Royal Tunbridge Wells
to make for the side of the chaise. Our fears, however, were soon dispersed, by the latter telling us he was the best butcher in Tunbridge Wells : the other proved to be a barber, who was endeavouring to secure management of our heads, in preference to the rest of his brethren of the bason. These gentlemen are very troublesome, if not intimidating; for they have so much the appearance of highwaymen, that I should not be in the least surprised to hear that some one or other of them had been shot. The tradesmen of Tunbridge Wells, who use this silly practice, are called Tooters, or Touters, from the people of Tooting in Surrey, who set the example by way-laying the company formerly resorting to the mineral waters of Epsom Wells in that county." So well established was the custom that it was celebrated in verse by an anonymous rhymster :—
THE TOUTING SONG
" Some visit this Place for their Pleasure, And some to recover their Health: Some make it their Harvest of Treasure, While others are fleec'd of their Wealth.