Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Hand drawn maps of London

Hello everyone...

Being small, (and well behaved) I can slip into all sorts of places unnoticed.
Today I slipped into the Museum of London for a sneaky preview of their display of HAND DRAWN MAPS of London, and really lovely they are too.

There are 11 maps, all of different styles and all drawn by members of the public.Brixton as a tree, hidden loo's, posh Mayfair and London firsts are all covered in these wonderful drawings.

I have a favourite...'London  Firsts', a map which shows locations for all sorts interesting 'firsts' in London, including where the first printing of the Marx manifesto was, Britains first Tea shop and London's first theatre in Spittalfields in 1574. My other reason for being slightly biased towards it is becasue it was drawn by one of the super people at London Peculiar! and if you look closely at Trafalgar Square you'll see me!

Go to the museum to see them up close...the exhibition runs from tomorrow until September and is well worth the effort!

Have a lovely day everyone
All the best

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

1664-5 Bills of Mortality!

Hello all,

We have just acquired a most unusual if rather daunting document listing the mortalities in London during the year of the plague.

This booklet has proved to be fascinating in more ways than one, not least, its listing of the various 'diseases and casualities' week by week , and its mention of what qualifies for a 'wheaten loaf' each week.
So being April 13th today , here are some details about what people were poorly with this week some 347 years ago.

1 person drowned at St Katherines, near the Tower.
8 people suffered 'Rising of the Light' ,light being an old word for lungs and this illness now known as croup!
2 people suffered with 'Kingsevil' a tuburculosis of the neck, which ,it was believed would be cured by the touch of a Monarch.
1 person was found having died in St Giles in the Fields
6 people were executed (in 1 week!!!)
1 person suffered with head-mold-shot (an inflammation or water on the brain)
4 suffered with Rickets

Also this week, 237 people were christened and 344 buried! none from the plague (yet)
and a penny loaf to contain 10 ounces and 3 half penny loaves the like weight.

What is most interesting about this pamphlet is you can see week on week the growth of the plague.
Only 2  people had died from the plague by April 20th.
By the end of May, 28 people had died from the plague and by the end of June a further 870!

2010 people died in the week of 25th July - 1st August
3880 died in the week of 8th - 15th August,(and also mentioned in the mortality list 1 person died of fright,and 1 of grief !)
and it goes on...the number rising hugely each week..what is interesting is there are no listings for executions once the plague took a grip, although 21 people were exectued in that year.

During the week of Oct 3rd only 4 of 130 parishes were clear of the plague and by the end of 1665 a staggering 68596 people had died from the plague.

What a terrible year 1665 was.

Keep well Londoners and all

Goodbye for now

Friday, 1 April 2011

The Newgate Calender 1700- 1795

Hello all...
We are very pleased with our new aquisition...a bound Newgate Calender  containing
' New and authentic accounts of all lives, adventures, exploits, trials, executions and last dying speeches and confessions of the most notorious malefactors of both sexes who suffered death for murder,burlglaries,house stealing,bigamy,forgeries,sheep stealing,high treason, sedition,riots and mobbing'

The book details the lives and misdemeanors of many 'criminals' during the 1700's...some crimes include highway robbery, house breaking and forgery which all carried the death sentence.
Many  exections were held at Tyburn.
One case is that of William Parsons, son of a baron, who, whilst at Eton College, stole some books..he confessed to this and remained at Eton  for 9 years...but appeared to be unable to change his wiley, in an attempt to save his soul, was sent to sea on a ship headed for Jamaica..but,an accident  detaining the ship meant he could escape.
He lived a life of counterfieting and lies and paid the price of execution once caught!
This book is fascinating and I will have a good nose through it and report back with other interesting cases.

Good day all