Let us together be bound!


If this Valentine’s Day sees you short of ideas for a suitable declaration of your love and respect, you could do worse than take inspiration from one of the Valentine-themed chapbooks here at the Library.

One of the volumes of chapbooks from the Central Library collection, which is being looked after at Chetham’s during the restoration and improvements at Central, contains eight small pamphlets on the art of writing the perfect Valentine’s message.

Perhaps our favourite is a twenty-four page chapbook entitled The Trades People’s Valentine Writer, a collection of 94 ‘appropriate Valentines, entirely original’, apparently written by various tradesmen and listed alphabetically, beginning with Anchorsmith and ending with Wheelwright. We have reproduced some of these below which you may like to use as part of your own message of love, although we take no responsibility for the outcome.

A Fishmonger to his Valentine:

My fair one’s skin, like cod is white,
Her lips are salmon’s true;
Her eyes like mackerel sparkle bright,
Like soles she’s firm and true.
From a Quack:
My Valentine my skill shall see,
I’ll soon love’s pain allay;
Belive me, fair I’m an M.D.
What’s more – No cure no pay.
From a Porkman:
If my sparerib you will be
I’ll devote my legs to thee;
And whenever you fancy pork
You shall have a knife and fork.
From a Dentist:
I clean the teeth – for teeth that’s white. 
Will make a kiss yield more delight;
And if to love me you’ll agree
Your teeth like ivory shall be.
From a Bookbinder:
Oh! were I my charmer to fold, –
To press her what pleasure profound!
Propitiously Hymen behold,
And let us together be bound!


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *