I’ve previously posted excerpts (here and here) from the Alimentary Calendar section of Ralph Rylance’s The Epicure’s Almanack, originally published in 1815 and republished in 2012 with extensive, useful notes.
The following excerpt is from the section on markets in and about London. There were quite a few (more than I was aware of). Mr. Ryland rates Leadenhall Market as Number One.
“Leadenhall Market, independently of the sales of hides and leather effected there, is by far the most considerable market in London. The articles sold here are town and country-killed meats of every sort, and of the primest quality. In addition to the usual variety of fine beef, veal, and mutton, some of the first rate butchers here expose, during the winter season, specimens of very delicate house-lamb, which is usually sold by the quarter, at Christmas tide from fifteen to twenty-five shillings each.”
|Meat Market by Pollard|
“Not only turkies, bustards, geese, peacocks and peahens, guinea fowls, pullets, capons, pigeons, ducks, wild and tame, widgeons, teal, plovers, quails, woodcocks, snipes, larks, and all other lawful game are sold here.”
Unlawful game was sold as well, under the counter, by a method of coded words.
“Around the wholesale poultry-market are the shops of several retail poulterers of great fame, such as Messrs. Mott’s. Here are roasting-pigs, eggs, and fresh-butter, in great abundance; nor is there wanting a proportionate supply of the finest fish in season.” Here also are two or three excellent tripe-shops. This is the most considerable market in London for tame and wild-rabbits, wild in particular, which arrive every day during the season from the several warrens in Essex, Herts, and Suffolk.”
Starting here you will you'll find a detailed history and description of Leadenhall Market, including which days which items were sold.
Image above, from Ackermann's Repository, courtesy Philadelphia Museum of Art via Internet Archive. Image below, James Pollard, The Meat Market, courtesy Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection.
Clicking on the image will enlarge it. Clicking on the caption will take you to the source, where you can learn more and enlarge images as needed.