Fresh hot pies for sale! Or shopping in Regency era London…

Fresh hot pies for sale! Or shopping in Regency era London…

It is interesting to do research. I love learning, making one’s mind expand is wonderful.  Recently I did some research about the different sort of shops that were along some of the well-known streets in London. Here are some of the places one might have shopped during the early 1800’s.

On New Bond Street, there were 14 drapers. Drapers were the ones who sold fabric, most commonly for clothing. Some of the drapers specified they were wool drapers, and more common were linen drapers.  There were 4 shops called mercers, who also sold fabric, more of the higher priced materials, such as silks.

There were 10 haberdashers, which carried notions and such, as well as men’s clothing. There was 1 milliner, 7 hatter, 3 hosiers, 1 furrier, and 1 shoemaker.

One of the interesting shops was a Turner shop.  What in the world was a Turner shop?  Come to find out, it was makers of wood items which had to be turned on a lathe. Quite interesting.

Darcy, Elizabeth, and Mr Bennet would be pleased, as there were 8 bookshops on Bond Street. Certainly, they would be able to find enough books to keep them happy and satisfied. There were also 8 jewelry and 4 watchmaker shops. If one could not find an appropriate book for a gift, they could choose from the vast number of trinkets to adorn their loved ones.

There were 5 confectionary shops on new Bond Street.  Which would be high on my list of places to shop. Then, to drink while enjoying the confectionary delights, there were 4 tea shops and 4 wine merchants.

One I am trying to figure out is the 2 Italian Warehouses.  What is in the world is an Italian warehouse?  There were 5 upholsterers, an embroiderer, a culter, a French trim maker, a clock shop, and 4 ironmongers. If you are wondering about an ironmonger, they sold hardware and tools for the home.

As the president of a farmer/artisan market, I can relate to vendors who had no store to sell from. It is fun to be able to talk to people and explain to them the items you make and be a part of a community.  It is something that we have lost in years past, as everything becomes machine made and mass produced cheaper than if people made themselves.  My kids and grandkids know that purchasing something made by hand might be a bit more expensive, but so worth for the quality. In my alter life, I make jewelry and sell stones.

There were many businesses that did not have a shop, and they used carts or carried their items around to sell their wares.  It is fun to read about the different stalls or carts that were used, and the items they sold.  Their cry to get people to buy their products were interesting too.  There was tea, pies, hot spiced ginger drink, gingerbread, chestnuts, chair bodger (they were skilled wood-turners who made chair legs and made repairs to chairs).

There were sallops (which sold infusion of sasafrass, mild & sugar), fishwife selling oysters or eels, fruit vendors (which were called orange girl, fruitestere, or costor wife.  A battledore maker made special paddles that were used to beat the dirt from rugs.  A trugger sold shallow baskets. Can’t figure out what a bessomer (or broom dasher) was.  Ballad sellers sold sheets of music.

My favorite was the vendor which sold marking stones.  They were red and black stones which obvious left marks, like chalk and crayons.  It was said that some rooming houses marked their linens so people could not steal them and sell them.

There were other food shops, toys, a baven maker who sold kindling, cane seller who made canes to use for discipline.  There were ratener who caught rats, a caffler (otherwise known as a rag and bone man).

A costormonger sold different types of produce: cowcumbers (I am going with it being a cucumber, as it says it was for pickle), onions (they spelled onyons), turnips, carrots, cauliflower (spelled collyfowers), parsnips, beans, potatoes, and more.

Well, after this research, and all the food items you could purchase, I have decided to find something for me to eat.  Hope you enjoyed the information.  And look towards next week, when my 28th book will hopefully  be available on Amazon.  Thanks everyone!!!

11 Responses to Fresh hot pies for sale! Or shopping in Regency era London…

  1. There are many of these terms that I had never heard of before and had no idea what they would sell based on the name, thank you for sharing your research.

  2. Wow, I wish I could time travel and see all of these different shops. I’d have no idea what they all were, but it would be fun to see them!

  3. I liked hearing about the historical shopping. Nice to hear how they lived in years past.

  4. Melanie, What an interesting post. I learned so much. Thank you. Bond Street has really changed. It is one of my favorite dream streets in London. I haven’t been there in a number of years, but you did cast it in a completely different light. I would never have imagined buying a cucumber there. 🙂

  5. Thank you so much for this well researched post. I’d sure like to go back into our favorite time period to shop and sample the available refreshments. These are my favotite posts when I can learn more background about the places, sites, and real situations of our favorite time period for books. I look forward to your next book.

  6. What a fun post, Melanie, and nice reference material for us to use 🙂 If I could shop anything like that, it would be to have a dress made. I’ve always wanted to have a dress made just for me. I would also want to try the food, of course, and go in the book shops. Congratulations on your upcoming book 🙂

  7. This is so incredibly detailed! Well done, Melanie. I am curious what resource you found that gave the exact shops on New Bond Street? I’ve never tried to pin it down that specifically, but it would be fabulous to know this information. Great photo of you, by the way. If only Darcy had turned to smile at the camera!

    Congratulations on the new book!

  8. I think we miss out today on all the wonderful crafts that have bitten the dust over the years. People still yearn for nostalgia and thank goodness the farmer’s markets are coming back. They are quite big business here in Ireland.

  9. That was an interesting and enjoyable post.

    I am grateful the Internet has allowed me to sell books. However, I suspect for jewelry, people would not trust the quality of the pieces. If not backed by a brand name or a known source, people would unwilling to buy it unless they can see it and touch it. I have difficulty imagining wanting to buy farmers’ market produce on the Internet. 🙂

  10. Thanks for a very interesting post, Melanie. I was aware great houses often marked their household linens, but didn’t know they used stones to do it. Great research!

  11. Melanie, an Italian warehouse was usually “Oil and Italian Warehouse” on the sign. There was Abbott E. Oil and Italian Warehouse on Brownlow-Street, Holborn, Aveling T. Oil and Italian Warehouse at 70 Piccadilly, Burgess and Son Oil and Italian Warehouse at 107 Strand, Sarah Green’s Oil and Italian Warehouse at 40 Gray’s-inn-lane, Rebecca M’Millan’s Oil and Italian Warehouse at 50 Leadenball-St.. Jacob Priddy’s Oil and Italian Warehouse at 371 Oxford-Street, etc. The warehouses might sell fresh fish: roe, caviare, sturgeon pies, etc.

Your thoughts are precious!