Esoteric London

No. 858: Harrow Road, W10

Posted in Crime and Punishment, Funereal, London Types by esotericlondon on June 12, 2013

© Roger Dean RED_2094 copy

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.

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