Robert Adamson Mrs Elizabeth (Johnstone) Hall, Newhaven fishwife. (1843-1846).
The fishwives of Newhaven were famous for both their beauty and confidence. They carried the fish their men had caught in baskets on their backs up to Edinburgh to sell it. Whenever storms at sea made the fishing especially dangerous and the price of fish rose, they were heard saying ‘It’s no fish ye’re buying, it’s men’s lives’. The phrase became internationally known after Sir Walter Scott used it in his novel, The Antiquary. (Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art).