London Labour and the London Poor, volume 2

Mayhew, Henry

1851

Of the Numbers, Capital, and income of the Street- Sellers of Second-Hand articles, Live animals, Mineral Productions, Etc.

THE hawkers of -hand articles, live animals, mineral productions, and natural curiosities, form, as we have seen, large important classes of the street-sellers. According to the facts already given, there appear to be at present in the streets, sellers of metal wares, including the sellers of secondhand trays and Italian-irons; sellers of old linen, as wrappers and towelling; vendors of -hand (burnt) linen and calico; sellers of curtains; sellers of carpeting, &c.; sellers of bed-ticking, &c.; sellers of old crockery and glass; sellers of old musical instruments; vendors of -hand weapons; sellers of old curiosities; vendors of telescopes and pocket glasses; to sellers of other miscellaneous -hand articles; sellers of men's secondhand clothes; sellers of old boots and shoes; vendors of old hats; sellers of women's -hand apparel; vendors of -hand bonnets, and sellers of old furs; sellers of -hand articles at Smithfield-market;— making altogether street-sellers of secondhand commodities.

But some of the above trades are of a tem- porary character only, as in the case of the vendors of old linen towelling or wrappers, carpets, bed-ticking, &c.—the same persons who sell the often selling the others; the towels and wrappers, moreover, are offered for sale only on the Monday and Saturday nights. Assuming, then, that upwards of or - of the above number sell different -hand articles, or are not continually employed at that department of street-traffic, we find the total number of street-sellers belonging to this class to be about .

Concerning the number selling live animals in the streets, there are men vending fancy and sporting dogs; sellers and "duffers" of English birds; sellers of parrots and other foreign birds; sellers of birds'--nests, &c.; vendors of squirrels; sellers of leverets and wild rabbits; vendors of gold and silver fish; vendors of tortoises; and sellers of snails, frogs, worms, &c.; or, allowing for the temporary and mixed character of many of these trades, we may say that there are constantly engaged in this branch of street-commerce.

97

 

Then of the street-sellers of mineral productions and natural curiosities, there are vendors of coals; sellers of coke; sellers of tanturf; vendors of salt; sellers of sand; sellers of shells; or in all. From this number the sellers of shells must be deducted, as the shell-trade is not a special branch of streettraffic. We may, therefore, assert that the number of people engaged in this latter class of streetbusiness amounts to about .

Now, adding all these sums together, we have the following table as to the numbers of individuals comprised in the division of the London street-folk, viz. the street-sellers:—

 1. Costermongers (including men, women, and children engaged in the sale of fish, fruit, vegetables, game, poultry, flowers, &c.) . . . . . 30,000 
 2. Street-sellers of "green stuff," including water-cresses, chickweed and gru'n'sel, turf, &c. . . . . . 2,000 
 3. Street-sellers of eatables and drinkables. . . . . . . . . 4,000 
 4. Street-sellers of stationery, literature, and fine arts . . . . . . 1,000 
 5. Street-sellers of manufactured articles of metal, crockery, glass, textile, chemical, and miscellaneous substances . . . . . . . . . . 4,000 
 6. Street-sellers of second-hand articles, including the sellers of old metal articles, old glass, old linen, old clothes, old shoes, &c. . . . . . 500 
 7. Street-sellers of live animals, as dogs, birds, gold and silver fish, squirrels, leverets, tortoises, snails, &c. . 200 
 8. Street-sellers of mineral productions and natural curiosities, as coals, coke, tan-turf, salt, sand, shells, &c. 1,900 
   ------------ 
 TOTAL NUMBER OF STREET-SELLERS 43,640 

These numbers, it should be remembered, are given rather as an approximation to the truth than as the absolute fact. It would therefore be safer to say, making all due allowance for the temporary and mixed character of many branches of street-commerce, that there are about people engaged in selling articles in the streets of London. I am induced to believe that this is very near the real number of street-sellers, from the returns of the places where the street-sellers purchase their goods, and which I have always made a point of collecting from the best authorities connected with the various branches of street-traffic. The statistics of the fish and green markets, the swag-shops, the old clothes exchange, the bird-dealers, which I have caused to be collected for the time in this country, all tend to corroborate this estimate.

The next fact to be evolved is the amount of capital invested in the street-sale of -hand Articles, of Live Animals, and of Mineral Productions. And, , as to the money employed in the -hand Street-Trade.

The following tables will show the amount of capital invested in this branch of street-business.

