Friday, 8 June 2012

The Costermongers' Petition of 1856.

With the establishment of Waterloo Station in 1848 plus the influx of immigrants into Lambeth from the Irish Potato Famine and Eastern Europe; the New Cut Market by the 1850's had burgeoned into the Lower Marsh..
With increasing problems due to obstruction, the police began to remove the barrows and carts that were unlicensed; whilst this may have helped with the issue of street obstruction, it caused a great deal of anguish to the shopkeepers who would have invariably made their money from both the Costermongers and customers visiting the markets.
In 1856, a petition was drawn up and sent to the Lambeth Parish Vestry to ask for permission of the Costermongers to have their stalls legitimately placed.
The petition is referred to in at least one book as 'The Costermongers Petition”, but in truth, it is a petition signed by the shop owners of The Lower Marsh. It seems that the shop owners, fearing loss of trade due to the removal of the stalls, petitioned on behalf of the Costers.
From what Alec Foreshaw and Theo Bergstrom say in their 1989 book: “The Markets of London”; the petition was not successful; but the Costers simply carried on pitching their stalls regardless of the outcome.
A rough calculation of shops in the Lower Marsh listed in Kellys' Postal Directory for 1857 shows the numbers of various shops in the street: Butchers: 15; Clothiers: 13; Bakers: 12; Boot & Shoe Makers and sellers: 9; Cheesemongers: 7; Grocers:7; Potato Dealers: 6; Oilmen: 5; Public Houses: 5; Coffee & Dining Rooms: 5; Drapers: 5; Corn Dealers: 3; Fishmongers: 3; China & Glass Dealers: 2; Timber Merchants:2 Tobacconists: 2; Pastrycooks: 2; Stationers, Lead and Glass dealers, Surgeons, Coopers, Confectioners, Pawnbrokers, and Tinplate Workers: 1.

Many of the signatures were illegible and I had to use the1857 Directory (the 1856 edition being unavailable) to work out the names; some I couldn't make out or the name listed on the petition didn't relate to the name in the 1857 Directory (this may be due to either people loosing their place of work, or it may be that someone else from the shop signed the petition in the absence of the shop owner).
I have listed, where I could find it from the directory, the occupation of the shop owner and have put this in brackets after the address.


To the gentlemen of the board of vestry of the Parish of Lambeth.


The humble petition of the Costermongers residents of the parish of Lambeth showeth that your petitioners have been getting their living for many years by keeping stalls in the Lower Marsh .
Through the removal of their stalls by the police, your petitioners,with their wives and families, are deprived of the means of getting an honest livelihood.
Your petitioners therefore pray the Board of Vestry permission to stand in the Lower Marsh and as such regulations as the gentleman of the board may deem fit and we on our part will pledge ourselves faithfully to observe the same.

On behalf of the Costermongers

Charles Robinson.

Page 2

To the tradesmen and the public of the Lower Marsh Lambeth and its vicinity June 16th 1856.

The humble petition of Charles Robinson and others humbly showeth that your petitioners have been getting their living in the aforesaid place through the removal of their stands by the police your petitioners with their wives and families are new deprived of the same we therefore beg your humble assistance and your petitioners will ever pray:

Edw Grove Lower Marsh .

Thos Lilley 37 Lower Marsh . (Bootmaker)

Tho Cartwright 27 Lower Marsh (In 1857 Directory: Mrs Ellen Cartwright Clothier &c)

G Worrall 112 Lower Marsh (Dining Rooms)
S Seldon 115 Lower Marsh (Sen. Tripe Dresser)
R Robinson 118 Lower Marsh (Hairdresser)
R Foulger 134-135 Lower Marsh (China & Glass Dealer)
R Tucker 120 Lower Marsh (Cheesemonger)
Watson Artichoke Lambeth (Landlord of “The Artichoke”)
Armstrong 123 Lower Marsh (Cooper)
Tho Horton 124 Lower Marsh (Butcher)
J crane 127 Lower Marsh (Oilman)
H Woods 128 Lower Marsh (Tripe Dressers)

