NEW CUT, LAMBETH, runs from the Waterloo-road into the Blackfriars-road, and is chiefly inhabited by general dealers, fixture dealers, and furniture brokers. It is quite a contrast to Regent-street, and is worth seeing.
Of these street markets there are fifteen held throughout London bvery Satnrday night and Sunday morning. The largest, or rather the most crowded of these, are hetd in that part ef Lambeth called the New Cut, and in that part of Somers Town known by the name of the 'Brill'. These are both about half a mile in length, and each of them is frequented by as nearly as possible 300 hucksters. At the New Cut there were, between the hours of 8 and 10 last Saturday evening [Nov. 1849], ranged along the kerb-stone on the north side of the road, beginning at Broad Wall to the Marsh, a distance of nearly half a mile, a dense line of itinerant tradesmen - 77 of whom had vegetables for sale, 40 fruit, 25 fish, 22 boots and shoes, 14 eatables, consisting of cakes and pies, hot eels, baked potatoes, and boiled whelks; 10 dealt in nightcaps, lace, ladies' collars, artificial flowers, silk and straw bonnets; 10 in tin ware-such as saucepans,teakettles, and Dutch-ovens; 9 in crockery and glass; 7 in brooms and brushes; 5 in poultry and rabbits; 6 in paper, books, songs, and almanacs; 3 in baskets; 3 in toys; 3 in chickweed and water- cresses; 3 in plants and flowers; 2 in boxes, and about 50 more in sundries, such as pig's chaps, black lead, jewellcry, marine stores, side combs sheep's trotters, peep-shows, and the like. The generality of these street markets are perfectly, free, any party being at liberty to stand there with his goods, and the 'pitch' or stand being secured simply by setting the wares down upon the most desirable spot that may be vacant. In ordor to select this, the hucksters usually arrive at the market at 4 o'clock in the afternoon, and having chosen their 'pitch,' they leave the articles they have for sale in the custody of a boy until 6 o'clock, when the market begins. The class of customers at these places are mostly the wives of mechanics and labourers. - Henry Mayhew (Morning Chronicle, Nov. 27th, 1849)
Peter Cunningham, Hand-Book of London, 1850
see also Mayhew in London Labour and the London Poor - click here
see also Mayhew in Letter to the Chronicle XII - click here