13. Near to Temple Bar, liv'd two trading women

No. 13.

     Another was a description of two poor whor whores who had seen
Better days,  It begins thus

Near to Temple Bar, lived two trading women
Jane, and Madam Cow, drest in silkn trimming.
These who who [sic] used to serve, roaring sons of thunder
Now they trudge the streets there forcd for to knock under.

Madam she kept Jenny for a working woman.
          The remainder forgotten, Madam laments their
fallen state, says. Gallants of the best came to us in Coaches

Much[?] like squires drest an
And as sound as roaches —
Treating us with wine
For a little billing
Now we trudge the streets
We’re glad of half a shilling.

Winter is a coming, we must feed on Sprats
&c   &c

Download This Song


This song is titled "The Whore’s Downfall." (Madden reel 12, Frame 8789):

Near to Temple Bar lived two trading women,
Jane and Madam Carr, dessed in silver trimming.
These that used to serve roaring sons of thunder,
Now before they'll starve are glad to knock under.

Madam she was head, Jennyjourneywoman,
Ere trading it was dead, when they valued no man,
Having store of sparks of all sorts and sizes,
Chubs and lawyers' clerks, men that paid good prices.

Sailors have a crown, lawyers half a guinea,
Ready money down. Likewise they had many
Loving yea-and-nays with their linèd breeches.1
Those were golden days, when they rolled in riches.

Gallants of the best came to them in coaches,
Much like squires dressed, and as sound as roaches,
Treating them with wine for a little billing.
Now they trudge the street, glad of half a shilling.

'As your dearest friend, now I tell you, Jenny,
If trading does not mend, five pounds to a penny
We must freed on sprats the ensuing winter,
Through the finest girls that e'er abroad did venture.

'Besides, that is not all' (so she fell a-weeping).
'We may chance to fall into limbo's keeping.
Oh! the hemping block causes lamentation,
Many a bitter knock, tears of tribulation.'

'Madam, let's go home and not rove no longer.
Here we trudge the streets both with cold and hunger.
Here we starve and pine -- she my joints are shaking.
No one cross of coin this night have we taken.

Not one single souse, though I dearly lack it.
Madam I'll quit your house and no longer track it.'
'Hold you!' madam cried, and with anger turning,
That shall soon be tried -- pay me for your learning.'

'Had you not my work for a little keeping?
Was ever Jew or Turk so much over reaching?
Take the other cup and leave off your biting.'
Madam's back was up so they fell to fighting.

'For your bully Ralph's breakfast, supper, dinner,
Did not you pawn my smock, cap, topknot and pinner?
This you know is true, madam with no gammon.
Pay your doctor too, quit your old physician.'

As these words did pass, grabbling Tom stood listening.
He fairly checked the, both as he would two chickens.
To the workhouse quod, there he led them grunting.
On the hempen block he left them thumping.

This ballad from the Madden collection is reprinted in John Wardroper, Lovers, Rakes, and Rogues (Shelfmark Books, 1995), p. 281-2. Wardroper notes that the form is similar to the 17th-century song "A Puritan of Late / And eke a holy sister" to which he provides the tune. 

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