 or any old pouch-ring.
Buy a mat, a bed-mat!
 a hassock or a presse;
A cover for a close-stool,
 a bigger or a lesse.

Ripe, cherry ripe!
 the costermonger cries;
Pippins fine, or pears!
 another after hies;
With basket on his head
 his living to advance,
And in his purse a pair of dice
 for to play at mumchance.

Hot pippin pies!
 to sell unto my friends;
Or pudding pies in pans,
 well stuft with candles’ ends.
Will you buy any milk ?
 I heard a wench that cries;
With a pale of fresh cheese and cream
 another after hies.

Buy black! saith the blacking man,
 the best that ere was seen;
’T is good for poore citizens
 to make their shooes to shine.
Oh ! ’t is a rare commodity,
 it must not be forgot;
It will make them to glister gallantly,
 and quickly make them rot.

Buy a trap, a mouse-trap,
 a torment for the fleas!
The hangman works but half the day ;
 he lives too much at ease.
Come let us leave this boye’s play
 and idle prittleprat,
And let us go to nine-holes,
 to spurn-point, or to cat.”

Of W. Turner, the itinerant minstrel of this curious collection of “Cries,” nothing more is known, but the ballad is said to be of a date anterior to 1662, perhaps a full century, at the very least.

The “tink, terry tink,” of the Tinker’s “Cry” is preserved in a miscellany of the year 1667,—called Catch That Catch Can; or the Musical Companion.

The Tinker.

“Have you any work for a tinker, mistriss?
Old brass, old pots, or kettles?
I’ll mend them all with a tink, terry tink,
And never hurt your mettles.
First let me have but a touch of your ale,
’Twill steel me against cold weather,
Or tinkers frees,
Or vintners lees,
Or tobacco chuse you whether.
But of your ale,
Your nappy ale,
I would I had a ferkin,
For I am old
And very cold
And never wear a jerkin.”

The tinker’s “Cry” forms the opening lines of “Clout the Cauldron,” one of the best of our old Scottish songs:—

“ ‘Hae ye ony pots or pans,
 Or any broken chanlers,*
I am a tinker to my trade.
 And newIy come from Flanders.”

But the song is so well known to all who take an interest in our northern minstrelsy, and is to be found, moreover, in every good collection of Scottish songs, that it is enough to refer to it. Many like ourselves have got it by heart, but few will ever sing it, we make bold to say, like our excellent friend John Burnet, the engraver. Part, however, with the tinker we cannot without transcribing his “Cry,” from the quaint Tom Brown, — “Have you brass pot, iron pot, kettle, skillet, or a frying-pan to mend?” John Bunyan was a tinker originally. Fancy the author, poet—we may call him—of The Pilgrim’s Progress, crying the “cry” of his trade through the streets of Bedford, with “Have you any work for a tink, mistress?” upon his lips, and visions of Vanity Fair and the Slough of Despond, and of the Valley of the Shadow of Death, beneath that long head of hair, shaggy and dirty too, as a tinker’s generally is.

In the Print Room of the British Museum is a single sheet of early English cries (twelve on the sheet), with figures of the “Criers,” and the Cries themselves beneath. The cuts are very rude, but singularly characteristic, and may be assigned with a safety to a period certainly not later than the reign of James I. The first is the Watch ; he has no name, but carries his staff and lanthorn with an air of honest old Dogberry about him,—“ A good man and true, and the most desertless man to be a constable.” The “cry” of the “Watch” is as follows:—

“A light here, maids, hang out your light,
And see your horns be clear and bright,
That so your candle clear may shine,
Continuing from six till nine;
That honest men that walk along,
May see to pass safe without wrong.”

No. 2 is the “Belman”—Dekker’s “Belman of London.” He carries a halberd, lanthorn, and bell, and his “cry” is curious:—

“Maids in your smocks, look to your locks,
 Your fire and candlelight;
For well ’t is known much mischief’s done
 By both in dead of night;
Your locks and fire do not neglect,
And so you may good rest expect.”

No. 3 is the “Orange Woman,” a sort of full-grown Nell Gwyn, if you can fancy Nell Gwyn grown up in her humble occupation. She carries a basket of oranges and lemons on her arm, and seeks to sell them by the following “cry:”—

“Fine Sevil oranges, fine lemmons, fine;
Round, sound, and tender, inside and rine,
One pin’s prick their vertue shew:
They’ve liquor by their weight, you may know.”

