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Cries of London: The Profession of Pedlary - History, Politics, Policy and Legislation
  • Category
    Talks and Discussions
  • Date(s)
    05 December 2015
  • Time
    2:00 PM
  • Price
    Free
Cries of London: The Profession of Pedlary - History, Politics, Policy and Legislation
Hawker selling ‘Hair Brooms’ outside Shoreditch Church from William Marshall Craig’s 'Itinerant Traders of London in their Ordinary Costume', 1804 (London Collection, Bishopsgate Institute Archive)
According to Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights, every person in the country has the right to trade.

In 1697, an Act of Parliament was introduced to license hawkers and pedlars. Further updated in 1871 and 1881, the Pedlars Act provides that any ‘certificated pedlar’ may trade any goods, any time, any place throughout the UK. While the variety of trades and services available in the streets of London during the 18th and 19th centuries fascinated public and artists alike, historically pedlars have always been regarded with suspicion by the authorities and have been heavily legislated against. Today legislative anomalies and attempts to repeal the Pedlars Act and restrict the freedom and liberty of a pedlar’s trade are an ongoing concern.

This event will explore the history and politics of this age-old profession, will provide first-hand accounts from today’s pedlars and will reveal concerns for the future for these entrepreneurs of the streets.

Speakers include Robert Campbell-Lloyd (pedlars.info), Nic McGerr (pedlar), Tony Hawkins (retired pedlar) and The Gentle Author (Spitalfields Life).

In partnership with pedlars.info, a not-for-profit online reference centre for contemporary pedlary.

The event will run from 2.00pm – 4.00pm.

Free admission; advance booking recommended.

*A postage fee of £1 applies for sending out tickets booked online or over the telephone. If you would rather collect tickets from venue then please select this option at time of booking.

Further information

  • Telephone
    020 7392 9200

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