Fishing in Putney

Applying for a fishing licence can be a bit of a pain - but in the seventeenth century, things were much more complicated. In Putney, you could obtain the right to fish in the Thames in exchange for handing over the three best salmon caught in March, April, and May.

Later on, this became a little simpler, a straightforward payment of money instead of fish; you could catch and keep all the salmon or smelt you liked.

However, once or twice a year, someone would catch a sturgeon - and, even more rarely, a porpoise. Then things were complicated again: any sturgeons or porpoises that you caught had to be handed over immediately to the Lord Mayor.

Read more stories about rivers.

Read more stories about the law.

Read more stories about animals.

Read more stories about Putney.

Read more stories about the seventeenth century.

Read more stories about money.

Read more stories about food.

Artist uncredited by request
Story source: Edward Walford, Old and New London: Volume 6