Dated London 1679 in a Cheffins (22.5% buyer’s premium) sale of January 10 was a job lot that included four unframed Hogarth prints, a framed royal proclamation of 1800 relating to the production of grain and a “1679 broadside, printed for T.N. that is headed A List of the Parliament of Women”.
Extracted from Antiques Trade Gazette | Ian McKay
Briefly described as an item “listing in three columns fictitious but descriptive names”, it was something I did locate in California’s famous Huntington Library, but without full access to its online catalogue could find out nothing more.
The long preamble apologises for the manner in which women have always been prevented from exercising their talents, noting for example that that they are as “able to preach and plead as well as any man”.
Further flatteries are extended before we get to the announcement that the Parliament of Women of the title is to be established and representatives of the various parts of London and the country are listed in columns.
Some names are simple jests – Mrs Parchment and Mrs Seal-Wax for the Inns of Court – for instance, but others are more scathing.
For the Liberty of Moorields we find Mrs Night- Walker, Mrs Lift-Latch, Mrs Pick-pocket and Mrs Pickup, while Billingsgate’s representatives include Mrs Thunder-clap, Mrs Scold-Well and Mrs Stink-ill.
Most of those listed are drawn from London boroughs or districts, but representatives of other parts of the country are not forgotten, if occasionally somewhat harshly named. The Welsh representatives, for instance, include Mrs Harsh-tongue, Mrs Gibberish, Mrs Quarrelsome and of course, Mrs Leeks.
This modestly valued lot was bid to £4200.