{episode.episodeTitle}

Season 2, Episode 1 17:32 running time

Eighteenth Century Vice Industry

In this episode, we look at Covent Garden's vice industry in the eighteenth century.

{person.firstName} {person.familyName}

Hosted by

Dame Joanna Lumley

{person.firstName} {person.familyName}

Sound Editing

Will Jacob

Listen now:
  • Piazza, Covent Garden, London

Haddock Hogarth and Harlots

{person.firstName} {person.familyName}

Written by

Jasmine Silk

{person.firstName} {person.familyName}

Performed by

Lulu Freeman

About this story

Writer Jasmine Silk imagines a young girl forced into prostitution at the real Haddock’s brothel in Covent Garden in 1745. Her downfall mirrors that of engraver William Hogarth’s fictional country girl in his 6-part ‘Harlot’s Progress. This story has adult themes.

Delve Deeper

Want to know more? Try starting here:


The British Library has a set of Hogarth’s Harlot’s Progress prints.

  • 27 Catherine Street, London

Mrs Jenkins' Flogging House

{person.firstName} {person.familyName}

Written by

Joanna Clarke

{person.firstName} {person.familyName}

Performed by

Stephen Fry

About this story

In the 18th-century the ‘English Vice’ of flogging was considered good for the health, and establishments catered for many tastes. This story contains adult themes.

Delve Deeper

Learn more about this story’s themes with these links:


Rictor Norton has an article about ‘The English Vice’. Exclassics.com has a copy of the poem used in this story, which came from Harris’s List of Covent Garden Ladies.

  • Shakespeare Tavern, Covent Garden Piazza, London
  • Piazza, Covent Garden, London

Carnal Pleasures

{person.firstName} {person.familyName}

Written by

Robbie Stamp

{person.firstName} {person.familyName}

Performed by

Kate Reid

About this story

Jack Harris published yearly round-ups of Covent Garden prostitutes, their specialities and prices, for most of the second half of the 18th-Century. Sam Derrick wrote much of the prose and the place to get a copy was the Shakespeare Tavern on Covent Garden Piazza, where John Harrison, aka Jack Harris, was head waiter. Contains adult themes.

Delve Deeper

Learn more about this story’s themes with these links:


Exclassics has examples of pages from Harris’s List. Wikipedia has a couple of frontispiecesfrom Harris’s Lists, and a portrait of writer/compiler Samuel Derrick. The Wellcome Collection has Harris’s 1787 edition available online. Project Gutenberg has Harris’s 1788 edition available.