Author Archives: Bob Jones - The Lost City of London

About Bob Jones - The Lost City of London

My name is Bob Jones and I am a writer on the history of London.

Post-Medieval London, Pt. VIII – Archaeological Finds

The Lost City of London - Before the Great Fire of 1666

Another in the series on the history of London up to the time of the Great Fire of 1666, largely taken from my book, “The Flower Of All Cities” (Amberley, 2019) …

Archaeological Finds

A series of Museum of London and other publications either describe in detail or summarise the findings of archaeological excavations at various post-Medieval sites around the City.

There are some useful identification guides in Lara Maiklem’s new book, “A Field Guide to Larking“.

The more important archaeological finds from post-Medieval London are on exhibition in the City’s principal museums. The Museum of London houses an extensive collection.

A clay pipe on the foreshore. Image: Thames Discovery Programme.

The commonest post-Medieval finds on the foreshore of the Thames are sherds of – glazed – pottery, fragments of roofing, wall, hearth and floor tile, and clay pipes. Roofing tiles are sometimes found with small…

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Post-Medieval London, Pt. VII – Surviving Structures

The Lost City of London - Before the Great Fire of 1666

Another in the series on the history of London up to the time of the Great Fire of 1666, largely taken from my book, “The Flower Of All Cities” (Amberley, 2019) …

Surviving Structures

Essentially nothing now remains of the majority of the post-Medieval seats of power, religious houses and secular buildings that stood within and without the walls of the City of London before the Great Fire.

Gate-House, Lambeth Palace

Gate-House, St James’s Palace

However, from  Tudor London, of the seats of power, parts of Whitehall  Palace, Lambeth Palace, and St James’s Palace survive still, as does the Savoy Chapel, part of the Savoy Hospital.  Much of Tudor Whitehall Palace was destroyed in fires in 1512  in 1698, but “Henry VIII’s wine cellar” in the what is now the Ministry of Defence building in Horse Guards’ Avenue still survives; as does the site of his tilt-yard in…

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Post-Medieval London, Pt. VI – Building Works

The Lost City of London - Before the Great Fire of 1666

Another in the series on the history of London up to the time of the Great Fire of 1666, largely taken from my book, “The Flower Of All Cities” (Amberley, 2019) …

Building Works

1 – Monument, Monument Street; 2 – Old London Bridge (and Port of London); 3 – Eastcheap; 4 – Custom House, Thames Street; 5 – All Hallows Barking, Byward Street; 6 – Tower Hill; 7 – Tower of London; 8 – Site of Navy Office, Seething Lane; 9 – St Olave Hart Street; 10 – All Hallows Staining, Mark Lane; 11 – Site of East India House, Fenchurch Street; 12 – St Andrew Undershaft, Leadenhall Street/St Mary Axe; 13 St Katharine Cree, Leadenhall Street; 14 – Site of first synagogue after resettlement, Creechurch Lane/Bury Street; 15 – Bishopsgate; 16 – Site of Gresham College, Bishopsgate/Old Broad Street; 17 – Austin Friars, off Old Broad…

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Post-Medieval London, Pt. V – Social History contd.

The Lost City of London - Before the Great Fire of 1666

Another in the series on the history of London up to the time of the Great Fire of 1666, largely taken from my book, “The Flower Of All Cities” (Amberley, 2019) …

Entertainment and Culture

There continued to be at West Smithfield archery, wrestling and cock-fighting, a weekly horse fair, and an annual Bartholomew Fair every August, and also regular jousting tournaments. At East Smithfield a further fair; on Undershaft an annual May Fair; and on Cheapside further tournaments. In the Tower of London, a menagerie; and on Bankside in Southwark, animal-baiting.

A Medieval depiction of bear-baiting

In Tudor times, Henry VIII is known to have witnessed a bear-baiting at Paris Gardens, from a barge moored offshore, in 1539. In 1554, Henry Machyn wrote: “The sam day at after-non was a bere-beyten on the Banke syde, and ther the grett blynd bere [whose name was Sackerson] broke losse…

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Post-Medieval London, Pt. IV – Social History, contd.

