Mcc0085168 . Sunday Telegraph
London Pearly Kings and Queens Society met outside the Guildhall in the City of London for the Harvest Festival before moving on to St Mary Le Bow Church for a thanksgiving service .
The tradition of the Pearly Kings and Queens was started in the 19th century by Henry Croft, an orphan who worked as a street sweeper in the market of Somers Town, London.
Inspired by the Costermongers, a close-knit group of market traders who looked after one another and were recognisable by buttons sewed onto their garments, Henry went out on the streets to collect money for charity, wearing a suit covered in pearl buttons to attract attention. When demand for his help became too much, Henry asked the Costermongers for assistance, many of whom became the first Pearly families.
London 16 September 2018