 Street-Sellers of Second-hand Metal Wares. 
   £ s. d. 
 30 stalls, 5s. each; 20 barrows, 1l. each; stock-money for 50 vendors, at 10s. per head . . . . . . . . 52 10 0 
 Street-Sellers of Second-hand Metal Trays. 
 Stock-money for 20 sellers, at 5s. each . . . . . . . . . . 5 0 0 
 Street-Sellers of other Second-hand Metal Articles, as Italian and Flat Irons. 
 Stock-money for 20 vendors, at 5s. each; 20 stalls, at 3s. each. . . . 8 0 0 
 Street-Sellers of Second-hand Linen, &c. 
 Stock-money for 30 vendors, at 5s. per head . . . . . . . . . 7 10 0 
 Street-Sellers of Second-hand (burnt) Linen and Calico. 
 Stock-money for 80 vendors, at 10s. each . . . . . . . . . . . 40 0 0 
 Street-Sellers of Second-hand Curtains. 
 Stock-money for 30 sellers, at 5s. each . . . . . . . . . . . 7 10 0 
 Street-Sellers of Second-hand Carpeting, Flannels, Stocking-legs, &c. 
 Stock-money for 30 sellers, at 6s. each . . . . . . . . . . . 9 0 0 
 Street-Sellers of Second-hand Bed-ticking, Sacking, Fringe, &c. 
 Stock-money for 30 sellers, at 4s. each . . . . . . . . . . . 6 0 0 
 Street-Sellers of Second-hand Glass and Crockery. 
 6 barrows, 15s. each; 6 baskets, 1s. 6d. each; stock-money for 6 vendors, at 5s. each . . . . . . . 6 9 0 
 Street-Sellers of Second-hand Miscellaneous Articles. 
 Stock-money for 5 vendors, at 15s. each . . . . . . . . . . . 3 15 0 
 Street-Sellers and Duffers of Second-hand Music. 
 Stock-money for 25 sellers, at 1l. each . . . . . . . . . . . 25 0 0 
 Street-Sellers of Second-hand Weapons. 
 Stock-money for 6 vendors, at 1l. each . . . . . . . . . . . 6 0 0 
 Street-Sellers of Second-hand Curiosities.   
 6 barrows, 15s. each; stock-money for 6 vendors, at 15s. per head . . 9 0 0 
 Street-Sellers of Second-hand Telescopes and Pocket-Glasses. 
 Stock-money for 6 vendors, at 4l. each . . . . . . . . . . . 24 0 0 
 Street-Sellers of other Miscellaneous Articles. 
 30 stalls, 5s. each; stock-money for 30 sellers, at 15s. each . . . . . 30 0 0 
 Street-Sellers of Men's Second-hand Clothes. 
 100 linen bags, at 2s. each; stockmoney for 100 sellers, at 15s. each . 85 0 0 
 Street-Sellers of Second-hand Boots and Shoes. 
 10 stalls, at 3s. each; 30 baskets, at 2s. 6d. each; stock-money for 30 sellers, at 10s. each . . . . . . 20 5 0 
 Street-Sellers of Second-hand Hats. 
 30 irons, two to each man, at 2s. each; 60 blocks, at 1s. 6d. per block; stockmoney for 15 vendors, at 10s. each . 15 0 0 
 Street-Sellers of Women's Second-hand Apparel. 
 Stock-money for 50 sellers, at 10s. each; 50 baskets, at 2s. 6d. each . 31 5 0 
 Street-Sellers of Second-hand Bonnets. 
 10 umbrellas, at 3s. each; 30 baskets, at 2s. 6d. each; stock-money for 30 sellers, at 5s. each . . . . 12 15 0 
 Street-Sellers of Second-hand Furs. 
 Stock-money for 10 vendors, at 7s. 6d. each . . . . . . . . 3 15 0 
 Street-Sellers of Second-hand Articles in Smithfield-market. 
 30 sellers of harness sets and collars, at an average capital of 15s. each; 6 sellers of saddles and pads, at 15s. each; 10 sellers of bits, at 3s. each; 6 sellers of wheel-springs and trays, at 15s. each; 6 sellers of boards and trestles for stalls, at 10s. each; 20 sellers of barrows, small carts, and trucks, at 5l. each; 6 sellers of goat carriages, at 3l. each; 6 sellers of shooting galleries and guns for ditto, and drums for costers, at 15s. each; 10 sellers of measures, weights, and scales, at 25s. each; 5 sellers of potato cans and roasted-chestnut apparatus, at 5l. each; 3 sellers of gingerbeer trucks, at 5l. each; 6 sellers of pea-soup cans and pickled-eel kettles, 15s. each; 2 sellers of elder-wine vessels, at 15s. each. Thus we find that the average number of streetsellers frequenting Smithfield-market once a week is 116, and the average capital . . . . . . . . . . 217 0 0 
