London’s Pig-Faced Urban Legend

Early modern fairy tale or urban legend? Who was London’s pig-faced lady and where did she come from?

‘A certaine relation of the hog-faced gentlewoman called Mistris Tannakin Skinker’, pamphlet, London, 1640. Wellcome Collection.

Her name was Tannakin Skinker. Or perhaps Miss Atkinson. Often, she had no name at all. But Londoners all agreed on one thing: somewhere in the city, a rich gentlewoman with the face of a sow was searching for a husband.

To continue reading this article you will need to purchase access to the online archive.

Buy Online Access  Buy Print & Archive Subscription

If you have already purchased access, or are a print & archive subscriber, please ensure you are logged in.

Please email if you have any problems.