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See Women traders and artisans in London

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Careless, Elizabeth [Betty] (d. 1752), actress and prostitute, was known as Mrs or Miss Betty Careless. It is probable that she was acting before her name first appeared in the extant bills for the role of Polly in John Gray's The Beggar's Opera...

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Clap, Margaret [known as Mother Clap] (fl. 1710–1726), ‘molly house’ keeper, details of whose background are unknown, in adult life ran the best-known and most popular place of resort for homosexual men in eighteenth-century London, in Field Lane, Holborn. Homosexual men (then identified as ‘mollies’) travelled from ...

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Madam Cresswell (d. c. 1698) by Pierce Tempest, pubd 1711 (after Marcellus Laroon the elder) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Cresswell, Madam (d. c. 1698), bawd and brothel keeper, of unknown origins, was made infamous by the slanders and libels of court wits and pamphleteers on account both of her prominence in the vice trade of Restoration London and her whig politics during the exclusion crisis. As a result her image was fixed by tory pamphleteers as a wizened old crone who would stoop to any ruse in order to corrupt the virtue of young countrywomen....

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Hughes [née Rogers], Victoria (1897–1978), lavatory attendant and author, was born on 22 June 1897 at Woodbury Lane, off Blackboy Hill, Bristol, the fifth of ten children of Alfred William Rogers, a scaffolder, and his wife, Ellen Rogers. She was educated at ...

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Jarrett, Rebecca (1846–1928), prostitute and social purity activist, was probably born in London on 3 March 1846, the youngest of thirteen children whose father had a rope-walk and shop off the Old Kent Road. Claiming public attention during just one year, when she was co-accused in 1885 with ...

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Lyon, Elizabeth [nicknamed Edgware Bess] (fl. 1722–1726), prostitute and thief, was born at Edgware, Middlesex, from which her alias was derived. Nothing is known of her parentage or early life, not even whether Lyon was a maiden or married name. She may, however, have been the ...

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Millington, Mary [real name Mary Ruth Quilter; married name Mary Ruth Maxted] (1945–1979), sex worker and actress, was born on 30 November 1945 at Willesden Maternity Hospital, London, the only child of (Ivy) Joan Quilter (1914–1976), a clerical assistant at the Foreign Office...

Article

Thomas Seccombe

revised by Philip Carter

Needham, Elizabeth [known as Mother Needham] (d. 1731), procurer, kept a 'notorious disorderly House' in Park Place, near St James's Street, London. She is said to have been employed by the infamous Colonel Charteris, and in Don Francisco's Descent into the Infernal Regions...