No. 4 is the “Hair-line Man,” with a bundle of lines under his arm and a line in his hand. Clothes-pegs was, perhaps, a separate “cry.” Here is his:—

“Buy a hair-line, or a line for Jacke.
If you any hair or hemp-cord lack,
Mistris, here’s good as you need use;
Bid fair for handsel, I’ll not refuse.”

No. 5 is the “Radish and Lettuce Woman.” Your fine “goss” lettuce is a modem cry:—

“White raddish, white young lettis,
White young lettis white:
You here me cry, come, mistris, buy,
To make my burden light.”

No. 6 is the man who sells “Marking-stones,” now, unless we except slate-pencils, completely out of use:—

“Buy marking-stones, marking-stones buy.
Much profit in their use doth lie;
I’ve marking-stones of colour red,
Passing good, or else black lead.”

No. 7 is the “Sausage Woman,” holding a pound of sausages in her hand:—

“Who buys my sausages, sausages fine?
 I ha’ fine sausages of the best;
As good they are as ere was eat,
 If they be finely drest.
Come, mistris, buy this daintie pound,
About a capon rost them round.”

No. 8 is a man with Toasting-forks and Spice-graters:—

“Buy a fine tosting-fork for toast,
Or fine spice-grater—tools for an hoast;
If these in winter be lacking, I say,
Your guests will pack, your trade decay.”

No. 9 is the “Broom Man,” and here we have a “cry” different from the one we have already given. He carries a pair of old boots in his hand:

“Come buy some broomes, come buy of me;
Birch, heath, and green none better be;
The staves are straight, and all bound sure ;
Come, maids, buy brooms will still endure.
Old boots or shooes I’ll take for brooms,
Come buy to make clean all your rooms!”

No. 10 is a woman with a box of wash-balls:—

“Buy fine washing-balls, buy a ball,
Cheaper and dearer, greater and small;
For scouring none do them excel,
Their odour senteth passing well;
Come buy rare balls, and trial make,
Spots out of clothes they quickly take.”

No. 11 sells ink and pens. He carries an ink-bottle hung by a stick behind him, and has a bunch of pens in his hand:—

“Buy pens, pens, pens, pens of the best,
Excellent pens and seconds the least;
Come buy good ink as black as jet,
A varnish like gloss on writing ’twill set.”

The twelfth and last is a woman with a basket of Venice glasses, such as Mr. Albert Way would give a good deal to get hold of:—

“Come glasses, glasses, fine glasses buy;
Fine glasses o’ the best I call and cry.
Fine Venice-glasses—no chrystal more clear,
Of all forms and fashions buy glasses here,
Black pots for good ale I also do cry;
Come therefore quickly before I pass by.”

In the same collection, and only recently added, is a series of three Slates, “Part of the Criers in London,” evidently belonging to the same set, though only one has got a title. Each plate contains thirty-six criers, with the addition of a principal “Crier” in the centre. They were evidently executed abroad, as late, perhaps, as the reign of Charles II. No. 1. (with the title-page) is ornamented in the centre with the “Rat-Catcher,” carrying an emblazoned banner of rats, and attended by a boy. The leather investment of the rat-catcher of the present day is a a pleasant memorial of the banner of the past. Beneath the rat-catcher, the following lines occur:—

“Hee that will have neither
 Ratt nor Mowsse
Lett him pluck of the tilles
 And set fire of his hows.”

Proving, evidently that the rat-catcher courted more to his banner than his poetry. Then follow the thirty-six cries, some of which, it will be seen, are extremely curious. The names are given beneath the cuts, but without any verse or peculiarity of cry.

Cooper. Alminake. Olde iron.
En of golde. Coonie skine. Aqua vitae.
Olde Dublets. Mussels. Pens and Ink.
Blackinge man. Cabeches. Olde bellows.
Tinker. Kitchen stuff. Herrings.
Pippins. Glasses. Bui any milke.
Bui a matte. Cockels. Piepin pys.
Cooles. Hartti chaks. Osters.
Chimnie swepes. Mackrill. Shades.
Bui Brumes. Oranges, Lemens. Turneps.
Camphires. Lettice. Rossmarie Baie.
Cherrie ripe. Place. Onions.