The Lost City of London - Before the Great Fire of 1666

Another in the series on the history of London up to the time of the Great Fire of 1666, largely taken from my book, “The Flower Of All Cities” (Amberley, 2019) …

Social History contd.

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Population

From various accounts, it appears that the population of London was of the order of 60,000 in the 1520s; 80,000 in 1550; 120,000 in 1583; 200,000 in 1630; 460,000 in 1665; and 360,000 in 1666, after the “Great Plague”: it is evident that it took until 1550 for the population to recover following the “Black Death” of 1348-9. The population of the large “East End” parish of St Dunstan and All Saints, Stepney in 1606-10 was estimated by the haberdasher and pioneer demographer John Graunt in 1663 to have been approximately 13280, based on the multiplication of the number of – non-plague – deaths of 145 by a factor of 32. The…

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London’s Inns of Court and the Founding of the United States of America

The Lost City of London - Before the Great Fire of 1666

London’s Inns of Court

The right of Englishmen to trial by jury was  established in the late twelfth century, and  codified in the  Magna Carta in  the early thirteenth; and the right to legal counsel and representation, by attorneys (solicitors) and pleaders before court (barristers), at the turn of the  thirteenth and  fourteenth.

Formal training of pleaders before court, in the so-called Inns of Court,  strategically situated between the Cities of London to the east and Westminster to the west,  began in the fourteenth century.

The Inns of Court of the Inner and Middle Temple were founded in the early fourteenth century, on a site south of Fleet Street that had been occupied by the Knights Templar up until the time of their suppression in 1307.  No  Medieval buildings remain standing on the site today, although the post-Medieval Inner Temple Gate-House and  Middle Temple Hall do.

Gray’s Inn was founded…

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Post-Medieval London, Pt. III – Social History

The Lost City of London - Before the Great Fire of 1666

Blue Plaque marking site of Pasqua Rosee’s Head, just off Cornhill

Another in the series on the history of London up to the time of the Great Fire of 1666, largely taken from my book, “The Flower Of All Cities” (Amberley, 2019) …

Social History

Everyday life in London in post-Medieval times would have revolved around the requirement and search for sustenance for body and soul. For most women, it continued to revolve around the “daily grind”. For some, there would have been opportunities for advancement in education, in paid employment or self-employment, albeit in the trades rather than in the professions, and in public office. However, as the anonymously-authored “The Lawes Resolutions of Women’s Rights” pithily put it in 1632, “Women have no voice in Parliament, they make no laws, they consent to none, they abrogate none”.

Religion

Christianity

The predominant religion of the period…

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Post-Medieval London, Pt. II – Stuart History

The Lost City of London - Before the Great Fire of 1666

Another in the series on the history of London up to the time of the Great Fire of 1666, largely taken from my book, “The Flower Of All Cities” (Amberley, 2019) …

Stuart History

Under the Stuarts, it was a time of War and Plague and purifying Fire. Of a bloody Civil War, between Royalist and Parliamentarian. And of a peculiarly English revolution under the Parliamentarian Commonwealth and Protectorate of Oliver and Richard Cromwell, which ended with the Restoration of the Monarchy – albeit, importantly, a monarchy that could thenceforth only rule with the consent of Parliament.

An early meeting of the Royal Society

It was also, though, the time not only of a continuing Renaissance in the arts, but also of the birth of science, or “natural philosophy”, as it was known. The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, nowadays generally known simply as the…

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Post-Medieval London, Pt. I – General and Tudor History

The Lost City of London - Before the Great Fire of 1666

Another in the series on the history of London up to the time of the Great Fire of 1666, largely taken from my book, “The Flower Of All Cities” (Amberley, 2019) …

History

The Medieval period ended, and the post-Medieval or early Modern period began, when the last Plantagenet or Yorkist King, Richard III, was killed at the Battle of Bosworth Field in the Wars of the Roses, and the first Tudor King, Henry VII, came to the throne, in 1485. The post-Medieval was a time of continuing historical, political, religious and social turmoil, over two hundred years, and under two royal houses and a Parliamentarian – albeit authoritarian - Commonwealth and Protectorate. It was also a time of continuing war: war between the English and the Scots and the Irish; war between the English and the French, and the Spanish, and the Dutch; and war among the…

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