Over time, certain cries became widely adopted, and it is in written accounts and songbooks that we find the earliest records. Print collections of pictures of criers also became known as “Cries”, and although the oldest set in London dates from around 1600, there are those from Paris which predate these by a century. Characteristically, the Cries represented peripatetic street traders or pedlars, yet other street characters were also included from the start. At first, the Cries were supplemented by the bellman and the town crier, but then preachers, beggars, musicians and performers were added as the notion of the Cries of London became expanded by artists and print sellers seeking greater novelty through elaborating upon the original premise.

The Gentle Author – The lost cries of London (Guardian)


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