“Haie ye any work for John Cooper?” is the title of one of the Martin Mar Prelate pamphlets. “Haie ye ani gold ends to sell?” is mentioned as a “cry,” in “Pappe with a Hatchet” (cir. 1589). “Camphires,” means Samphires. The “Alminake” man has completely gone, and “Old Dublets” has degenerated into “Ogh Clo,” a “cry” which teased Coleridge for a time, and occasioned a ludicrous incident, which we had reserved for a place somwheat later in the article, had not “Old Dublets” brought it, not inopportunely, to mind. “The other day,” said Coleridge, “I was what you would call floored by a Jew. He passed me several times crying out for old clothes, in the most nasal and extraordinary tone I ever heard. At last I was so provoked, that I said to him, ‘Pray, why can’t you say ‘old clothes’ in a plain way, as I do?’ The Jew stopped, and looking very gravely at me, said in a clear and even fine accent, ‘Sir, I can say ‘old clothes’ as well as you can; but if you had to say so ten times a minute, for an hour together, you would say Ogh Clo as I do now and so he marched off. Coleridge was so confounded with the justice of the retort that he followed and gave him a shilling—the only one he had.

The principal figure on the second plate is the “Belman,” with dog, bell, halberd, and lanthorns. His “cry” is curious, though we have had it almost in the same form before:—

“Maids in your Smocks, Loocke
Wel to your lock—your fire
And your light, and God
Give you good night. At
One a Clock.’

The “cries” around him deserve transcription:—

Buy any shrimps. Featherbeds to dryue.
Buy some figs. Buy any bottens.
Buy a testing iron. Buy any whiting maps.
Lantorne candeliyht. Buy any tape.
Buy any maydes. Worcestershyr salt.
The Water Bearer. Ripe damsons.
Buy a whyt pot. Buy any marking stons.
Bread and Meate. The Bear bayting.
Buy a candelsticke. Buy any blew starch.
Buy any prunes. Buy any points.
Buy a washing ball. New Hadog.
Good sasages. Yards and Ells.
Buy a purs. Buy a fyne brush.
Buy a dish a flounders. Hote mutton poys.
Buy a footestoole. New sprats new.
Buy a fine bow-pot. New cod new.
Buy a pair a shoes. Buy any reasons.
Buy any garters. P. and glasses to mend.

On the third plate, the principal figure is the Crier, with his staff and keys:—

“O yis, Any man or woman that
Can tell any tydings of a little
Mayden Childe of the age of 24
Yeares. Bring worde to the Cryer,
And you slr.dbe pleased for
 Your labor
And Gods blessinge.”

The figures surrounding the Common Crier are in the same style of art, and their cries characteristic of bygone times:—

Buy any wheat. Fresh cheese and creame.
Buy al my smelts. Buy any garlick.
Quick periwinckels. Buy a longe brush.
Rype chesnuts. Whyt carots whyt.
Payres fyn. Fyne pomgranats.
White redish whyt. Buy any Russes.
Buy any whyting. Hats or caps to dress.
Buy any bone lays. Wood to cleave.
I ha rype straberies. Pins of the Maker.
Buy a case for a hat. Any sciruy gras.
Birds and hens. Any cornes to pick.
Hote podding pyes. Buy any parsnips.
Buy a hair lyne. Hot codlinges hot.
Buy any pompcons. Buy all my soales.
Whyt scalions. Good morrow m.
Rype walnuts. Buy any cocumber.
Fyn potatos fyn. New thornebacke.
Hote eele pyes. Fyne oate cakes.

The only crier in the series who has a horse and cart to attend him is the Worcestershire salt-man. Salt is still sold from carts in poor and crowded neighbourhoods.

I have been somewhat surprised in not finding a single Thames waterman among the criers of London; but the series was, perhaps, confined to the streets of London, and the watermen were thought to belong altogether to the stairs leading to their silent highway. Three of their cries have given titles to three good old English comedies, “Northward, ho!” “Eastward, oh!” and “Westward, ho!” But our series of cries is still extremely incomplete. Every thing early times was carried and cried, and two rare cuts before me at the present moment preserve two old London cries not to be found in the lists already enumerated. One is called, “Clove Water, Stomock Water,” and the other, “Buy an new Booke.” Others may still exist. In the Duke of Devonshire’s collection of drawings by Inigo Jones, are several cries, drawn in pen-and-ink, for the masques at court in the reigns of James I. and Charles I.

