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'Old Sarah'

'Old Sarah'.jpg Photographic SaloonThumbnailsFlushing the SewersPhotographic SaloonThumbnailsFlushing the SewersPhotographic SaloonThumbnailsFlushing the Sewers

The well-known Hurdy-Gurdy player

One of the most deserving and peculiar of the street musicians was an old lady who played upon a hurdy-gurdy. She had been about the streets of London for upwards of forty years, and being blind, had had during that period four guides, and worn out three instruments. Her cheerfulness, considering her privation and precarious mode of life, was extraordinary. Her love of truth, and the extreme simplicity of her nature, were almost childlike. Like the generality of blind people, she had a deep sense of religion, and her charity for a woman in her station of life was something marvellous; for, though living on alms, she herself had, I was told, two or three little pensioners.

London Labour and the London Poor by Henry Mayhew - Published 1851 - Available from books.google.com