Hoxton’s link to the gunpowder plot.
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Hoxton’s link to the gunpowder plot.
I had a bit of moment this week when I heard this visceral recording on @classicfm
Dating from 1909, it is an original recording of the Fisk Jubilee Singers. All freed from slavery they became a global sensation singing “plantation melodies,” “slave hymns,” or, as they later came to be known, “songs of jubilee” - a product of generations of endured trauma and hard-won resilience.
The American group inspired mixed race London-born (African and English) Samuel Coleridge-Taylor to compose many African pieces and led him to become the first person of colour to ever be invited to the White House.
Sir Hiram Maxim poses with an early version of the Maxim machine gun, c.1883
The founding site of the Maxim Gun Company, and where he invented the first fully automatic machine gun, was Hatton House, 57d Hatton Garden, Holborn.
Don’t forget to turn your clocks back one hour tonight!
That’s right, it’s the end of BST.
In 1907 William Willett, a builder responsible for large stock of Victorian London housing, published a pamphlet titled "The Waste of Daylight". He wanted longer days with increased productivity, more recreation time and a saving of £2.5 million in lighting costs.
His promotion of the idea gained support but was halted in its tracks by the outbreak of WW1. Willett did not live to see daylight saving become law, as he died of influenza in 1915 at the age of 58
William Willett is the great-great-grandfather of 'Clocks' singer Chris Martin of Coldplay. ⏰
On 17th October 1091 (23 October when adjusted to today's Gregorian calendar) London recorded its first tornado, also the worst ever to hit the city.
St Mary Le Bow church was levelled along with 600 houses and the wooden London Bridge.
Judging by the accounts of the damage, meteorologists have assigned the 1091 tornado T8 (severely devastating) status on the tornado scale (which runs from T0 to T10). Wind speeds would have been up to 240mph (385km/h). If such a tornado were to hit London today we could expect to see cars hurled along the street, houses smashed and skyscrapers twisted.
Two men lost their lives.
The weather was just right today for a walk around @brompton_cemetery - one of the 19th century ‘Magnificent Seven’ cemeteries. The list also includes Kensal Green, West Norwood, Highgate, Abney Park, Nunhead and Tower Hamlets.
Brompton is the resting place of suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst, final pic.
Which is your favourite of the ‘Magnificent Seven’?
Happy 55th Birthday to the Post Office Tower, opened on this day in 1965.
The £9million building was the tallest in Britain at the time and was designed to support telecommunications aerials, then handled by the General Post Office and later BT (after the GPO's services were narrowed down).
I don't remember these at all, but they're kinda great. Advertising on Tube grab handles from the 90s, on display at @ltmuseum
Phyllis Pearsall, inventor of the London A-Z, was born on this day in 1906.
Her maps, first published in 1936, were used by generations of people in a pre smartphone age. Who remembers getting to the end of a street and flipping the pages to see where to head next?
There are "about 100" ‘trap streets’ included in the London A-Z Street atlas, to catch out any would be copyright violators. One such street, "Bartlett Place", a genuine but misnamed walkway (named after Kieran Bartlett, an employee at Geographers’ A-Z Map Company), was identified in the programme and will appear in future editions under its real name, Broadway Walk.
Phyllis passed on 28th August 1996.
In 2012 Crossrail named one of its first pair of tunnel boring machines (TBMs) Phyllis to honour Pearsall's memory. The other machine was named Ada, after Ada Lovelace
You will have seen these trees around London, with their flakey grey camo style bark and distinctive seed balls.
They are the city's very own London Plane trees. The American sycamore x Oriental plane hybrid was discovered in the mid-17th century by John Tradescant. The London Plane accounts for over half of the city's trees, the oldest of which are in Berkeley Square surviving since 1789, making them over 280 years old! In 2009 one of these trees was valued at £750,000.