But the best known collection of cries is Tempest’s collection, “The Cryes of the City of London. Drawne after the Life. P. Tempest, Excudit:” a series of seventy-four plates, in a small folio volume without date, but said to have been published in the year 1711. The date, however, is wrong. Marcellus Laroon, who drew the cries engraved by Tempest, died in Bow Street, Covent Garden, on the 11th of March, 1702; and Pepys (so well known by his Diary, and who died in 1703) left a number of Tempest’s cries to Magdalen College, Cambridge, where, in the Pepysian Library in that College, they are still preserved. Every thing is in favour of an earlier period of publication. How did Pepys obtain them if they were not published till 1711? We will answer the question. They (fifty, at least) were originally published three-and-twenty years before the supposed period of publication; witness the following advertisement, extracted from the London Gazette of May 28–31, 1688:—

“There is now Published the Cryes and Habits of London, lately drawn after the Life in great variety of Actions, Curiously Engraven upon 50 Copper Plates, fit for the Ingenious and Lovers of Art. Printed and Sold by P. Tempest, over-against Somerset House in the Strand.”

Of the seventy-four plates in the only known series (for I have never even heard of a copy of only fifty plates), several can scarcely be called cries. They are, indeed, rather “characters” than “cries.” As the book, however, is extremely scarce and extremely dear, and a paper on old London Cries would be very imperfect without a particular account of Tempest’s volume, I shall give the full titles of the seventy-four plates, with such observations interspersed as I may deem either pertinent or necessary. But before I quote the several cries in the work, a few words about Marcellus Laroon, who drew, and Pearce Tempest, who engraved these cries, will not, I trust, be altogether out of place. Of Laroon, I can find no better account than the notice in Walpole:—

“Marcellus Laroon was born at the Hague in 1653, and learned to paint of his father, with whom he came young into England. Here he was placed with one La Zoon, a portrait-painter, and then with Flesshier, but owed his chief improvement to his own application. He lived several years in Yorkshire; and, when he came to London again, painted draperies for Sir Godfrey Kneller, in which branch he was eminent; but his greatest excellence was in imitating other masters, and those considerable. My father had a picture by him that easily passed for Basson’s. He painted history, portraits, conversations, both in large and small. Several prints were made from bis works, and several plates he etched and scraped himself. A book of fencing, the cries of London, and the procession at the coronation of William and Mary, were designed by him. He died of a consumption, March 11, 1702. His son, Captain Laroon, who had a genius both for painting and music, had his father’s picture painted by himself.”

Such is Walpole’s account derived from the notes of Vertue, to which I may add, that he lived in Bow Street, Covent Garden, on the west side, about three doors up, and at the back of Sir Godfrey Kneller’s house in the Piazza. He was living there in 1680, and died there in 1702.

Of Pearce Tempest, the particulars collected by Vertue were so extremely slight, that Walpole merely enumerates him among those of whom nothing is known. It may be told of him, however, in some future edition of the work (and a new edition with notes and new matter is extremely wanted), that he lived in the Strand, over-against Somerset House, and dying in 1717, was buried on the 4th of April, in the churchyard of St. Paul, Covent Garden.

