Repro ID: PW3836
Title: Sea stores, by Thomas Rowlandson.
Description: This Rowlandson engraving shows a naval officer negotiating with prostitutes on the waterfront. Many women were forced into prostitution by poverty. Others were young women who decided that they would rather sell their bodies than work 16 hours a day as laundresses or seamstresses. According to Daniel Defoe, writing in 1725, many prostitutes came from the huge army of maidservants in London and took to prostitution to support themselves when they were out of work. ‘This is the reason why our streets are swarming with strumpets. Thus many of them rove from place to place, from bawdy-house to service, and from service to bawdy-house again’.
Creator: Thomas Rowlandson
Credit line: National Maritime Museum, London