Rare Mackerel, three a groat or four for sixpence: 1760
4 0 c m
actual image size: 22cm x 30cm

Rare Mackerel, three a groat or four for sixpence: 1760

Paul Sandby

© Museum of London

Full image caption

The girl in this print looks more like she is arguing with her proposed customers than selling them mackerel. Certainly, the two women in the house do not look pleased to see her and, judging by her expression, the mackerel seller is not pouring forth pleasantries. The door is chained and the theme of unwelcome visitors is underlined by the spitting cat and snarling dog. In the background, the inn sign 'A Man Loaded with Mischief' shows a man carrying his drunken wife, a monkey and a magpie on his back. This image, with the title 'The Load of Mischief', is said to have been used for an inn in Oxford Street.

Clearly, fish sold unrefrigerated would quickly spoil. Mackerel boats unloaded their catches at Billingsgate very early in the morning but unsold fish would start to smell by six am.

Plate 8 from the Twelve Cries of London.




1760 AD - 1760 AD

Image Number


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