I shall now return to Tempest’s volume:—

Plate 1. Title-page.
2. “A Sow Gelder” (male figure, with his horn and his bell over his shoulder, with horse-shoes upon it).
3. “Any Card Matches or Savealls” (female figure).
4. “Pretty Maids, Pretty Pinns, Pretty Women” (male figure, with paper of pins).
5. “Ripe Strawberryes” (female figure, with our modem pottles).
6. “A Bed Mate, or a Door Matt” (male figure).
7. “Buy a fine Table Basket” (female figure).
8. “Ha Ha Poor Jack” (two figures, male and female. The man carries a basket of fish on his bead, attended by his lame wife supported by two sticks. The wife of this man, who was scarce able to limp after her busband, and never carried any fish, was for many years his constant attendant through the streets. “I have been informed,” says Granger, “that jealousy was the reason commonly assigned for her attendance”).
9. “Buy my Dish of great Eeles” (female figure).
10. “Buy a fine singing Bird” (male figure).
11. “Buy any Wax or Wafers” (female figure).
12. “Fine Writeing Ink” (male figure, with a barrel at his back—pens in his right hand—his pint measure and funnel).
13. “A merry New Song” (two figures, male and female, representing Roger Teasdell and Mrs. Parker, many years inseparable companions and partners in trade. Mrs. Parker wore her hat exactly horizontal; Roger’s hung so much to one side, that it seemed every moment to be falling off his head. This was the only instance in which this harmonious couple disagreed. Each is represented singing, and holding out a single ballad).
14. “Old Shooes for some Broomes” (male figure).
15. “Hott Bak’d Wardens Hott” (female figure).
16. “Small Coale” (male figure, with sack and measure. This, of course, was an early cry; and Swift has celebrated it in bis “Morning in Town,”—

“The Small Coal Man was heard with cadence deep,
Till drowned in shriller notes of ‘Chimney sweep’ ”).

