An Alderman No Washerwoman.
— Among the speculative undertakings of the day, an establishment has been recently formed at Mitcham, under the name, style, and title of “The London Patent Steam Washing Company.” The office of the Company is advertised as being at a certain number in ________ place; but it seems there are two houses of the same number, the following anecdote will explain :—
A gentleman wishing to make some inquiries respecting the “Patent Steam Washing Company,” called at No. 7 for that purpose. The house in question happened to be the residence of an Alderman of the city of London, and was in hearing when the gentleman was making known the object of his visit to a smart footman in livery. “Is this,” asked the gentleman, “the office of the Patent Steam Washing Company?” But before the footman had time to answer, the Alderman, who was thrown off the balance of his equanimity, exclaimed, in a tone that surprised the gentleman making the inquiry, “I, Sir, I, Sir, I am no washerwoman – I am no washerwoman, Sir. I am pestered with fifty inquiries a-day, Sir, but I tell you I am no washerwoman, Sir—I am no washerwoman, by God.” —London paper.
Source: Durham Chronicle – Saturday 17 July 1824 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)