Browsing Archive: June, 2020

Ten Things To Know About Mary Seacole

Posted by Hazel Baker on Thursday, June 18, 2020, In : Victorian 

Mary Seacole is credited as being a brave doctress and entrepreneur. There was an inner strength within Mary Seacole which made her overcome many barriers. Here are some facts about her. 



1. Born in Jamaica

Mary Seacole was born Mary Jane Grant on 23 November 1805 in Kingston, Jamaica. Her father was a Scottish soldier, and her mother was a practitioner of traditional Jamaican medicine. In 1655 Jamaica was seized by the British. At the time Mary was born, most Jamaicans worked as slaves. Howeve...


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Ten Things To Know About Florence Nightingale

Posted by Hazel Baker on Thursday, June 18, 2020, In : Victorian 

Florence Nightingale is credited as the founder of modern nursing. She strived to improve the standards of nursing, notably during the Crimean war. There was something special and extraordinary about Florence Nightingale and here are some facts about her.



1. ‘International Nurses Day’ is on her birthday

International Nurses' Day is celebrated around the world each year on 12 May, the anniversary of Florence Nightingale's birth. Her birthday is also celebrated as International CFS (chronic f...


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Other murders in 1888

Posted by Jenny Phillips, Jack the Ripper Tour Guide on Monday, June 15, 2020, In : Victorian 

In 1888 there was a population of 5.5 million people in London. Murder was not that common as there were only 28 killings that year. At least six of these were crimes committed by Jack the Ripper! What about the other killings which are rarely mentioned? 


Apart from Martha Tabram, Mary Anne Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes and Mary Jane Kelly, who were these other women? Well, the first was Emma Smith, a prostitute, who on 3rd April that year was attacked in the stre...


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The Royal Naval Hospital, Greenwich

Posted by Ian McDiarmid, City of London Tour Guide on Saturday, June 13, 2020, In : Greenwich 

London does not really do triumphal architecture in the way continental cities do. It has grown up piecemeal, with a belief in private enterprise, suspicion of autocratic government, and a relatively impecunious monarchy.


Greenwich is in some ways the exception, and one of the best views in all of Britain is to be had looking south at it from Island Gardens on the north bank of the Thames, or better still, as it was meant to be seen, from a boat on the river. It is undeniably grand. However, g...


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A St Pancras Royal Wedding – Well Sort Of!

Posted by Rob Smith, Clerkenwell and Islington Tour Guide on Saturday, June 13, 2020, In : Kings Cross 

The little Old St Pancras church lies to the north of Kings Cross station. Lovely though the church may be it seems an unlikely location for a royal wedding, and indeed it is, but in 1826 a royal wedding of sorts took place there – between Louisa Constance Bouchier Smith and Charles Edward Stuart, Count Roehenstart – pretender to the British throne.

The last of the Stuart monarchs, Queen Anne, died childless in 1714, and the 1701 Act of Settlement prevented Catholics from the throne. This ...


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Shopping For Our History in Kingston-upon-Thames

Posted by Susan Baker, City of London Tour Guide on Saturday, June 13, 2020, In : Local History 

In these strange times we have more time to look more closely at some of the familiar spots in our own locality. So, I had time to stop and study this over-the-top shop frontage in the historic market place of Kingston-upon-Thames – normally full of shoppers but it was very quiet as most shops were still closed. 

At first sight this Grade II listed building might be thought to be Medieval or Tudor but the two dates 1909 and 1929 give away the fact that it is just over 100 years old and built...


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The Old Operating Theatre Museum

Posted by Hazel Baker, London Tour Guide on Thursday, June 11, 2020, In : Things to Do in London 

Up a narrow 52-step spiral staircase and in the attic of the early eighteenth-century church of the old St Thomas' Hospital is the oldest surviving surgical theatre in Europe. Predating anaesthetics and antiseptics, this atmospheric museum offers a unique insight into the history of medicine and surgery. The original timber framed Herb Garret was once used to dry and store herbs for patients' medicines and in 1822 an operating theatre was included. The Old Operating Theatre Museum has a sp...


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Coffee Houses - a hotbed for revolution

Posted by Hazel Baker - London Tour Guide on Saturday, June 6, 2020, In : Eighteenth Century 

Coffeehouses became a hub of news and inevitably a place where new ideas were formed. Boy runners were sent from coffee house to coffee house in order to relay information on major events of the day. After a while coffeehouses became members only clubs in order control the clientele and raise the status of the particular coffeehouse. This conversion of coffee houses into clubs came at the same time as coffee consumption began to decline due to import duties on coffee increased significantly....


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London's Coffeehouses of 18th Century London

Posted by Hazel Baker, London Tour Guide on Friday, June 5, 2020, In : Eighteenth Century 

London's coffeehouse culture and its commerce were intrinsically linked. During the 18th century a new active culture evolved. Coffeehouses sprang up all over London and attracted a variety of patrons with a head for business. The crowd at coffeehouses included doctors, merchants, writers and politicians.

Over two-thousand coffee houses existed in London by the closing of the seventeenth century. Here are some of London's prominent coffeehouses in the 18th century that we didn't have time t...


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