Title: The Young Wanton Privateer bringing a Spanish Prize into the Port of Love.
Description: Prostitution was rife in 18th century London. According to one contemporary estimate, almost a sixth of the total population of London’s metropolis were engaged in the vice-trade, often on a part-time basis. Although artists like Thomas Rowlandson and many others depicted prostitution in a humourous and bawdy manner, their work glossed over the reality. For the majority of women, life as a prostitute was nasty, brutish and short. 'The Times' reported in 1785 that each year 5,000 streetwalkers died in the city.
Date: 6 December 1781
Credit line: National Maritime Museum, London