Page 3

F Creak 131 Lower Marsh Lambeth (Baker)
S Vandersluis 133 Lower Marsh (Tailor)
J ********** 4 Lower Marsh
A Spencer(?) 10 Lower Marsh Lambeth (Currier)
H Simpson 11 Lower Marsh Lambeth (Ironmonger)
E Platt 7 Lower Marsh (Rag Merchant)
W Swanton 12 Lower Marsh Lambeth. (Butcher)
Mr M Ohler 14 Lower Marsh Baker.(Baker)
Benj. Montague, 16 Lower Marsh ( Clothes Salesman)
Frederick Garnett? 18 Lower Marsh
John Holdstock 21 Lower Marsh (Butcher)
James Saml Whitehead 28 Lower Marsh Lambeth. (Pork Butcher)
William Robinson 29 Lower Marsh Lambeth (Baker)
Thomas Hall 32 Lower Marsh (Oilman)
Edward Bingemann 33 Lower Marsh (Baker)
James Empson 107 Lower Marsh (Landlord of “The Three Compasses”).
Elizabeth Thorn 110 Lower Marsh .
John Leighton 103 Lower Marsh (Hatter).
James Hopkins 93* Lower Marsh (Stationer - *95 Lower Marsh in Directory)
Thomas Brown 94 Lower Marsh
Coleman Simmons 93 Lower Marsh Lambeth (Tinplate Worker)
Raphael Benjamin 80 Lower Marsh (Fishmonger)
Thomas Collins Lower Marsh (Beer Retailer no. 88 Lower Marsh )
Edw'd Bridgman 26 Lower Marsh (Corn Dealer)
John Griffiths 87 Lower Marsh (Butcher)

Page 4:

George Johnson 89 Lower Marsh (Shoe Maker)
W.R.Bland 91 Lower Marsh (tobacconist)
Robert Moore 108 Lower Marsh (Corn Dealer)
Paul Spillane 23 Lower Marsh (Shoemaker)
Wm Hawell(?) 114 Lower Marsh (Butcher)
Wm(?) Jennings(?) 22 Lower Marsh (Grocer)
Sam l (?) Manning 119 Lower Marsh (Chemist)
John Morrison 125 Lower Marsh (Potato Salesman)
A Jones 15 Lower Marsh (Abraham Jones -Butcher)
Andrew Hare 9(?) 4(?) III (?) Lower Marsh (Boot and Shoe Maker)

William Collins 6 Lower Marsh

Page 5

Edw Wm Haynes 88 Lower Marsh (88 Lower Marsh in 1857 Directory lists Tho Collins )

“ “ “ 46 Lower Marsh (Baker)
William Nichols 47 Lower Marsh (Lead & Glass Merchant)
Frederick Merriman 99 Lower Marsh (1857 Directory lists William Swanton at this address)
James Meadows 100 Lower Marsh (Cheesemonger)
W Vickress 34 Lower Marsh (William Vickress Landlord of “The Spanish Patriot”).
W Niscon(?) 81 Lower Marsh
J N Hole 78 Lower Marsh (Joseph Nelson Hole Butcher)
Mr Seabrook 77 Lower Marsh (Charles Seabrook – Grocer)
H J Spice 76 Lower Marsh (Henry James Spice – Oilman)
J Perrett 75 Lower Marsh (John Perrett – Tobacconist)
J Scott 74 Lower Marsh (1857 Directory lists No. 74 as John Lovett - Bootmaker)
S or C Fricke 73 Lower Marsh
H Lyons 72 Lower Marsh (Henry Lyons – Tailor)
Tho King Cheesemonger 58 Lower Marsh
John Perrett 54 Lower Marsh (Carpenter & c)
Henry Bries (?) 55 Lower Marsh
Edward Blanchard 53 Lower Marsh (Pastrycook)
Hyam Levy 52 Lower Marsh (Clothier)
Wm Musselwhite 51 Lower Marsh (William Musselwhite – Cheesemonger)
Moses Harris 48 Lower Marsh (Clothier)
Thomas Callin 44 Lower Marsh (Cheesemonger)
Robert Mackness 43 Lower Marsh (Baker)
John Weatherley 90 Lower Marsh (Hosier)

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