|Beggars, hustlers and scavengers||1||1||1||2||3||1|
|Costermongers and street traders||1||2||1||5||2|
|Transport for hire||1||1|
|Recruitment of workers||1||1|
|Work songs and music||1|
|Workplace cries and audible signals||1||1||2||3|
|Shops and shop staff||1||3|
Period referred to: Early 1400s
Sound category: Economic > Costermongers and street traders
Title of work: London Lickpenny
Type of publication: Satirical poem
Year of publication: c. 1410
Page/volume number: Not applicable
‘Hot peascods!’ one began to cry,
‘strawberry ripe!’ and ‘cherries in the rise!’
Then unto London I did me hie –
Of all the land it beareth the prise!
'Hot peascods!' one began to cry,
'Strawberry ripe!' and 'cherries in the rise!'
One had me come near and buy some spice;
Pepper and saffron, they gan me beede;
But for lack of money I might not speed.
Then to the Cheap I gan me drawn,
Where much people I saw for to stand;
One offered me velvet, silk, and lawn;
Another he taketh me by the hand,
'Here is Paris thread, the finest in the land'.
I was never used to such things in deed,
And, wanting money, I might not speed.
Then I went forth by London Stone,
Throughout all Canwike Street:
Drapers much cloth me offered anon;
Then comes me one, cried 'Hot sheep's feet!'
One cried 'Mackerel!'; 'Rishes green!' another gan greet,
One had me buy a hood to cover my head;
But for want of money I might not speed.
['A lickpenny is someone or something that soaks up money. In this satirical poem the narrator, an out-of-towner (probably from the Midlands), comes to London to seek restoration for fraud but finds that without money it is impossible to get justice in London. And any money he might have he is relieved of.' – Jon E. Lewis in London: The Autobiography.]