THE FINANCIAL CITY FROM SLAVERY TO HEDGE FUND VIRTUAL WALK
SUNDAY 30th May 2021 6.30pm
This walks looks at the development of the City of London as a financial centre. Its origins were among the money lenders of the Jewish and Italian quarters of Old Jewry and Lombard Street. We continue the story with the introduction of the first commercial companies and the Merchant Adventurers of Elizabethan London, alongside the revival of the cruel trade in Slaves. We walk through the alleyways of the City where innovation went side by side with the introduction of Coffee in the Coffee Houses of Stuart London.
We look at the distinctive architecture of the City as we walk around one of the most specialised market places in the world that once prided itself on the virtues of providing face to face contact.. The financial institutions in the City have encountered many changes since the scandal of the South Sea Bubble and it has weathered them all, so far. It was given a huge boast by the ‘Big Bang’ in Mrs Thatcher’s time. But the consequences of the effects of Brexit and Covid on top of the Internet are not yet clear on the City.
I have walked past this building many times, and only just decided to find out what it was.
It was a Free Hospital, founded by Jonathan Fry, a son of Elizabeth Fry, to provide medical treatment for the poor. It was originally founded in 1836, and had various sites – Carey Street, Bishopsgate, Spitalfields before moving to Kingsland Road Hackney, near my home.
Its mission? ‘to grant immediate relief to the sick poor of every nation and class whatever may be their diseases, on presenting themselves to the charity without letter of recommendation; such letters being always procured with difficulty and often after dangerous delay’.
It became part of the NHS when it was established after WW2 and then closed in 1977.
The good news is that I am starting doing real physical Guided Walks again.
Leo Heaton and I are doing an Archaeology walk every Thursday evening at 6.30. We alternate as the Guide.
The plan is to do another walk in the afternoon. I am also putting together a series of special, repertory walks for London walks running throughout the summer.
Here are the details of the walk on 27th May.
ARCHAEOLOGY OF LONDON WALK
Thursday 6.30pm Exit 3 Bank Underground Station Short Description A TALE OF FOUR CITIES Description Legend says that London was founded as New Troy. Historians believed it was founded as Londinium after the Bridge was built by the legionaries of the Emperor Claudius in AD 43. Archaeologists in the 1970s and 1980s discovered that London was refounded as Lundenwic in the 7th Century and again in the 9th Century when it was called Lundenburg.
This walk tells the epic tale of the uncovering of London’s past by Archaeologists. And provides an insight into the dramatic history of the Capital of Britannia, and how it survived revolts, fires, plagues, and reacted to the decline and fall of the Roman Empire. It became the foremost English City but with periods under Viking and Norman control.
We tell the story in the streets of the City of London, beginning in the valley of the River Walbrook by the Temple of Mithras, and visit many sites where important archaeological discoveries were made, including the Roman Forum, Amphitheatre. Bath Houses, Temples, Roman roads and the City Walls.
An exploration of what happened at the end of the Roman Period, and how the City became first deserted, and then a Saxon, German speaking English City.
The first British Brexit? The Roman Britons kicked out the Romans in 407AD, and, soon, asked them to come back after a catastrophic collapse. Faced with plaque, civil war, invasion, mass immigration, industrial decline, reversion to barter; the authorities struggled against anarchy and descent into a Dark Age.
But was that how it was? Wasn’t it a rather a transition into the Late Antique period in which life for most people went on much as before except paying taxes to local rulers rather than distant Romans? This virtual walk explores why the Roman system in London broke down, and what really was the impact of the end of the Roman system in London? What is the evidence? and can we trust it? Or can we really do nothing much more than guess?
We tramp the virtual streets of London in search of light to shine on the Dark Ages in London.
This is a London Walks event by Kevin Flude, ex Museum of London Archaeology and Museum Curator