A young yeoman, Thomas has traveled to Norwich from the city of London to find trade.He was in the ‘Company of Fishmongers of London’ but has moved away from the hustle and bustle to find new trade selling fish in the plentiful landscape of East Anglia. As well as making a living from being a fishmonger he has learnt the skill of bow and arrow, which has served him well in the recent battles of Edward III.
Fish is very popular at this time. One reason for this is the dietary rules enforced by the church during Lent and on Fridays and Saturdays. This affects the aristocracy because they have to find a substitute for their meat consumption more so than the poor being as they consume more. Another reason for fish being popular is its availability for both high and low classes. The high class having a supply from their lands in fishponds and fisheries, and the lower class having access to markets and fishmongers inland and on the coast.
Thomas has found that he can make a steady living from selling fish. Some times traveling far inland with salted or smoked fish, but also selling fresh fish by packing them in baskets filled with wet grass or reeds.
Although the upper classes keep and maintain their own fishponds,Thomas has found he can always sell freshwater fish to them for a high price and cash in on their tastes.
Being a fishmonger Thomas buys his trade from fishermen on the coast as well as from fisheries inland. He tries sell a variety of fish but he does know some who specialize like his friend John Gere the ‘PikeMonger’.
The fish Thomas is able to trade in varies greatly from sea fish to freshwater fish. Here is a list of them: -
‘Stock Fish’ (dried cod)
‘Herrings’ (which are fresh)
‘Plaice and Flounders’
‘Oyster, Mussels, Haddock and Porpoise’.
And for freshwater fish there is: -
As well as buying and selling Thomas has been known to poach. This is down to perhaps when times were hard with old tricks dying hard and generally not having the warmest feelings towards to aristocracies and their laws. So once in a while if you come across Thomas Warren on his travels and you have a friendly face you may just find a haunch of venison or a kingly sized pike for sale.