Perfectly suited to be planted around an expanding 18th/19th century London they have lived through centuries of grim and thrive by shedding their bark to regenerate. This tree is London born and bred, the old wise man of the city's streets, parks and squares.
On 13th September 1940 at around 11am the Blitz reached Buckingham Palace, during the second of three daylight raids on London that day. A single German raider specifically targeted the Palace with a stick of five high explosive bombs. Two of these hit the inner quadrangle, a third struck the Royal Chapel in the South Wing and the remaining two (one delayed-action) fell on the forecourt and on the roadway between the Palace gates and the Victoria Memorial, seen above.
The explosions in the quadrangle ruptured a water main and blew out most of the windows on the southern and western sides. The interior of the Royal Chapel was lacerated. Four workers were injured; one later died. Several portraits were damaged in the Palace corridors and the red carpets were lightly covered by dust.
The image shows the news coverage of the event the following day and crater left by an explosion.
Don’t you love it when a floor plaque delivers a whole post on its own? The Tower Liberty everybody...
The history starts before you even head into the @museumoflondon Docklands. A true example of how slavery, imperialism and colonialism can be presented, alongside London’s rich history, without the need to commentate a slave owner in a public space.
The plinth was the location of a statue of Robert Milligan, a prominent British slave trader who owned two sugar plantations and 526 slaves in Jamaica.
The statue was removed in June following protests by Black Lives Matter. The museum said; “We advocate for the statue of Robert Milligan to be removed on the grounds of its historical links to colonial violence and exploitation”.
Free to the public, and bookable online, the museum takes you on a journey from the planning of the Docklands, to the building of an empire, the harsh realities of slavery, and the development of the area to today.
#fbf to some photos taken on this day in 2016, when we commemorated 350 years since the Great Fire and I was lucky enough to take my camera into St Paul’s.
A longer read but worth it!!
The man on the left is the niece of artist James Barry's and one of my favourite women of British history.
Born Margaret Ann Bulkley, she was part of one of the greatest coverups in British medical and military history. With the help of a Scottish Earl, an academic, and a Venezuelan revolutionary, Margaret left Ireland for Scotland and assumed the role of (Dr) James Barry.
Dr Barry was credited as the first man to conduct a successful Caesarian in a time when women could not become surgeons or even get a university degree. She travelled the empire at the top of the military medical establishment. She met with Royalty, Florence Nightingale, top military officers and the secret was so well hidden her gender was not revealed until her death in 1865. However, the story was swept under the carpet by the military and only 100 years later would the facts really come to light.
Margaret Ann Bulkley (aka Dr Barry) lived her last years in London, buried in Kensal Green Cemetery.
James Miranda Stuart Barry (c. 1789/1799 – 25 July 1865, born Margaret Ann Bulkley)
Photographed in 1904, the Russian Vapour Baths in Brick Lane. The baths were more popularly known as ‘Schewzik’s’, after their owner Benjamin Schewzik.The steam baths were used by the large immigrant Jewish community living in London’s East End from the late 19th century. They were an important part of social and religious life and were mostly used by men following work on a Friday evening, before going to the synagogue for prayers.The immigrant community in the East End also set up numerous small synagogues, which recreated the atmosphere of those in Eastern Europe. They opened shops selling kosher food and other goods. Posters and newspapers were printed in Yiddish and the busy, bustling streets were full of traders shouting out their wares.
A photo of the Albert Memorial in Kensington Gardens, during construction, and one taken on the weekend.
The George Gilbert Scott masterpiece was commissioned by Queen Victoria in memory of her Consort who died in 1861.
Although unveiled in 1872 it was 3 years until Albert was ceremonially "seated", facing the Royal Albert Hall.
The image shows the Gothic memorial prior to the addition of Albert's statue, taking residence in an area he cared for immensely in the lead up to, and following, his Great Exhibition of 1851. @ Albert Memorial
Quite a cool bit of Kensington Palace related pop culture trivia here!
