Harris's List of Covent-Garden Ladies for the year 1788
Harris's List of Covent-Garden Ladies was published annually between the years 1757 and 1795 as a directory for gentlemen seeking the services of ladies of negotiable virtue in and around the Covent Garden area. 'Harris' refers not to the author but probably refers to Jack Harris - a notable Covent Garden pimp. The author is listed psuedonymously as H. Ranger but the real writers are uncertain and varied over time. At its peak, it sold around 8,000 copies per year.
The 1788 volume, the text of which I am using here, lists the names and addresses of 93 ladies along with descriptions, the price you might be expected to pay and some descriptive poetic verse of variable quality. I have, as is my wont, split them into separate files. The index is listed below.
The author, as might be expected, shows little respect for women but the work gives some interesting insights into the oldest profession in Georgian London. Sometimes funny, sometimes depressing and sometimes downright bitchy it is well worth a read.
Among the more depressing items are those entries explaining which women are cheapest and why:
- Mrs Ch—sh—line - age 26, addicted to brandy, price 'the smallest piece being as much as she in general expects'
- Miss Cooper neither handsome, well dress'd, well lodg'd, nor well bred - - This humble girl is thankful for a crown
- Mrs Howard - cannot be more than twenty-six, she has been a true sportswoman, at the cyprian games, for at least twelve years, - contracted such an habit of intimacy with the gin bottle - does not turn away any money offered her
- Mrs Ward - age about 30, Her old friend, whose name she stole, has been long dead, and by his death has reduced her to accept of almost any sum her paramour offers.
The description of Mother Gray and Emma is straight of Hogarth with the whisky-soaked old bawd and the sweet young girl.
I wish I knew the back-story to Miss Morris where the author states "had she less partiality for a certain hair dresser, we think she would be more pleasing to the generality of her visitors". Who was this mysterious stylist and was it merely his professional competence in question or was there something more mysterious?
In a similar bitchy tone he describes the very tall Miss Jenny Kubbard with "It is a pity that so noble a piece could not be preserved solely for the use of his Majesty's Grenadiers".
The author, I am sure, is playing a jest upon his readers with Miss K—lp—n who appears to be woman out for a good time. The author tells where and when you can find her and says she will consort with you in a closed carriage but won't take any money. One wonders how many of his readers loitered in the specified place hoping to link up with this generous lady.
The women's names are usually 'protected' by the removal of the vowels in their name. I have mostly used the real version of the name as being easier to read.
Again the coral berry'd holly glads the eye,
The ivy green again each window decks,
And mistletoe, kind friend to Bassia's cause,
Under each merry roof invites the kiss;
Come then, my friends, ye friends to Harris come,
And more than kisses share, drink love supreme
From his ambrosial cup, tho' oft replete
Satiety ne'er gives, but leaves the ravish'd sense
Supremely blest, and ever craving more.
Come ye gay sons of pleasure, come and feast
Your every sense, and lave your souls in love,
Fearless advance, nor think of ills to come;
Here taste variety, of love's sweet gifts,
Pure and unstain'd as at kind nature's birth.
THE parterre of Venus was never more elegantly filled, never did the loves and graces shine, with more splendor than at present; Marylebone, the now grand paradise of love, and Covent Garden, her elder born, beam with uncommon ardor; nor is our antient Drury unfrequented; no sooner do the stars above shed their benign in- fluence, but our more attracting ones below bespangle every walk, and make a heaven on earth; Bagnigge, St. George's Spa, with all their sister shops, deal out each night their choiceft gifts of love; nor with the sons of pleasure be disappointed should they extend their travels still farther east, and visit the purlieus of White Chapel. The Royalty is over full, and Wapping, Shadwell, and the neighbouring fields lend all their lovely train to glad each night; these then shall be our walks; from these gay spots of pleasure shall we call love's purest sweets,
And without thorn the rose.