17. “Maids, any Coonie Skinns” (female figure).
18. “Buy a Rabbit, a Rabbit” (male figure, with bis poles as now. This still survives, “Ra-ra-ra-Rabbit”)
19. “Buy a Fork or a Fire Shovel” (female figure. The shovel was a recent addition to the “cry”).
20. “Chimney Sweep” (two figures, Seyley the chimney sweeper and his boy. We are indebted to Pepys for the names of many of the “criers” in Tempest’s collection).
21. “Crab, Crab, any Crab” (female figure).
22. “Oh Rare Shoe” (male figure, with box at his back).
23. “The Merry Milk Maid” (This pretty, sprightly girl, whose name was Kate Smith, is represented dancing with her milk-pail on her head. The pail is hung round with cups, porringers, and measures. She is dressed in a white hood, over which is a narrow-brimmed black hat; on each shoulder is a knot, and she holds a white handkerchief in her right hand).
24. “The Merry Fiddler” (Hugh Massey by name. We have already had the Fiddler, with his “Good morrow m”).
25. “Lilly White Vinegar, 3 pence a quart” (man with a donkey, and two barrels on the donkey’s back).
26. “Buy any Dutch Biskets” (woman, with two baskets).
27. “Ripe Speregas” (female, with a basket of asparagus on her head).
28. “Maids buy a Mapp” (female, with a bundle of mops on her head).
29. “Buy my fat Chickens” (male, with pole; the chickens alive in a basket).
30. “Buy my Flounders” (male, with basket. The old “cry” of ‘Buy my Flounders—buy my Soul—buy my Maids” is commemorated in a well-known anecdote older than Joe Miller. “What, you rascal!” said a countryman, in town for the first time, “not content with selling your own soul, but you must sell your maid’s as well!”).
31. “Old Cloaks, Suits, or Coats’’ (male figure, with three broad-brimmed hats on his head, two dress-swords in his right hand. The cry of “Old Dublets” was superseded about this time).
32. “Fair Lemons and Oranges” (female with baskets, one on her head, another on her arm).
33. “Old Chaires to Mend” (man, with stick and long bundle of rushes).
34. “Twelve Pence a Peck Oysters” (man with barrow, peck-measure, and knife).
35. “Troope every one one” (man blowing a trumpet, with a stick over his (shoulder of children’s toys).
36. “Old Satten, old Taffety, or Velvet ” (female, with basket).
37. Female (Title).
38. “Buy a New Almanack” (female, with basket of almanacks).
39. “Buy my fine Singing Glasses” (man, with a long glass tube to his mouth).
40. “Any Kitchin Stuffe have you, Maids?” (female, with tub on her head).
41. “Knives, Combs, or Inkhorns” (man, with a box of brushes, &c., suspended from his neck).
42.“Four for Six Pence, Mackrell” (an old fishwife, with her leather purse and door-key, a mackerel in one hand and a stick in the other. This was the price of Mackerel in Tom Brown’s time, “Two a groat, and four for Sixpence, mackerell”).
43. “Any Work for the Cooper?”
44. “4 Paire for a Shilling, Holland Socks” (female, with a box before her).
45. “Colly Molly Puffe” (this little man, who had nothing at all striking in his appearance, and was but just able to support the basket of pastry which he carried upon his head, sung, in a very peculiar tone, the cant words which passed into his name. This singularity was very advantageous to him, as it rendered him one of the most noted of the “cries” in London. He was called Molly Puff, and is immortalised in the Spectator, No. xxv.).
46. “Sixpence a Pound, Fair Cherryes” (woman, with cherries fastened on sticks).
47. “Knives or Cisers to Grinde” (man grinding with a pipe in his mouth. Canning’s weary Knifegrinder—“Story? God bless you, I have none to tell, sir”).
48. “Long thread-laces, long and strong” (two boys).
49. “Remember the poor Prisoners” (man with an alms-basket at his back, and a sealed money-box in his hand).
50.“The Squire of Alsatia” (smart young fellow with stick, sword, hat, feather, and Chedreux wig. The popularity of Shadwell’s play of The Squire of Alsatia, which appeared about the time that Tempest’s cries were published, occasioned, no doubt, the introduction of this figure into the volume, quite misplaced in a collection of cries.)
51. “London Curtezan” (Mrs. Russell, in a tawdry scarf of flowered gauze, patches on her face, a mask in her right hand, and a fan in her left).
52. “Madam Creswell” (a celebrated courtezan, and something more, mentioned by Shadwell, Oldham, and Otway).
53.“Merry Andrew” (a man named Philips, with a prominent belly and large buttons to his doublet, arch look and antic posture. See No. 63).
54. “A brass Pott or an Iron Pott to mend” (man, with pots and hammer).
55. “Buy my four Ropes of Hard Onyons” (man, with a pole and a rope of onions at each end).
56. “London’s Gazette here” (female figure. The London Gazette, established in 1665, still exists).
57. “Buy a White Line, or a Jack Line, or a Cloathes Line” (male figure).
58. “Any old Iron take money for” (lame man with bags).
59. “Delicate Cowcumbers to pickle” (female).
60.“Any Bakeing Peares” (male, or, perhaps, a female).
61. “New River Water” (man with pails).
62. “The Spanish Don.”
63. “Merry Andrew on the Stage” (Philips (see No. 53) playing on a bass-viol; hood, with ass’s ears).
64. “The famous Dutch Woman” (dancing on the tight-rope, with pole in her hands. See No. 67).
65. “Mountabanck” (Hans Buling, a Dutchman, with his monkey and medicine-chest, and a phial in his hand. He is represented in the act of speaking).
66. “The famous Dutch Woman” (dancing on the rope; the clown, with his tongue out, pointing to her. See No. 64).
67. “Josephus Clericus, Posture-Masterius” (Joseph Clark, the English Posture-Master, with his toes between his legs, and his tongue out. See No. 68).
68. “Clark, the English Posture-Master” (standing on one leg, his heel touching the hind part of his head ; his monkey in the same position. Clark is mentioned in The Guardian, No. 102).
69. “The London Beggar’’ (Nan Mills and her two children, one of whom hangs at her back).
70. “John the Quaker” (John Kelsey, a young fellow, looking down. Granger has given some account of him).
71. “The London Quaker” (“Rachel of Covent Garden,” with her hands clasped before her).
72. “Oliver C. Porter” (Oliver Cromwell’s tall porter, with a hook in both hands, open, and held away from him).
73. “A Nonconformist Minister” (Pearce Tempest himself).
74. “Prater Mendicans” (this plump Franciscan went begging about the streets in the reigu of James II.).

Such are the contents of Tempest’s curious volume; all the figures are interesting, and one may be allowed to wonder that a London bookseller has not as yet thought it worth his while to re-engrave the series in a cheap and accessible volume. One can hardly fancy a more charming Christmas-book than a volume of “Old London Cries,” copied from authentic sources, and accompanied with short accounts of the people represented, and the manners and customs of a bygone period, before we had large shop-fronts to expose our goods to public view, and “Ends of Gold,” “Old Doublets,” “London’s Gazette,” “Pens and Ink,” “Fine Oat Cakes,” “Lilly White Vinegar,” and “New River Water,” were cried through the streets like “Char Cro,” “Bank, Bank,” “Piedilly,” by the cads of omnibusses, or the “Se-cond Edit-ion Stan-dard,” by the legitimate representatives of Tempest’s hero, “London’s Gazette.”