previous

Smithfield Market

      Smithfield Market began in 1327 as a public greenspace and was used for a variety of events such as produce and livestock markets, jousting tournaments and many public executions, including that of William Wallace who was hung, drawn and quartered here.

       It was also reported during the late 1600's:

       Smithfield Market was haunted in the middle of the 17th century by the ghost of a lawyer named Mallet, who is said to have died in 1654 after eating poisoned meat. Described as being dressed in the gown of a lawyer and wearing long-pointed shoes, he appeared in the market every Saturday night between the hours of nine o’clock and midnight, tormenting the butchers by pulling joints of meat off their stalls. Some of the braver of these men attempted to drive the ghost away with their knives and meat-cleavers but could feel “nothing but aire”.

       It would appear that the ghost was not absolutely certain that the affected meat had come from Smithfield however, because after terrorising the butchers at Smithfield he often moved on to Whitechapel and Eastcheap, where he similarly angered the meat sellers there.



Prints - please email for details

Smithfield Market
Photograph © Anthony Bliss 2006