chapter  X
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Wholesale Food Markets

The City Corporation owns and operates the Billingsgate fish market, Smithfield meat market, the Leadenhall market for poultry, game and eggs, the Islington market for cattle, sheep and horses, and the Spitalfields market for fruit and vegetables. Both the Islington and Spitalfields markets are situated outside the area of the City. The Corporation has always been extremely zealous to protect its charter privileges but on more than one occasion it was unable to resist an encroachment on its monopolistic powers. Charles II granted to the fourth Earl of Bedford the right to hold a fruit and vegetable market at Covent Garden and this remained a

substantial source of income to the Bedtord family until 1913, when the market was sold. There are two other wholesale food markets in public ownership: the Borough market in Southwark for fruit, vegetables, dairy produce, eggs and poultry (owned by Southwark Borough Market Trustees), and a market for fruit, vegetables, corn, etc., at Brentford, owned by the Municipal Borough of Brentford and Chiswick. The London and North Eastern Railway owns a potato market at King’s Cross and a market for fruit, vegetables, corn, forage and eggs at Stratford; while the London, Midland and Scottish Railway owns a potato market at Somers Town, St. Pancras.1