bawdy house

It is laughable....

God forbid that Elsie Hughes has a chuckle at the absolutely ludicrous thought that Mrs. Patmore be even remotely thought of as the owner of a house of ill repute.  That this fine woman, of sterling character, be considered a purveyor of the sex trade is laughable. Rosamund explains it clearly: “What an unlikely bawdy house madam.” And that is why is it funny.  Elsie and the rest of them aren’t laughing at Mrs. Patmore, they are laughing at the ridiculousness of the notion that she is even mixed up in this mess being the fine woman that she is.

 And may I point out that Elsie comes to her defense when the photographer tries to snap a picture of them entering the cottage and calms her when she’s so upset.  The family repays her for her service by going to the cottage to have tea, so if they were being cruel no one would have given two thoughts more about this.

Bawdy House in 17th Century England

The 1668 Bawdy House Riots took place in London following repression of a series of annual Shrove Tuesday attacks against brothels.

Samuel Pepys records the events in his Diary 24th to 25th March mentioning that they were perceived as an anti-Royal demonstration of working class apprentices centre on Moorfields with echoes of the Puritanism of the Cromwellian era and specifcally targeted at the immoral behaviour of King Charles II and his court, who had been engaged with a series of extra-marital affairs with high profile courtesans, noting; “ how these idle fellows have had the confidence to say that they did ill in contenting themselves in pulling down the little bawdy-houses, and did not go and pull down the great bawdy-house at Whitehall.”

Madam Creswell (died circa 1698), Bawd and brothel keeper

By G. Barrett 1688

Madam Creswell was one of the most notorious brothel-keepers of the late 17th century. Her success allowed to her to maintain two houses in the city and one in the country, at Camberwell. Due to her political sympathies, not to mention her client list, Creswell had considerable influence. She counted no less a person than the Chamberlain of London amongst her friends.

18th C. English Slang Words

Some of my favorite terms from A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue Third Edition, 1796.

C-F   (Full list here)

  • Cake, or Cakey: A foolish fellow.
  • Calibogus: Rum and spruce beer, an American beverage.
  • Cank: Dumb
  • Capricornified: Cuckolded.
  • The Captain is come/ is at home: A woman is on her period.
  • Cat: Common prostitute.
  • To shoot the cat: To vomit from drunkenness.
  • Chuck: My chuck; a term of endearment.
  • Clanker: A great lie.
  • Clear: Very drunk.
  • Cock Alley or Cock Lane: The private parts of a woman.
  • Cock Bawd: A male keeper of a bawdy house.
  • Cods: The scrotum.
  • College: Newgate, or any prison.
  • Collector: A highwayman.
  • Cooler: A woman.
  • Cool Lady: A female follower of the camp who sells brandy.
  • Comfortable importance: A wife.
  • Commodity: A woman’s commodity; the private parts of a modest woman, and the public parts of a prostitute.
  • Corned: Drunk.
  • Cot or Quot: A man who meddles with women’s household business, particularly in the kitchen. The punishment commonly inflicted on a quot, is pinning a greasy dishcloth to the skirts of his coat.
  • Covent Garden Nun: A prostitute.
  • Covey: A collection of whores.
  • Crack; Crackish: A whore; whorish.
  • Crinkum Crankum: A woman’s commodity.
  • Croaker: One who is always foretelling misfortune of some sort.
  • Crusty Beau: One that uses paint and cosmetics to obtain a fine complexion.
  • Cully: A fop or fool; also a dupe to women.
  • Cundum: The dried out gut of a sheep, worn by men in the act of coition, to prevent venereal infection; said to have been invented by one colonel Cundum. These machines were long prepared and sold by a matron of the name Philips, at the Green Canister, in Half-moon street, in the strand. That good lady, having acquired a fortune, retired from business; but learning the town was not well served by her successors, she, out of patriotic zeal for public welfare, returned to her occupation; of which she gave notice by circulation of divers handbills in the year 1776. Also a false scabbard over a sword, and the oil-skin case for holding the colours of a regiment. [condom]
  • Cupboard Love: Pretend love to the cook, or any person, for the sake of a meal.
  • Cut: Drunk. A little cut over the head– slightly drunk.
  • Dark Cully: A married man that keeps a mistress, whom he only visits at night, for fear of being discovered.
  • Diddey: A woman’s breasts or bubbies.
  • To Dock: To lie with a woman.
  • Doodle: A child’s penis.
  • Doodle Sack: A woman’s private parts.
  • Double Jugg: A man’s backside.
  • Doxies: She beggars, wenches, whores.
  • Dry Bob: A smart repartee; also copulation without emission.
  • Duck Fucker: The man who has care of the poultry on board a ship of war.
  • Dust: Money
  • Dutchess: A woman enjoyed with her pattens on, or by a man in boots, is said to be made a dutchess.
  • Dye Hard: To dye hard is to shew no signs of fear or contrition at the gallows; not to whiddle or squeak.
  • Eve’s Custom House: Where Adam made his first entry. [cunt]
  • Farting crackers: Breeches.
  • Fartleberries: Excrement hanging about the anus.
  • Flat Cock: A female.
  • Flesh Broker: A matchmaker; bawd.
  • Flogging Cully: A debilitated lecher (commonly an old one), whose torpid powers require stimulation by flagellation.
  • Flourish: To take a flourish, To enjoy a woman in a hasty manner.
  • Flyer: To take a flyer; to enjoy a woman with her clothes on, or without going to bed.
  • Foxed: Intoxicated.
  • Fribble: An effeminate fop; the name borrowed from a celebrated character of that kind, in the farce of Miss in her Teens, written by Mr. Garrick.
  • To Frig: To be guilty of the crime of self-pollution [to masturbate]. Frigging is also used figuratively for trifling.