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A fishmonger in Pike Place Market on the waterfront of Seattle

A fishmonger (fishwife for women practitioners - "wife" in this case used in its archaic meaning of "woman") is someone who sells raw fish and seafood. Fishmongers can be wholesalers or retailers, and are trained at selecting and purchasing, handling, gutting, boning, filleting, displaying, merchandising and selling their product. In some countries modern supermarkets are replacing fishmongers who operate in shops or fish markets.

Worshipful Company of Fishmongers[edit]

A 16th-century fishmongers stall. Bartolomeo Passarotti

The fishmongers guild, one of the earliest guilds, was established in the City of London by a Royal Charter granted by Edward I shortly after he became king in 1272. Partnership with foreigners was forbidden and the sale of fish was tightly controlled to ensure freshness and restrain profit, which was limited to one penny in the shilling. Nevertheless, the guild grew rich and, after Edward's victory over the Scots, was able to make a great show, including one thousand mounted knights.[1]

During the reign of Edward II, the political power of the fishmongers waned and Parliament decreed that no fishmonger could become mayor of the city. This was soon rescinded though and their wealth increased further so that, during the reign of Edward III, the guild could provide £40 to the war against the French, this being a great sum at that time.[1]

The guild was then reformed by Great Charter as the Mystery of the Fishmongers of London. They were given a monopoly over the crying and selling of fish and they regulated the catching of fish in the Thames which teemed with fish such as salmon at that time.[1] The guild still continues today as one of the Great Twelve City Livery Companies.

Tools[edit]

The tools used by fishmongers include:[2]

  • pliers to pull out pinbones
  • a fish scaler to remove scales
  • a filleting knife to cut away the flesh from the bones
  • short strong knives for opening oysters and other shellfish
  • protective gloves
  • a curved knife for gutting and removing roe

Fishmongers in culture[edit]

In many countries, the fishwife was proverbial for her sharp tongue and outspoken speech. In Medieval France, the ones in Paris were known for their special privilege of being able to speak frankly to the King himself, when he ventured into the marketplace, and voice criticism without fear of punishment.

Molly Malone is a character from a popular Irish song about a young fishwife who tragically dies at a young age.

Charles Fort in his book Lo! compiles the story of the Mad Fishmonger or "St. Fishmonger", which later may or may not appear in the Schrödinger's Cat Trilogy by Robert Anton Wilson. St. Fishmonger allegedly caused crabs and periwinkles to fall from the sky.

In the English translation of the Asterix series, the village fishmonger is called Unhygienix. In the film The Beach, the Island's chef has only fish as a source of meat, and is named Unhygienix in reference to the Asterix character.

In Shakespeare's Hamlet, some contend that the word fishmonger was a euphemism for a "fleshmonger," or pimp.[3][4][5]

Historic fishmongers[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c John Timbs (1865), "Curiosities of the Fishmongers' Hall", Walks and talks about London, Lockwood 
  2. ^ "A few good tools", The Fishmonger's Apprentice, p. 19 
  3. ^ Steve Roth, Hamlet: The Undiscovered Country, 2009
  4. ^ Hamlet's Puns and Paradoxes, Click Notes
  5. ^ Shaaber MA (1971) "Polonius as Fishmonger" Shakespeare Quarterly, 22 (2).

References[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fishmonger — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
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2469 news items

Telegraph.co.uk

Telegraph.co.uk
Tue, 19 Aug 2014 02:00:00 -0700

A Malaysian fishmonger on Tuesday was charged with murder over the fatal stabbing of two British medical students, a crime that carries the death penalty, local media and police said. The bodies of Newcastle University students Neil Dalton and Aidan ...

Kent Online

The Times (subscription)
Tue, 19 Aug 2014 05:11:15 -0700

A Malaysian fishmonger has been charged with the murder of two British medical students in Borneo. Zulkipli Abdullah, 23, appeared in court today in connection with the fatal stabbing of Neil Dalton, 22, from Derbyshire, and Aidan Brunger, also 22 ...
 
Daily Mail
Tue, 29 Jul 2014 08:00:00 -0700

'SHARK' attack in London! Fishmonger taken over by beast. 'Killer shark' attacks Londoners after special effects wizards install animatronic beast in a fishmonger. Hidden cameras recorded the prank video to promote 'ultimate B movie' Sharknado 2: The ...
 
Huffington Post UK
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 06:18:45 -0700

A Malaysian fishmonger could face the death penalty after being charged with murdering two British medical students in Borneo, according to local reports. Newcastle University students Neil Dalton and Aidan Brunger were stabbed to death in Kuching ...
 
3News NZ
Tue, 19 Aug 2014 09:52:30 -0700

A Malaysian fishmonger has been charged with murder over the fatal stabbing of two British medical students, a crime that carries the death penalty. The bodies of Newcastle University students Neil Dalton and Aidan Brunger, both 22, were found early on ...
 
The Star Online
Mon, 18 Aug 2014 20:45:00 -0700

KUCHING: A fishmonger has been charged with killing British medical students Aidan Brunger and Neil Dalton. Zulkipli Abdullah, 23, was accused of two counts of murder under Section 302 of the Penal Code. The charge was read in front of Magistrate ...

The Straits Times

The Straits Times
Tue, 19 Aug 2014 02:00:00 -0700

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - A Malaysian fishmonger on Tuesday was charged with murder over the fatal stabbing of two British medical students, a crime that carries the death penalty, local media and police said. The bodies of Newcastle University students ...

The Rakyat Post

The Rakyat Post
Tue, 19 Aug 2014 03:52:30 -0700

A 23-year-old fishmonger was charged in the magistrate's court here today for the murder of two British medical students earlier this month. However, no plea was taken from Zulkipli Abdullah, who faced two charges under Section 302 of the Penal Code, ...
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