Polly White came to London from rural Leicestershire as a young girl with her newly married husband, seeking a better life. Together they had ten children, but that many mouths to feed meant that life has been hard and their fortune was never found.
Mr. White has long since gone, dead or fled, no one is quite sure. Polly has a strong sense of family and lives with her grown daughter, Kitty, and her grandchildren. She earns her living as a pure finder, collecting dog poo in a basket to sell to the tanneries. She walks the streets each day collecting bits of gossip alongside her ‘pure brown gold’.
Polly is known by almost everyone simply as ‘Mama Wag’, for her mothering nature and her wicked wagging tongue. Don’t be fooled by her simple demeanor and proclamations of innocence. She knows information is valuable and knows everyone’s affairs and dealings.
She has got by and survived in the slums of London by mothering those in need, keeping them sweet and dealing in information to stay ahead of the law.