Transcript

Billy Waters - Soldier, Actor and Musician
Victoria & Albert Museum E.1070-1921 (CIS)


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     The eccentric Billy Waters, whose conspicuous character in Life in London, gained him so much notoriety; bade adieu to this life yesterday morning, after being ten days in St. Gile's workhouse, in a lingering condition. Poor Billy endeavoured up to the period of his illness to obtain for a wife and two children; what he termed "an honest living by the scraping of cat-gut," by which he originally amassed a considerable portion of browns (half-pence) at the West end of the town, where his hat and feathers, with his peculiar antics, excited much mirth and attention. Billy latterly became unfortunate, which he attributed to the production of Tom and Jerry, with whom he was made to take his Madeary (Madeira), and treat "bags of victuals" with contempt; but, however, he died very poor, and was obliged, prior to his death, to part with his old friend, the fiddle, for a trifling sum at the pawnbrokers; and the wooden pin (leg) which had so often supported Billy, would have shared the same fate, but its extensive service had rendered it worthless though it had twice saved poor Billy from the penalties of the Tread Mill. He was formerly a sailor, and he received a trifling pension since he left the service. A short time prior to his death he was elected King of a party of Beggars in St. Giles's, in consequence of his notoriety. He resided with his family in the house of Mrs. Fitzgerald, Church street, St. Giles's. His remains were yesterday removed from the Workhouse, to the New Burial Ground, St. Pancras, where he was interred. He was followed to the grave by his wife and children, with a few old friends - some professional ones. He was forty-five years of age.

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