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Ep 133 Moll Cutpurse

This week we're diving back to the 1600s, and into a life of crime, scandal and theatrical notoriety - Introducing Mary Finch aka Moll Cutpurse.

CC by 4.0 Wikimedia Commons

Our favourite sort of lady, who broke all the rules, did quite nicely for herself and tried her hand at many different occupations.

The Roaring Girl © Folger Shakespeare Library

When Middleton and Dekker wrote a play, The Roaring Girl, all about her, she turned up and performed her own Epilogue: ‘Being at a play about three quarters of a year since at the Fortune, in man’s apparel and in her boots with a sword at her side, she told the company then present that she thought many of them were of opinion that she was a man, but if any of them would come to her lodging they should find she is a woman, and some other immodest and lascivious speeches she also used at that time. And also sat upon the stage in the public view of all the people there present in man’s apparel and played upon her lute and sang a song.’

Four views of Fortune St Park

It's been suggested she should have a memorial at Fortune St Park, just north of the Barbican, close to where she appeared at the Fortune Theatre.

She also spent time at the Bridewell, and was eventually buried in the churchyard at St Brides. Both seen here in the Agas map. Old St Pauls top right. Bridewell bottom left, and if you follow up the Fleet you can see the old St Brides towards the top left.

Agas map 1561 -1633 © Layers of London

Yes, alright, it's another version of the same image. But it all happened 400 years ago, and no one thought to paint her portrait. The images we have are few and far between. Better to listen to Alex telling her story and imagine her for yourself.

Listen wherever you get your podcasts.

Amanda got in touch to suggest an episode on Moll, and look what happened!

Do let us know and ideas, comments, questions:

Instagram; @ladieswholondonpodcast


Alex’s guiding website -

Fiona’s guiding profile -Fiona Lukas - Guide London

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