London Archive

  • How well do you know your way around medieval London? Try this quiz of various sites around England's largest city.

    Medieval London Quiz

    How well do you know your way around medieval London? Try this quiz of various sites around England's largest city.

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  • Skeletons discovered last year in London were victims of the Black Death, according to new research announced yesterday. Furthermore, archaeologists believe that have found an emergency burial ground created in 1348 for victim of the pandemic.

    Archaeologists discover London’s Black Death mass grave

    Skeletons discovered last year in London were victims of the Black Death, according to new research announced yesterday. Furthermore, archaeologists believe that have found an emergency burial ground created in 1348 for victim of the pandemic.

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  • Looking for a cool name to call your drinking establishment? Check out what the names of these taverns from medieval London.

    Medieval Tavern Names

    Looking for a cool name to call your drinking establishment? Check out what the names of these taverns from medieval London.

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  • 
This article is concerned with the relationship between life stages and a person’s place in urban society. The two life stages studied here are the end of youth and the onset of old age, that is to say the two stages at either end of that period in life when men were most active economically, socially, and politically, when they were expected to build a family and run a business.

    Youth and Old Age in Late Medieval London

    This article is concerned with the relationship between life stages and a person’s place in urban society. The two life stages studied here are the end of youth and the onset of old age, that is to say the two stages at either end of that period in life when men were most active economically, socially, and politically, when they were expected to build a family and run a business.

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  • A Male Transvestite Prostitution In 14th Century London: The Testimony of John Rykener By Erkan Oruçoğlu Published Online (2013) Introduction: Studies of sexuality, homosexuality, and sex in public places, show that […]

    A Male Transvestite Prostitution In 14th Century London: The Testimony of John Rykener

    A Male Transvestite Prostitution In 14th Century London: The Testimony of John Rykener By Erkan Oruçoğlu Published Online (2013) Introduction: Studies of sexuality, homosexuality, and sex in public places, show that […]

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  • The culinary manuscripts of the Middle Ages are increasingly a concern of those interested in social history -- among others;(1) yet a significant impediment to research on Middle English culinary matters remains in the remarkable fact that there are still at least six sizeable collections of recipes that have never been edited and/or printed at all, as well as about a dozen more that have been only selectively collated in editions of material taken primarily from other manuscripts.

    The Middle English culinary recipes in MS Harley 5401: an edition and commentary

    The culinary manuscripts of the Middle Ages are increasingly a concern of those interested in social history -- among others;(1) yet a significant impediment to research on Middle English culinary matters remains in the remarkable fact that there are still at least six sizeable collections of recipes that have never been edited and/or printed at all, as well as about a dozen more that have been only selectively collated in editions of material taken primarily from other manuscripts.

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  • The city had always, even from Roman times, a great deal of control over its own governance.

    The Government of Medieval London

    The city had always, even from Roman times, a great deal of control over its own governance.

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  • Edward the Black Prince died in the palace of Westminster, after years of debilitating illness, on Trinity Sunday, 8 June 1376. There has been little or no discussion by historians of why the prince should have chosen Canterbury for burial, when Westminster abbey was already well-established as the royal mausoleum, or any discussion at all of another matter to which the prince gave attention in his very last days, namely the grant of a charter of disaffor- estation to the community of Wirral in his earldom and county of Chester.

    The Last Week of the Life of Edward the Black Prince

    Edward the Black Prince died in the palace of Westminster, after years of debilitating illness, on Trinity Sunday, 8 June 1376. There has been little or no discussion by historians of why the prince should have chosen Canterbury for burial, when Westminster abbey was already well-established as the royal mausoleum, or any discussion at all of another matter to which the prince gave attention in his very last days, namely the grant of a charter of disaffor- estation to the community of Wirral in his earldom and county of Chester.

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  • A review of the Twilight Tour at the Tower of London!

    Twilight Tours at the Tower of London!

    A review of the Twilight Tour at the Tower of London!

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  • My trip to St. Augustine's Tower in Hackney, London.

    St. Augustine’s Tower – Hackney, London

    My trip to St. Augustine's Tower in Hackney, London.

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  • This article attempts to record systematically all the silkwomen of London who were daughters or wives of London mercers between 1400 and 1499.

    Two dozen and more Silkwomen of Fifteenth-Century London

    This article attempts to record systematically all the silkwomen of London who were daughters or wives of London mercers between 1400 and 1499.

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  • Although historians frequently associate prostitution with a number of social, political and cultural concerns, including society's attitudes toward both women and sexuality, and the spread of venereal disease, remarkably few have made it the central focus of their inquiries.

    The Bankside Stews: Prostitution in London 1161-1546

    Although historians frequently associate prostitution with a number of social, political and cultural concerns, including society's attitudes toward both women and sexuality, and the spread of venereal disease, remarkably few have made it the central focus of their inquiries.

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  • Never-married women were common in the streets and lanes of late medieval London, but few of their wills survive. Philippa Russell is one of only 15 such testators recorded in London probate courts between 1450 and 1500, and her will is especially long and informative.

    Philippa Russell and the Wills of London’s Late Medieval Singlewomen

    Never-married women were common in the streets and lanes of late medieval London, but few of their wills survive. Philippa Russell is one of only 15 such testators recorded in London probate courts between 1450 and 1500, and her will is especially long and informative.

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  • The broad street of Cheapside, Vanessa Harding shows, was a central location in the lives and minds of early modern Londoners. In a crowded city it was a significant open space where public events could be staged and important issues communicated to a wide audience. The everyday reality of shop and market trading — where qualities and values were scrutinized and false dealing punished - enhanced its association with truth and patency. Normally dominated by the authorities, it was on occasion captured by oppositional groups, though their activities tended to reinforce Cheapside's identity as a place of publicity and validation.

