A family-friendly look at the other side of life in history-rogues, scoundrels, paupers and other undesirables.
Using history at its base and adding a great deal of wit and humor, 'Scoundrel's Alley' is a collaboration between Eric and Susan Scites and Frank and Carol Jarboe intended to introduce people to the 'seamier' side of life both public and private. Loosly basing their group on the criminal 'Canting Crews' that have been around throughout history, they have put together a group of scoundrels, rogues, paupers and other outcasts. From the entertainments of the sharper making you laugh to the story of the pauper making you cry, this group is dedicated to making history come alive in a way that makes it more real than just a book.
They all agree on two things-everything must be historically based and-even tho the subject matter is often dark and disturbing-it must be family-friendly. The goal is to have everyone-young and old- walk away feeling like they have learned something-and enjoyed themselves in the process.
To bring the stories and realities of the lowest classes into the forefront of history in a lighthearted way.
-The best the four of us could come up with on an empty stomach!
And some of our friends!
Great Tawney Prince
How it works at an event...
Scoundrel's Alley did their first full 'Rogues Weekend' in the fall of 2019 at the Market Faire at Locust Grove in Louisville, Ky. Between our usual obligations we rolled out our first 'Rogues Game' and invited anyone interested to join us with a few tasks that if completed would enable them to be part of the 'Locust Grove Canting Crew'. The two PDF's to the right outline the tasks they had to perform; specific sessions they had to attend and the Rogues they had to find. Designed for young and old alike, it became the basis for how the Scoundrel's approached other events.
Each event is different, and everything can be arranged to fit into the particulars of an event. All you need do is ask!
So you want to join in the fun but don't know the difference between a Clapperdogeon and a Tatterdemalion? Afraid your snilch will turn into a york? In short, do you want to 'cant' but can't 'cant'? Dont you fear! Because now, with the help of this little primer on the left you CAN 'cant'! That's right, never again will you be buttered like a bumpkin but you can be a right rum cove! So take off your joseph, grab some sugar sops and a chatter brew, sit back and learn a few good words of canting!
Remember, don't say you can't 'cant', because anyone can 'cant', So get started! Learn you CAN 'cant' and never say you can't!
RETOURE MY DEAR DELL
A poem in the Canting Language, printed in 1725
Each darkmans I pass in an old shady grove,
And live not the lightmans I toute not my love;
I surtoute every walk, which we used to pass,
And couch me down weeping, and kiss the cold grass:
I cry out to my mort to pity my pain,
And all our vagaries remember again.
Didst shout know, my dear doxy, but half of the smart
Which has seized on my banter, since thou dost depart;
Didst thou hear but my sighs, my complaining and groans,
Thou’dst surely retoure, and pity my moans:
Thou’dst give me new pleasure for all my past pains,
And I should rejoice in thy glaziers again.
But alas! ’tis my fear that the false Patrico
Is reaping those transports are only my due:
Retoure, my dear doxy, oh once more retoure,
And I’ll do all to please thee that lies in my power:
Then be kind, my dear dell, and pity my pain,
And let me once more toute thy glaziers again.
On redshanks and tips thou shalt everyday dine,
And if it should e’er be my hard fate to trine,
I never will whittle, I never will squeak,
Nor to save my colquarrin endanger thy neck.
Then once more, my doxy, be kind and retoure,
And thou shalt want nothing, the lies in my power.
BIBLIOGRAPHY and SUGGESTED READING for GAMBLING, GAMING and CANTING.
Hoyle, Beaufort & Jones. An Epitome of HOYLE. Dublin: R. M. BUTLER, Bookseller, 1791.
Seymour, Richard. The Court Gamester, 4th Ed.: London: E. 1728
Cotton, Charles. The Compleat Gamester. London: Gun, St. Paul’s Church. 1699.
Erdnase, S. W. Expert at the Card Table . U.S.: Pub. by Author. 1902.
Steinmetz, Andrew. The Gaming Table: it’s Votaries and Victims. London: Tinsley Brothers. 1870.
Hartman, Thomas. CAVEAT OR WARNING for Common Cursetors. London: T. Bensley. 1814
Collier, Jeremy. An essay upon gaming, in a dialogue between Callimachus and Dolomedes. London: George Strahan. 1720
Collier, Jeremy. Essays upon Several Moral Subjects in Two Parts. London: Richard Sare. 1702
Brown, Tom. Amusements, serious and comical, Calcuatd for the merriment of london. London: John Nutt. 1700
Farmer, John. Musa Pedestris, Three Centuries of Canting Songs and Slang Rhymes 1536-1896. London: Private Priinting. 1896
Northbrooke, John. A Treatise against Dicing, Dancing, Plays and Interludes with Other Idle Pastimes from the Earliest Edition about A.D. 1577. London: Shakespeare Society. 1843
Bailey, N. The New Universal Etymological English Dictionary. London: William Cavell. 1775
Quinn, John. Gambling and Gambling Devices. Canton, Oh: J. P. Quinn Co. 1912
A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue. London: Hooper and Wigstead. 1796
Chafetz, Henry. Play the Devil, a History of Gambling in the United States from 1492-1955. New York: Bonanza Books. 1960
Dekker, Thomas. Villanies Discovered by Lanthorne and Candlelight, and the help of a new cryer called O perse O. London. Matthews, Augustine, Printer. App. 1622
Bailey, N. A Collection of the Canting Words and Terms, both ancient and modern, used by Beggars, Gypsies, Cheats, House-breakers, Shop=Lifters, Foot-Pads, Highway-Men &c. London. L. Quinn 1737
PAMPHLETS (covering a range between 1655-1790)
Resistance and non-resistance stated and decided: in a dialogue betwixt a hotspur high flyer, a canting low churchman and a B—f censor of Great Britain
The Canting Academy, or the Devil’s Cabinet opened wherein is shown the mysteries and villainous practices that wicked crew, commonly known by the names of hectors, trapanners, gilts, &c. : to which is added a compleat canting-dictionary, both of old words, and such as are now most in use : with several new catches and songs, compos'd by the choisest wits of the age possibly Richard Head, 1684(?)