Courtesy of the English Broadside Ballad Archive we learn about Shameless Joan of Finsbury, who apparently combined cast iron hands and knees with drunken bravado and a reckless disregard for hot candle wax on the tender parts in and around her buttocks:

shameless joan

Shameless Joan
The Old Woman of Finsbury
Went through the City upon all four, with a lighted Candle in her Back-side, and fear’d the Watch who was amaz’d at that dismal sight.

YOu that in merriment delight,
Pray listen well to what I write,
It i[s] a pleasant Jest you’ll find,
To cure a melancholly Mind:

As I upon the Watch did stand,
With Staff and Lanthorn in my hand,
A frightful Creature there I see,
Which fore amaz’d and startel’d me.

It seem’d to have four sprawling Feet,
On which it crawl’d along the Street,
And towards me at length it came,
Breathing as ’twere, a burning-flame.

This Creature was array’d in cloaths,
A huge broad Face, but ne’r a Nose,
Nor any Eyes could I behold,
The Heart within my Bre[a]st was cold.

The brawny Cheeks did me surprize,
They being of the larger size,
Then I had seen in all my days,
I for a while did stand and gaze.

What course to tak[e] I could not tell,
Thought I it is some Fiend of Hell,
That came to scare and frighten us,
With courage then I answer’d thus:

I am a Watchman at my Post,
Therefore if thou art Hag or Ghost,
Or a Hobgobling, or Night-mare,
Speak up, quoth I, Friend, who comes there?

Shameless, the Apparition cry’d,
Immediately I then reply’d,
I’ll quit my Post since it is so,
E’en shameless come, and shameless go.

Me thought a humane Voice I hear’d,
Althou[g]h an ill shap’d thing appear’d.
Therefore to the main Watch I run,
Crying out, Friends, we’re all undone.

The Watch cry’d out, What do you mean?
Saith I, Old Satan I have seen,
He is approaching to this place,
With flaming fire in his face.

This said we went to meet him then,
With staves and clubs full twenty Men;
At length this Devil prov’d to be,
Old drunken Joan of Finsbury.

Who being in an Ale-house late,
Not very far from Bishops-gate,
Had laid a Wager of a Crown,
That she would cross fair London-town

When each was sleeping fast in Bed,
Her Coats and Smock thrown o’re her head,
She backward was oblig’d to crawl,
Upon her hands nay feet and all:

Accordingly away she went,
And in her brawny Fundament,
A lighted Candle plac’d must be,
Which was a dreadful sight to see.

Joan won the Wager, for she past
A-cross the City, and at last
Meeting the Watch, she turn’d about
And fairly blew her Candle out.

Home she return’d without delay,
There was good laughing the next day
At the poor Watchman, who declar’d
He ne’r before had been so scar’d.

Upon her Hands and Feet she come,
Explosing of her naked Bum,
In which there stuck a Candle lighted,
This would the hardest Man affrighted.

Kind Neighbours, this was William Green
By whom this dismal sight was seen;
The Woman’s Name is known to be,
Old Shameless Joan of Finsbury.

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