Gypsies are believed to have originated in India, and to have gradually migrated to the Near East and Western Europe, reaching Scotland in the early sixteenth century. They generally travelled in family groups, and were associated with professions such as hawking and pedling, acting as tinkers and street performers, and most common of all, as fortune-tellers. By the eighteenth century London and its environs hosted a reasonably large Gypsy population during the winter months.
Cover of Shashin-Shuuhou (写真週報), a weekly photograph magazine published by the Japanese government. Features women of the Axis-Alliance countries, Germany, Italy, and Japan, each representative holding a portrait of another's leader. Ca. 1938-45.
Esther Faa Blythe was the most important and well-known name in the gypsy world. The last of the royal Faas, she is described as having a pleasing aspect and an olive complexion. She was an intelligent woman with a very shrewd nature, but a fiery temper. Like many gypsy women, she was an addict to tobacco and was often seen with her clay pipe. Read More: http://www.scottishgypsies.co.uk/esther.html
Although Gypsies formed the most distinct group of seasonal travellers, they formed only one fragment of a wider world of casual labour and tramping, the denizens of which ebbed and flowed in and out of London with the seasons. The market gardens which surrounded and fed the capital required strong backs in the spring and autumn, while in the nineteenth century the hop-fields of Kent drew huge numbers of