Trading Stories, Working Lives: John Collins, a Victorian fishmonger and game dealer

Graham Barker continues his occupational history series with John Collins, a Victorian fishmonger and game dealer

Leicester Fish Market with 1883-4 trade directory listingWander through Leicester Market Place today and you’ll see that it’s in transition; the 1970s indoor market has been demolished, plans are in hand to create a piazza behind the Corn Exchange, and a new food hall – angled and curved in glass and steel – is set out with tempting displays of fresh fish, cheeses and cooked meats.1877 Advert for Christmas

Such change is nothing new; it’s simply the latest instalment in the history of a market that has evolved since the 13th century. John Collins – a Victorian fishmonger, game dealer and publican – also witnessed many changes hereabouts. In this article, Graham Barker delves into the archives to find out more. Click to download: John Collins, Victorian fishmonger and game dealer

John Collins at the White Swan Inn (detail)

Take a look too at the other articles in our Trading Stories, Working Lives series:

Mary Ann Norman, Victorian laundress of Paradise Place

John and George Firn, monumental masons

Polkey boatmen of Loughborough

The Harrisons: gardeners, nurserymen and seeds merchants

George Robinson, Victorian letter carrier