City Women in the 18th Century

An outdoor exhibition of women traders in Cheapside, London.

21 September – 18 October 2019

In the 18th century, as now, the Cheapside area was known for its luxury goods. Unlike now, most of those goods were made on the premises, and among the manufacturers and shop owners were hundreds of women milliners, fan-makers, silversmiths, and scores of other trades. These women, all of whom were members of London’s livery companies, employed thousands more in their trades. Some of these elite employers produced highly ornamental trade cards to advertise their business, which are held by the British Museum. This outdoor exhibition brings them to the attention of a wide public and provides an entirely new light on women’s work in the City.

The exhibition and project is supported by an ‘Inspiring London through Culture’ grant from the City of London, the British MuseumCheapside Business Alliance, the Arts & Humanities Impact Fund, University of Cambridge and Metro Bank.