digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:


Applied sciences






















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 This was soon rescinded though and their wealth increased further so that, during the reign of Edward III, the guild could provide £40 to the war against the French, this being a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.


A fishmonger prepares to clean and butcher a pair of large fish in Malé.

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]

The fishwife Molly Malone of "Cockles and Mussels" fame.

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]



  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).

External links[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.

88657 news items

Swindon Advertiser

Swindon Advertiser
Tue, 03 May 2016 07:33:49 -0700

SCALLOPS inhabit all the oceans of the world, with the largest number of species living in the Indo-Pacific region. Most species live in relatively shallow waters from the low tide line to 100 metres, while others prefer much deeper water. Although ...

Wall Street Journal (blog)

Wall Street Journal (blog)
Fri, 29 Apr 2016 12:09:44 -0700

A daily roundup of corruption news from across the Web. We also provide a daily roundup of important risk & compliance stories via our daily newsletter, The Morning Risk Report, which readers can sign up for here. Follow us on Twitter at @WSJRisk ...


Wed, 27 Apr 2016 07:16:26 -0700

Aberdare fishmonger Bill Webber worked in Aberdare since 1948. Tributes have been paid to a “proper gentleman” and much-loved Aberdare fishmonger known in the town as 'Bill the Fish', who died last month. Bill Webber, originally from Mountain Ash ...

Bath Chronicle

Bath Chronicle
Mon, 11 Apr 2016 08:37:35 -0700

"We have long said we are Bristol and Bath's best fishmonger and if we are going to say that we thought we should come to Bath." Dan founded The Fish Shop in 2010 and sources salmon from the north and fresh fish from Plymouth and Brixham in Devon.
Lincolnshire Echo
Tue, 05 Apr 2016 07:15:00 -0700

This is an excellent career opportunity for an experienced Fishmonger. You need to be friendly, good with people, have a good work ethic and attention to detail. You will be running your own shop - ordering, storing, quality inspection, stock control, ...

Insider Media

Insider Media
Wed, 27 Apr 2016 00:43:59 -0700

A County Durham fishmonger has launched a new business with the support of Full Circle North East. J Dodds Fresh Fish and Seafood is the first of 100 businesses that the group aims to help launch in 2016. Full Circle North East, which provides support ...

Asahi Shimbun

Asahi Shimbun
Mon, 18 Apr 2016 19:15:00 -0700

Photo/Illutration Julio Cesar prepares sashimi in the kitchen of his fish shop in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture. (Minao Ota). Photo/Illustraion. YOKOHAMA--In a small shopping mall near Yokodai Station just south of Tokyo, there is a small fish shop ...


Thu, 07 Apr 2016 07:26:15 -0700

Full Circle North East, a Peterlee-based startup, has helped fishmonger Joel Dodds launch his own fishmonger shop on Horden Front Street, in County Durham. Launched earlier this year by cousins Leanne Knight and Kirsty Campbell, Full Circle North East ...

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!

Searchlight Group

Digplanet also receives support from Searchlight Group. Visit Searchlight