Did you know that fashion designer @gilesdeacon_ enlisted the help of @history icroyalpalaces to design the fabulous gown worn by @theebillyporter at the @theacademy awards 2020?
Swipe right to see the @kensingtonpalace 18th century Cupola Room painted by William Kent. @ London, United Kingdom
Built for Henry VIII between 1531 and 1536, St James Palace is the oldest surviving royal palace in the UK and is still the official residence of the monarch (although Buckingham Palace has been the royal home since 1837).
Queen Anne, Charles II, Mary of York, James II, and the Old Pretender, James Francis Edward Stuart were all born and baptised in the palace.
Scroll right to see a map from 1563 and why at the time the palace was considered a rural retreat! Hint: it’s almost off the map far left. @ St James's Palace
Who is making the most of them lungs of London’ today? These kids were, in 1907, at the Round Pond in Kensington Gardens.
Recreated by fans still to this day, it is 51 years since photographer Iain Macmillan took the iconic image that adorned the Beatles last-recorded album, Abbey Road.
He was given only ten minutes to take the photo while he stood on a step-ladder and a policeman held up traffic behind the camera. Pop culture images don’t come much more iconic that this. @ Abbey Road
Repost from @nationalarchivesuk Facebook: Happy birthday to our National Health Service 💙. The #NHS is of central importance to the whole nation, now more than ever.
Here is an advert from May 1948 heralding the new National Health Service, to start on 5 July. #NHSBirthday #NHS72
Image ref: INF 2/66 folio 151
Pubs reopen today! Have fun, stay safe, be respectful. If we don’t get this right then we seem destined to lose even more public houses than we have over recent decades.
The images above show The Earl of Aberdeen Pub at 142 Whitechapel Road c1900 with licensee J H Brimble. The second image shows the building as it is today. @ Whitechapel Road
The first London gay rights marches were in November 1970 with 150 men walking through Highbury Fields to rally against police harassment.
The image shows London’s first official Pride rally on July 1st 1972 to coincide with the three year anniversary of the New York Stonewall Riots on 28th June 1969.
This day in 1978 saw the original production of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical, Evita, open at the Prince Edward Theatre, London.
David Essex, in the role of Che, starred opposite Elaine Paige in the original West End production.
Here in 2020 the stark reality is that London’s theatres face a crisis and 70% will close by the end of the year without government support.
Photographs: Graham Morris/Getty Images @ Prince Edward Theatre London
14th century London.
Although medieval London was beginning to look beyond the city walls there still wasn't too much going on beyond the stone curtain. North of the walls you had markets (Smithfield Market) built up away from City regulations, whilst the rest was boggy Moorland (Moorfields) and ditches (Shoreditch, Houndsditch etc). London Bridge was still the only bridge across the Thames which gave existence to Southwark, again just out of reach of the Lord Mayor and his Aldermen. The Fleet River was still a very heavy waterway through the city to the west of the wall whilst churches would have dominated the timber skyline, with wooden St. Paul's taking the crown of the tallest building in the city.
During the Second World War, General Charles de Gaulle led France’s government-in-exile, the French National Committee, and set up the headquarters of the Free French Forces at 4 Carlton Gardens in St James’s in late July 1940. Later he was the founding force behind the Fifth Republic and served as the President of France for 10 years.
Today President Macron presented London with the Legion d'honneur, a centuries-old order of merit for military and civil personnel in France
Macron wrote in the lead up to today’s visit: "Dear British friends, you are leaving the European Union but you are not leaving Europe.
"The French know what they owe the British, who allowed our Republic to live.
"I am coming to London in June to award the city the Legion d'Honneur, in tribute to the immense courage of a whole country and people." @ Carlton Gardens SW1
Today is the Church of England Feast Day of social reformers and philanthropists Samuel and Henrietta Barnett.
