Londinium, the Proud City: A History of Rebuilding London since Late Antiquity

The resulting texture of the metropolis has a diversity of buildings unlike any other. In 1942, at the height of the Second World War, the British government published a plan for the destruction and rebuilding of whatever of London was left standing after German bombing. The ambition compared with Albert Speer’s ‘Germania’ proposal for a new[…]

A Tradesman Forced to Confront the Pestilence in 17th-Century London

A combination of poverty and “plague orders” in 1665 trapped many in situations that meant almost certain infection and death. Weaver John New, like many confined with dying relatives, was denied the escape routes open to the rich. By Anna Faherty / 06.22.2017 Associate Lecturer University of the Arts London The City of London, 1665. As the[…]

Barbarians, Gladiators, and Head Cults: Roman London Uncovered

Keeping your head up was tough in Roman times. Public domain During a 1988 excavation on London Wall 39 human skulls were discovered. But they remained shrouded in mystery. By Dr. Richard Hingley / 01.17.2014 Professor of Archaeology Durham University During a 1988 excavation on London Wall 39 human skulls were discovered. But they remained shrouded in mystery.[…]

Fire at the Crystal Palace: The ‘End of an Era’

By Dr. Chris Hilton / 11.30.2016 Former Senior Archivist Wellcome Library Eighty years ago, on 30 November 1936, a huge fire lit up the night sky over London. The Crystal Palace in South London had caught fire and as the colossal structure blazed, Londoners had a preview of what many would experience four years later in the Blitz: orange[…]

Hieroglyphicks of the City Fathers: London’s Aldermen in the 17th Century

Aldermen of the City of London Corporation represented as Chinese and as monsters in procession to Westminster to protest against the Treaty of Paris, 1763. Etching, ~1763. Wellcome Library reference no. 31512i. By Dr. William Schupbach / 07.25.2016 Historian The Corporation of London is the local government which controls the square mile known as the City[…]

The “South Sea Bubble”: London’s Financial Crash of 1720

“Des waerelds doen en doolen, is maar een mallemoolen,” engraving from Het Groote Tafereel der Dwaasheid, 1720 / Harvard Business School, Creative Commons By Dr. Helen J. Paul / 11.04.2015 Lecturer in Economics and Economic History University of Southampton Abstract The South Sea Bubble of 1720 was a major financial crash in London. It immediately followed[…]

Roman London’s First Voices

Lecture by Dr. Roger Tomlin at the Museum of London / 10.10.2017 Professor Emeritus Wolfson College University of Oxford Since we know so much about the Romans from their stone inscriptions, there is a myth that they even conducted their correspondence on slabs of stone. This can be reduced to a joke – ‘Pass me[…]