Green’s Dictionary of Slang

monkery n.

also mackry, monkry
[Shelta munk’ri, the country; DSUE suggests SE monkery, the contemplative, peaceful, monastic life]
(UK tramp)

1. the countryside; also attrib.

[UK]H.T. Potter New Dict. Cant (1795) n.p.: monkery the country.
[UK]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant.
[UK]Vaux Vocab. of the Flash Lang.
[UK]Pierce Egan’s Life in London 2 Jan. 389/1: London against the field, for fun, generosity [...] talent, science, and the polite arts; and where a man lives longer than he does in the Monkery!
[UK]Egan Finish to the Adventures of Tom and Jerry (1889) 104: I’ll bet the New Receiver of Scrives against the Editor’s Box of a Monkery Chaunt.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.
[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc.
[UK]Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 108/1: Flash Curly [...] from infancy had to ‘pad the hoof’ along with his parents through the ‘monkery’.
[UK]Sl. Dict.
[Scot]Dundee Courier (Scot.) 25 Jan. 7/6: It’s your snow-dropping , hen-stealing, umbrella-sneaking tramps as have ‘coopered the monkery’.
[UK]P.H. Emerson Signor Lippo 11: ‘Do you belong to the start or the “monkery?”’ they asked ‘London,’ says I.

2. as the monkery, the world of tramps and vagrants; thus on the monkery, living as a tramp.

[UK]A. Mayhew Paved with Gold 267: He had been out all day on the ‘monkry,’ and had only taken three ‘twelvers’ and a ‘grunter’.
[UK](con. 1840s–50s) H. Mayhew London Labour and London Poor I 244/1: He had followed the ‘monkry’ from a child. [Ibid.] 315/1: ‘Thirty years on the monkery,’ and [...] ‘never quodded but twice’.
[UK]Liverpool Mercury 3 Dec. 3/2: ‘The oldest and best cadger on the monkry’.
[Scot]Dundee Courier 4 July 7/5: I returned to the lodginghouse ‘rigged out fit for any game in the monkery’.

3. a specific district in which tramps or beggars work.

[UK](con. 1840s–50s) H. Mayhew London Labour and London Poor I 243/2: The medium houses the London vagrant haunts [...] are probably in Westminster, and perhaps the fairest ‘model’ of the ‘monkry’ is the house in Orchard-street.
[UK]P. Allingham Cheapjack 188: Manchester. That’s a monkery for you! We were gretting a steady deuce of nickers apiece every day.