The couple were associated with the establishment of the first university settlement, Toynbee Hall, in Whitechapel in 1884, and also the East End Dwellings Company whose housing blocks you may have seen around east London.
The idea of university settlements was to embed educated and wealthy students within a poor society and in Barnett's words: 'to learn as much as to teach; to receive as much to give'.
Above: a photo of the Barnetts, an 1890 smoking room debate at Toynbee Hall, the Oxbridge design of the building (shot in 1900), Ravenscroft Dwellings at Columbia Road. @ Toynbee Hall
Regram• @grenfell_united Today marks 3 years since #Grenfell. Please join us at 6pm on our YouTube channel (link in bio) to remember the 72 loved ones we lost. They remain forever in our hearts. 💚
Holy Trinity Church, Clapham.
William Wilberforce and 'the Clapham Sect' worshipped in this church, the plaque picture damaged by a WW2 bomb. Their campaigning resulted in the abolition of slavery in British Dominions, 1833.
The Clapham group were evangelical Anglicans who shared common political and social views concerning the liberation of slaves, partly composed of members from Oxford and Cambridge, where the Vicar of Holy Trinity Church had preached to students.
Some of the group, Granville Sharp, Thomas Clarkson and William Wilberforce, were responsible for the founding in 1787 of Sierra Leone as a settlement for some of the African-Americans freed by the British during the American Revolutionary war.
Click the link on my profile to sign a petition to have William Wilberforce commemorated in Trafalgar Square, and show future generations we chose to stand on the right side of history. Share with your friends if you can. 🙏
@ Holy Trinity Clapham
Objective: Erect a statue to William Wilberforce in London's Trafalgar Square
Reason: There remains no statue of William Wilberforce in London almost two centuries after his campaigning led to the Slavery Abolition Act 1833. Although he was given the prestige of burial in Westminster Abbey he remains hidden from the public gaze. The time is now to have his likeness cast and placed on a plinth for the country and world to see that we honour freedom over oppression.
Position: In a symbolic gesture William Wilberforce could take the place of General Charles James Napier or Major General Sir Henry Havelock who have not lasted the test of time regarding their relevance, and represent an era of colonialism and war in India.
Question: Who do we want to honour in London's most famous square? Which picture of British history do we want to frame for the world and future generations? You decide.
Erect a statue of William Wilberforce in Trafalgar Square
Repost from @museumoflondon
The statue of Robert Milligan has stood uncomfortably outside the Museum of London Docklands for a long time, one of only three museums in the UK to address the history of the transatlantic slave trade.
Robert Milligan was a prominent British Slave trader who, by the time of his death in 1809, owned 2 sugar plantations and 526 slaves in Jamaica. A statue made by Sir Richard Westmacott was moved in 1997 to West India Quay, opposite the Museum of London Docklands, in honour of Milligan’s ‘genius, perseverance and guardian care’, as a commemoration to his achievements.
The Museum of London recognises that the monument is part of the ongoing problematic regime of white-washing history, which disregards the pain of those who are still wrestling with the remnants of the crimes Milligan committed against humanity. At the Museum of London we stand against upholding structures that reproduce violence, and have previously engaged in interventions that critically engage with pro-slavery lobbying.
We are committed to the processes of learning and unlearning as fostered in our London, Sugar & Slavery gallery, which opened in 2007 at the Museum of London Docklands. This gallery tells the history of the transatlantic slave trade and London’s involvement as once the fourth largest slaving port in the world. The museum, being another physical manifestation of slavery situated in an old sugar warehouse, constantly challenges the contentious nature of this history.
Now more than ever at a time when Black Lives Matter is calling for an end to public monuments honouring slave owners, we advocate for the statue of Robert Milligan to be removed on the grounds of its historical links to colonial violence and exploitation.
We are currently working with a consortium to remove this statue and are aware of other legacies and landmarks within the area. The statue presently stands shrouded with placards and is now an object of protest, we believe these protests should remain as long as the statue remains.
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