   ---------- 
 TOTAL AMOUNT OF CAPITAL BE- LONGING TO STREET-SELLERS OF SECOND-HAND ARTICLES . . . . 621 14 0 
 STREET-SELLERS OF LIVE ANIMALS. 
 Street-Sellers of Dogs. 
 Stock-money for 20 sellers (including kennels and keep), at 5l. 15s. each seller . . . . . . . . . 115 0 0 
 Street-Sellers and Duffers of Birds (English). 
 2400 small cages (reckoning 12 to each seller), at 6d. each; 1200 long cages (allowing 6 cages to each seller), at 2s. each; 1800 large cages (averaging 9 cages to each seller), at 2s. 6d. each. Stock-money for 200 sellers, at 20s. each . . . . . . . . . 605 0 0 
 Street-Sellers of Parrots, &c. 
 20 cages, at 10s. each; stockmoney for 10 sellers, at 30s. each . 25 0 0 
 Street-Sellers of Birds'--Nests. 
 3 hamper baskets, at 6d. each . .   1 6 
 Street-Sellers of Squirrels. 
 Stock-money for 20 vendors, at 10s. each . . . . . . . . . . . 10 0 0 
 Street-Sellers of Leverets, Wild Rabbits, &c. 
 6 baskets, at 2s. each; stock-money for 6 vendors, at 5s. each . . . . 2 2 0 
 Street-Sellers of Gold and Silver Fish. 
 35 glass globes, at 2s. each; 35 small nets, at 6d. each; stock-money for 35 vendors, at 15s. each . . . 30 12 6 
 Street-Sellers of Tortoises. 
 Stock-money for 20 vendors, at 10s. each . . . . . . . . . . . 25 0 0 
 Street-Sellers of Snails, Frogs, Worms, Snakes, Hedgehogs, &c. 
 14 baskets, at 1s. each . . . .   14 0 
   ---------- 
 TOTAL AMOUNT OF CAPITAL BE- LONGING TO STREET-SELLERS OF LIVE ANIMALS . . . . . . . . . 798 10 0 
 STREET-SELLERS OF MINERAL PRODUCTIONS AND NATURAL CURIOSITIES. 
 Street-Sellers of Coals. 
 30 two-horse vans, at 70l. each; 100 horses, at 20l. each; 100 carts, at 10l. each; 160 horses, at 10l. each; 20 donkey or pony carts, at 1l. each; 20 donkeys or ponies, at 1l. 10s. each; 210 sets of weights and scales, at 1l. 10s. each; stock-money for 210 vendors, at 2l. each . . . . . 7,485 0 0 
 Street-Sellers of Coke. 
 100 vans, at 70l. each; 100 horses, at 20l. each; 300 carts, at 10l. each; 300 horses, at 10l. each; 500 donkeycarts, at 1l. each; 500 donkeys, at 1l. each; 200 trucks and barrows, at 10s. each; 4800 sacks for the 100 vans, at 3s. 6d. each; 3600 sacks for the 300 carts; 3000 sacks for the 500 donkey carts; 1652 sacks for the 550 trucks and barrows; 300 sacks for the 50 women; stock-money for 1500 vendors, at 1l. per head . . . 19,936 12 0 
 Street-Sellers of Tan-Turf. 
 12 donkeys and carts, at 2l. each; 2 trucks, at 15s. each; stock-money for 14 vendors, at 10s. each . . . 32 10 0 
 Street-Sellers of Salt. 
 75 donkeys and carts, at 2l. 5s. each; 75 barrows, at 10s. each; stock-money for 150 vendors, at 6s. each . . . . . . . . . . 251 5 0 
 Street-Sellers of Sand. 
 20 horses, at 10l. each; 20 carts, at 3l. each; 60 baskets, at 2s. each; wages of 30 men, at 3s. per day for each; expenses for keep of 20 horses, at 10s. per head; estimated stockmoney for 30 sellers, at 5s. each; 40 barrows, at 15s. each; stock-money for the barrow-men, at 1s. 6d. each . 320 5 0 
 Street-Sellers of Shells. 
 Stock-money for 70 vendors, at 5s. each . . . . . . . . . . 17 10 0 
   ---------- 
 TOTAL CAPITAL BELONGING TO STREET-SELLERS OF MINERAL PRO- DUCTIONS, ETC. . . . . . . 28,043 2 0 
 River-Sellers of Purl. 
 35 boats, at 4l. 10s. each; 35 sets of measures, at 5s. the set; 35 warming pots, at 1s. 6d. each; 35 fire-stoves, at 5s. each; 35 gallon cans, at 2s. 6d. each; 70 "pins" of beer, at 4s. per "pin;" 35 quarts of gin, at 2s. 6d. the quart; 35 licences, at 3s. 6d.; stock-money for spice, &c., at 1s. each 208 5 0 