By thus extending our researches we shall be able to suit every constitution, and every pocket, every whim and fancy that the most extravagant sensualist can desire. Here may they learn to shun the dreadful quicksands of pain and mortification, and land safe on the terra firma of delight and love.
|Mrs Antrobus||No. 8, Lisle-street, Leicester-Fields.||unknown|
|Betsy||at Mrs. Kelly's, Duke Street, St. James's.||unknown|
|Miss Blake||No. 74, Castle Street, Oxford Road.||£2 2s|
|Miss Bolton||No. 14, Lisle-Street, Leicester Fields.||unknown|
|Miss Bond||No. 28, Frith-Street.||£2 2s|
|Miss Brown||No. 8, Castle-Street, Newman-Street.||£2 2s|
|Miss Brown||No. 8, Castle Street, Oxford Market.||unknown|
|Miss Brown||No 5, Glanville-Street, Rathbone Place.||£1 1s|
|Miss Harriet Burren||No. 8, Tavistock-row.||£1 1s|
|Miss Burn||No. 18, Old Compton Street, Soho.||£2 2s|
|Miss Phoebe Burn||No. 5, Eagle-street, Red Lion Square.||5s|
|Miss Capp||No. 2, York-Street, Middlesex-Hospital.||unknown|
|Miss Casdel||No. 25, Titchfield-Street, Oxford-Street.||£1 1s|
|Miss Child||No. 3, Charles-Street, Goodge-Street.||£1 1s|
|Mrs Ch—sh—line||No. 36, Titchfield Street.||unknown|
|Miss Clark||No. 116, Wardour-street.||unknown|
|Miss Betsy Clarke||No. 11, Stephen-Street, Rathbone Place.||£2 2s|
|Miss Clinton||near Middlesex Hospital.||£2 2s|
|Miss Cooper||at a China shop, Russell Court.||5s|
|Miss Corbet||No. 16, Goodge-street.||£3 3s|
|Miss Charlotte Cotton||No. 34, King-street, Soho.||£2 2s|
|Miss Fanny Courtney||at Mrs. Woods, Lisle Street, Leicester Fields.||unknown|
|Mrs Crosby||No, 24, George Street, over Black Fryars Bridge.||£1 1s|
|Madame Darlez||No. 46, Frith-street, Soho.||£2 2s|
|Miss Davenport||No 14, Lisle-street, Leicester-fields.||£2 2s|
|Miss Nancy Davis||No. 31, Wells-street.||unknown|
|Miss Devonshire||No. 9, Queen Anne Street East||£2|
|Mrs Dodd||No. 6, Hind-court, Fleet Street.||£1 1s|
|Miss Douglass||No. 1, Poland-Street.||£2 2s|
|Mrs Duffield||at a Sadler's, Charles Street, Soho.||unknown|
|Madamoiselle Du Par||No. 19, Carlisle-street, Soho.||unknown|
|Miss Emma Elliott||No. 8, Action-street, Gray's-Inn-Lane.||£5 5s|
|Emma||at Mother Gray's, No. 30, Market-Lane, near the Opera House.||unknown|
|Miss Charlotte Fane||No. 41, King Street, Soho.||£1 1s|
|Miss Fraser||Charlotte street, Rathbone Place.||10s 6d|
|Miss Gardiner||No. 47, Union-street, Oxford street.||£1 1s|
|Miss George||at a Grocer's Shop, South Moulton-Street.||£5 5s|
|Miss Grace||No 124, Portland street.||£5 5s|
|Miss Green||No. 32, Little Russel-Street.||£1 1s|
|Mrs Griffin||near Union-Stairs, Wapping.||5s|
|Miss Hardey||No. 45, Newman Street.||unknown|
|Mrs Harvey||No. 21, Queen Ann Street East.||unknown|
|Miss Betsy Hasting||No. 30, Duke-street, St. James's.||£3 3s|
|Miss Fanny Henley||No 14, King-Street, Saint James's Square.||unknown|
|Miss Holland||No. 2, York-Street, Queen-Ann-Street.||£1 1s|
|Miss Hollin||No. 2, Glanville-street.||£2 2s|
|Mrs Hollingberg||No. 4, Castle-Street, East.||unknown|
|Mrs Howard||No. 4, Moor's-place, Lambeth.||unknown|
|Miss Betsy Hudson||at Mrs. Kelly's, Duke-Street, Saint James's.||unknown|
|Miss Jensen||No 17, Goodge Steet, Charlotte Street.||£1 1s|
|Miss Johnston||No. 6, Church Court, St. Martin's Lane.||£1 1s|
|Miss Jones||No. 75, Newman-Street, Oxford-Street.||£2 2s|
