No. 858: Harrow Road, W10
Kensal Green Cemetery, Harrow Road, London, W10. Photo © Roger Dean 2013
Romance of London – John Timbs, 1800:
Dangerous Classes in the Last Century
Sir John Fielding, in his well-filled duodecimo Description of London and Westminster, published in 1776, gives a supplement of “Proper Cautions to the Merchants, Tradesmen, and Shopkeepers; Journeymen, Apprentices, Porters, Errand Boys, Bookkeepers, and Inn-keepers;also very necessary for every person going to London either on business or pleasure.”
Ring-dropping.- This old fraud is described by Sir John Fielding as practised by fellows who find a paper full of “gold rings,” which they take care to pick up in the sight of a proper object, whose opinion they ask. These rings appear of little value, which gives the finder an opportunity for saying that he had rather have found a good piece of bread-and-cheese, for he had not broke his fast for a whole day; then wishes the gentleman would give him something for the rings, that he might buy himself a pair of shoes, a coat, &c. He will immediately bite, and thinking to make a cheap purchase of an ignorant fellow, gives him 20s. [twenty shillings] for four or five brass rings washed over.