James Guidney, aka Jemmy the Rockman, was a well-known character on the streets of Birmingham in the latter years of the Georgian and into the Victorian era, with his red military jacket and long white beard. Jemmy was a true English eccentric and had lived a life full of colour and adventure. He eventually settled at Birmingham where he sold a form of rock candy on the streets, which he called his ‘Composition’, crying out as he walked with his tin of his sweets, “Composition – Good for cough or cold – Cough or cold”.
Luckily for us, in his old age he wrote his autobiography, enabling us to tell his story completely.
Jemmy was born at Norwich to Jeremiah Guidney, a poor but hard-working man – Jemmy said he was born on the 1st September 1782 at Norwich but the only matching…
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