    Cheapside: commerce and commemoration

    The broad street of Cheapside, Vanessa Harding shows, was a central location in the lives and minds of early modern Londoners. In a crowded city it was a significant open space where public events could be staged and important issues communicated to a wide audience. The everyday reality of shop and market trading — where qualities and values were scrutinized and false dealing punished - enhanced its association with truth and patency. Normally dominated by the authorities, it was on occasion captured by oppositional groups, though their activities tended to reinforce Cheapside's identity as a place of publicity and validation.

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  • Most Londoners lodged their post obit requests with the Husting Court, the county court of London. The testators were primarily wealthy artisans and merchants, since one needed to possess a substantial amount of property in order to register the details of the division of that property.

    Identifying Women Proprietors in Wills from Fifteenth-Century London

    Most Londoners lodged their post obit requests with the Husting Court, the county court of London. The testators were primarily wealthy artisans and merchants, since one needed to possess a substantial amount of property in order to register the details of the division of that property.

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  • Despite the general rule that sexual offenses were matters for the church courts, in some cases the city of London took charge of these offenses. Prostitution and procuring, for example, involved public order; the temporal courts dealt with them for that reason, so that the same people might be prosecuted in both jusrisdictions for the same offense.

    The Interrogation of of a Male Transvestite Prostitute in Fourteenth Century London

    Despite the general rule that sexual offenses were matters for the church courts, in some cases the city of London took charge of these offenses. Prostitution and procuring, for example, involved public order; the temporal courts dealt with them for that reason, so that the same people might be prosecuted in both jusrisdictions for the same offense.

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  • Thirteen skeletons have been uncovered lying in two carefully laid out rows on the edge of Charterhouse Square at Farringdon, and are believed to be up to 660 years old.

    Burial ground discovered in London may be victims of Black Death

    Thirteen skeletons have been uncovered lying in two carefully laid out rows on the edge of Charterhouse Square at Farringdon, and are believed to be up to 660 years old.

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  • The unusually full medieval records of the guild of London tailors, known from 1503 as the Merchant Taylors' Company, provides a rare opportunity to assess the variety of roles which these organisations played in late-medieval London.

    The tailors of London and their guild, c.1300-1500

    The unusually full medieval records of the guild of London tailors, known from 1503 as the Merchant Taylors' Company, provides a rare opportunity to assess the variety of roles which these organisations played in late-medieval London.

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  • This incident has been fatally embroidered by many local historians, taking their cue from various sources, so that the popular accounts have distorted what was already a confusing set of events.

    The Danish attacks on London and Southwark in ‘1016’

    This incident has been fatally embroidered by many local historians, taking their cue from various sources, so that the popular accounts have distorted what was already a confusing set of events.

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  • An impressive array of data, ranging over the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, has been collected by two full-time researchers, James Galloway and Margaret Murphy. Of primary importance for the project are demesne farming accounts and inquisitions post mortem (detailing manorial land and other assets, especially again those of the demesne), both of which sources survive in very large numbers for the period under review. Also, the project incorpor- ates large amounts of data from urban records, particularly those dealing with merchants who were prominent in organizing London's food supply.

    City and Countryside in Medieval England

    An impressive array of data, ranging over the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, has been collected by two full-time researchers, James Galloway and Margaret Murphy. Of primary importance for the project are demesne farming accounts and inquisitions post mortem (detailing manorial land and other assets, especially again those of the demesne), both of which sources survive in very large numbers for the period under review. Also, the project incorpor- ates large amounts of data from urban records, particularly those dealing with merchants who were prominent in organizing London's food supply.

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  • Was Warbeck just another in a long line of pretenders to the throne of England, or did his appearance in Ireland in 1491 prove the innocence 
of Richard III, whom most historians accuse of murdering his nephews, the Princes in the Tower?

    The Curious Career and Uncertain Past of Perkin Warbeck

    Was Warbeck just another in a long line of pretenders to the throne of England, or did his appearance in Ireland in 1491 prove the innocence of Richard III, whom most historians accuse of murdering his nephews, the Princes in the Tower?

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  • The wider study of an ostensibly menial activity that, with certain notable exceptions, offered insecure and poorly paid employment to illiterate women of low status is certainly beset with problems.

    A Marginal Occupation? The Medieval Laundress and her Work

    The wider study of an ostensibly menial activity that, with certain notable exceptions, offered insecure and poorly paid employment to illiterate women of low status is certainly beset with problems.

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  • While the Peasants’ Revolt has been studied in depth by generations of medieval historians, the same cannot be said of England’s foreign-born inhabitants, and the largest group among these, the so-called Flemings (a term which was also applied to those from other principalities in the Low Countries besides Flanders).

    Flemings in the Peasants’ Revolt, 1381

    While the Peasants’ Revolt has been studied in depth by generations of medieval historians, the same cannot be said of England’s foreign-born inhabitants, and the largest group among these, the so-called Flemings (a term which was also applied to those from other principalities in the Low Countries besides Flanders).

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  • This is a summary of the The London Medieval Graduate Network Inaugural Conference by Rachel Scott. The conference was held on November 2nd at King's College London.

    ‘In the Beginning’: The London Medieval Graduate Network Inaugural Conference

    This is a summary of the The London Medieval Graduate Network Inaugural Conference by Rachel Scott. The conference was held on November 2nd at King's College London.

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  • This essay examines the waste disposal options used in Ancient Rome and Medieval London, two cities that dealt with sewage in different ways.

    The Disposal of Human Waste: A comparison between Ancient Rome and Medieval London

    This essay examines the waste disposal options used in Ancient Rome and Medieval London, two cities that dealt with sewage in different ways.

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