99

 

Hence it would appear that the gross amount of property belonging to the street-sellers may be reckoned as follows:—

 Value of stock-in-trade belonging to constermongers . . . . . . 25,000 0 0 
 Ditto street-sellers of green-stuff . 149 0 0 
 Ditto street-sellers of eatables and drinkables . . . . . . 9,000 0 0 
 Ditto street-sellers of stationery, literature, and the fine arts . . . 400 0 0 
 Ditto street-sellers of manufactured articles . . . . . . . 2,800 0 0 
 Ditto street-sellers of second-hand articles . . . . . . . . 621 14 0 
 Ditto street-sellers of live animals 798 10 0 
 Ditto street-sellers of mineral productions, &c. . . . . . . 28,043 2 0 
 Ditto river-sellers of purl . . . 208 5 0 
   ---------- 
 TOTAL AMOUNT OF CAPITAL BE- LONGING TO THE LONDON STREET- SELLERS . . . . . . . . 67,023 11 0 

The gross value of the stock in trade of the London street-sellers may then be estimated at about

 
This object is in collection Temporal Permanent URL
ID:
rv043431c
Component ID:
tufts:UA069.005.DO.00078
To Cite:
DCA Citation Guide    EndNote
Usage:
Detailed Rights
View all images in this book
 Title Page
 INTRODUCTION
Of the Street-Sellers of Second-Hand Articles
Of the Street-Sellers of Live Animals
Of the Street-Sellers of Mineral Productions and Natural Curiosities
Of the Street-Buyers
Of the Street-Jews
Of the Street-Finders or Collectors
Of the Streets of London
Of the London Chimney-Sweepers
Of the London Chimney-Sweepers
Of the Sweepers of Old, and the Climbing Boys
Of the Chimney-Sweepers of the Present Day
Of the General Characteristics of the Working Chimney-Sweepers
Sweeping of the Chimneys of Steam-Vessels
Of the 'Ramoneur' Company
Of the Brisk and Slack Seasons, and the Casual Trade among the Chimney- Sweepers
Of the 'Leeks' Among the Chimney-Sweepers
Of the Inferior Chimney-Sweepers -- the 'Knullers' and 'Queriers'
Of the Fires of London
Of the Sewermen and Nightmen of London
Of the Wet House-Refuse of London
Of the Means of Removing the Wet House-Refuse
Of the Quantity of Metropolitan Sewage
Of Ancient Sewers
Of the Kinds and Characteristics of Sewers
Of the Subterranean Character of the Sewers
Of the House-Drainage of the Metropolis as Connected With the Sewers
Of the London Street-Drains
Of the Length of the London Sewers and Drains
Of the Cost of Constructing the Sewers and Drains of the Metropolis
Of the Uses of Sewers as a Means of Subsoil Drainage
Of the City Sewerage
Of the Outlets, Ramifications, Etc., of the Sewers
Of the Qualities, Etc., of the Sewage
Of the New Plan of Sewerage
Of the Management of the Sewers and the Late Commissions
Of the Powers and Authority of the Present Commissions of Sewers
Of the Sewers Rate
Of the Cleansing of the Sewers -- Ventilation
Of 'Flushing' and 'Plonging,' and Other Modes of Washing the Sewers
Of the Working Flushermen
Of the Rats in the Sewers
Of the Cesspoolage and Nightmen of the Metropolis
Of the Cesspool System of London
Of the Cesspool and Sewer System of Paris
Of the Emptying of the London Cesspools by Pump and Hose
Statement of a Cesspool-Sewerman
Of the Present Disposal of the Night-Soil
Of the Working Nightmen and the Mode of Work
Crossing-Sweepers