|Miss Harriet Jones||St. George's Hotel, opposite Virginia Street, Wapping.||10s 6d|
|Miss Kean||Castle-Street, Oxford Market.||10s 6d|
|Miss Jenny Kubbard||No. 33, Northumberland-street, Strand.||unknown|
|Miss Laver||No. 17, Ogle Street, Queen Ann-Street East.||5s - 10s 6d|
|Mrs Lewis||Upper Charlotte Street, Rathbone Place.||£3 3s|
|Miss Lindsey||No 13, Little Portland Street.||£1 1s|
|Miss Linsey||No. 13, Bentick Street, Berwick Street.||unknown|
|Miss Lister||No 6, Union Street, Oxford Rd.||£3 3s|
|Miss Harriet Lloyd||at a Toy Shop, German-Street||£5 5s|
|Miss Lucas||No. 1 York-Street, Queen-Ann-Street East.||unknown|
|Miss Louisa Manson||No. 12, Wells-street.||£2 2s|
|Miss Manton||No. 55, Berwick-Street, Soho.||unknown|
|Miss Sophia Martin||No. 11, Stephen Street, Rathbone Place.||unknown|
|Miss Milton||No. 9, Charles-Street, Covent-Garden.||£1 1s|
|Miss Molesworth||No. 62, Wells-street, Oxford-street.||£2 2s|
|Miss Morris||No 59, South Mortimer Street, Oxford Road.||£2 2s|
|Miss Noble||No. 10, Plough Court, Fetter Lane.||unknown|
|Miss Norton||No. 12, Suffolk-street, Cavendish-Square.||unknown|
|Miss Pembroke||No. 5, Duke-Street, Adelphi.||unknown|
|Miss Rawlins||No. 12, Little Tichfield Street.||unknown|
|Miss Richardson||No. 2 Bennett-Street, Rathbone-Place.||£2 2s|
|Miss Robinson||No 14, Lisle Street, Leciester Fields.||unknown|
|Miss Ross||at Mrs. Wanpoles, No. 1, Poland-Street.||unknown|
|Miss Sarah Siddons||at a Hair-dresser's, Tavistock-row, Covent-garden.||£1 1s|
|Miss Sims||No. 82, Queen Ann's-Street East.||£2 2s|
|Mrs Spencer||No. 35, Newman-Street, Oxford-Road.||£2 2s|
|Mrs Sutton||No. 31, Tavistock-Street.||£3 3s|
|Miss Tosen||No. 2, Glanville-Street.||£2 2s|
|Miss Townsden||No. 23, Russel street, Covent Garden.||£3 3s|
|Mrs Turbot||No 25, Titchfield-Street.||£3 3s|
|Mrs Ward||No. 19, Union Street, Middlesex Hospital.||unknown|
|Miss Warner||at Mrs. Wood's, Lisle-Street, Leicester-Fields.||£2 2s|
|Miss Elizabeth Watkins||Little Chesterfield-Street.||£2 2s|
|Mrs Eliza Webster||No. 13, John-Street, Tottenham Court Road.||unknown|
|Mrs Whitpool||No. 2, Poland-Street, Oxford-Street.||£1 1s|
|Miss Wilkinson||No. 10, Bull-and-Mouth Street.||10s 6d|
|Miss Williams||No. 3, Glanville-street.||£1 1s|
|Miss Wilson||No 1, Little-court, Castle-street, Leicester fields.||£2 2s|
|Miss Wood||at a Hair-dressers, Windmill Street, Tottenham Court Road.||£1 1s|
|Mrs Wood||No 3, Lisle-street, Leicester Fields.||unknown|
We must now bid adieu to our courteous reader, and wish him every success that youth, health, love, and wine can possibly inspire him with; hoping, at the same time, that they will throw a friendly veil over all the unavoidable errors that may have happen'd in this work, and excuse that disagreeable tautology, which, for want of other words, we are necessitated to make, and not to be displeas'd if they find the same ladies in this list that appear'd before in other names; for, as their residence is chang'd as often as their names, it is almost impossible but some such mistakes must happen; and hope that the attention that is now paid to the procuring the best and most respectable, will wipe off every other blot.
We likewise take leave of the ladies, and are particularly happy to think that what was formerly seen in the eyes of our world a disgrace, is now considered pleasing, delightful, and honourable.