Following on from a brief descant in comment form between myself and The President and Founder, the idea for a new category and series of posts bloomed within my noggin. Thank you Mr President for that acorn – here is the first fruit from the tree it produced;

Below we have an original copy of the slim volume ‘The Surprising Adventures of Bampfylde-Moore ‘Carew, King of the Beggars: containing His Life, A Dictionary of the Cant Language and Many Entertaining Particulars of that Extraordinary Man. It notes no personage as the author, however it is believed that the publisher Robert Goadby wrote the tome in 1749 and based the contents upon tales from Bampfylde-Moore ‘Carew himself. There is far more information to be gleaned in relation to the books main character here.

The interesting thing about the copy I have before me, (taken from the Cloud’s vaults this very morning), is that it has printed within that this particular copy is ‘published for the booksellers’ and has the words’ A History of the Cant Language’ underlined. Within there is only the dictionary. No story lies on the pages, and I suspect it has been removed wholy at some point. Removed most carefully too, though the spine (seen below), gives away the crime as it has been cut and then affixed upon itself, losing some of the words in the process. The first half of the book is dedicated to the dictionary of a highly unusual language, and the second to a long list of ‘Cheap Books’. The latter has had a large triangular shape cut through every single page.

Upon opening the book we see the name M. Doherty, I cannot work out the line below this (so any help there would be most appreciated), and then it says ‘December 14th 1879’. The book itself may well be, indeed will most likely be older than this date. At the bottom of the page is written ‘Bon Hommes’ and then a symbol I do not recognise (once again, any Sherlocks out there are welcome to help me out). The book begins on page 292, indicating that it was placed at the middle/back of the original layout.

Have a look at some of the words displayed in the dictionary, some of them are quite marvellous –

‘Dimbermort’ – A pretty wench,

Frummagemmed’ – Choked, strangled, or hanged.

Charming I’m sure.

*The stone is a stone, important to me, but probably not to any other.

*Should any of the above information be erroneous please do tell. But tell nicely or there’ll be no potato cakes for tea.


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