5 December 2015 - Briefing to Government in City of London - Bishopsgate Institute Print

bishopsgate2According to Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights, every person in the country has the right to trade. Today that right is preserved in the Pedlars Act.

In 1697, an Act of Parliament was introduced to license hawkers and pedlars. Further updated in 1871 and 1881, the Pedlars Act provides that any ‘certificated pedlar’ may trade any goods, any time, any place throughout the UK. While the variety of trades and services available in the streets of London during the 18th and 19th centuries fascinated public and artists alike, historically pedlars have always been regarded with suspicion by the authorities and have been heavily legislated against. Today legislative anomalies and attempts to repeal the Pedlars Act and restrict the freedom and liberty of a pedlar’s trade are an ongoing concern.

This event explored the history and politics of this age-old profession with first-hand accounts from today’s pedlars revealing concerns for the future for these entrepreneurs of the streets.

Speakers included Robert Campbell-Lloyd (pedlars.info), Nic McGerr(pedlar), Tony Hawkins (retired pedlar) and The Gentle Author (Spitalfields Life).

In partnership with pedlars.info, a not-for-profit online reference centre for contemporary pedlary.



1 The Profession of Pedlary


2 History of Pedlary


3 Restraint of Trade


4 Parliament & Government


5 Local Authorities, The Social Contract & Conclusion


 6 Tony Hawkins - Retired Pedlar


7 Misinformed Enforcement Officers


8 Future of the High Street


9 Nic McGerr on Pedlary


10 Q & A on Membership


11 Q & A on Issuing Certificates



A written copy of this presentation is available by email request to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it