Tag Archives: William Lithgow

London in the Civil War (William Lithgow, 1643)

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Another in the occasional series on contemporary accounts and descriptions of the historic City of London,  this one written by William Lithgow   in 1643  (i.e., during the Civil War, when it was under  Parliamentarian control,  and work was underway on its fortification) …

“I found the … court before Whitehall Gate guarded, and what was more rarer, I found the grass growing deep in the … king’s house.  The daily musters and shows of all sorts of Londoners here are wondrous and commendable in marching to the fields and outworks … carrying … iron mattocks and wooden shovels, with roaring drums, flying colours and girded swords; most companies being interlarded with ladies, women and girls … carrying baskets to advance the labour … .  I saluted … two forts upon Tyburn Way and Marylebone Fields … , both pallisaded, double-ditched and barricaded with iron pikes, the one clad with eight demi-culverins and the other … with four … , both wondrous defensible”.