‘Tis a mad world at Hogsdon & Shoreditch

Whilst carrying out research at the British Library, I found this great old song in a very old book – The history and antiquities of the parish of Saint Leonard Shoreditch and liberty of Norton Folgate, in the suburbs of London, by Henry Ellis (1798). The song is noted to have come from both The woeful Lamenation of Jane Shore from Dr. Percy’s Reliques of Ancient English Poetry and the Collection of old Ballards (1727).

Thus weary of my life, at length

I yielded up my vital strength

Within a ditch of loathsome scent,

Where carrion-dogs did much frequent.

The which now since my dying daye

Is Shoreditch call’d, as authors say;

Which is a witness of my sinne

For beinge concubine to a king.

There was a public house in Shoreditch called The Jane Shore, and near to it, Jane Shore Alley.

In Tony Coombs’ Tis a mad world at Hogsdon, is a 1609 poem about the Pimlico gardens in Hoxton.

Hither come those can scarce find bail

For five pence, yet spend eight in ale.

Usurers battle here their pence,

The Devil can scarce keep Brokers hence.

The Lawyer that in term-time takes

Fat fees, pleads here for ale and cakes.

Doctors, Proctors, Clerks, Attornies,

To Pimlico make sweaty journies.


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