Browsing Archive: April, 2021

Was The Crowd Not Amused By Queen Victoria?

Posted by Susan Baker, City of London Tour Guide on Wednesday, April 28, 2021, In : Victorian 

If you go through the Blackfriars Bridge underpass on the south bank of the Thames look out for this tiled replica of a picture which appeared in the Illustrated London News on 13 November 1869.


It was eight years since Queen Victoria’s beloved husband Prince Albert had died and since then she had been in deep mourning and had very rarely appeared in public. Her and the monarchy’s popularity had plummeted. In an effort to change this, the Prime Minister William Gladstone had persuaded her ...


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The Bard's Birthday

Posted by Dr Stephen King, Westminster Tour Guide on Friday, April 23, 2021, In : Tudor 

The 23rd of April is Saint George’s day, but also William Shakespeare’s birthday (1564) and death day (1616). He was born and died in Stratford-Upon Avon, where you can visit his childhood home and actually stand in the room he was (probably) born in. As a young man Shakespeare moved to London, although scholars are not sure when or indeed why.


One of the first records of Shakespeare in London is when the drunk, drugged and hugely bitter critic Robert Greene in 1592 refers to the new write...


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Gun Salute at Woolwich Barracks

Posted by Hazel Baker - London Guided Walks on Saturday, April 10, 2021, In : Local History 
Today gun salutes marked the death of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, took place across the UK and at sea. Saluting batteries fired 41 rounds, one every minute in cities including London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast. The Royal Artillery Barracks, Woolwich was the home of the Royal Artillery from 1776 until 2007. The artillery fired field guns dating from the First World War – the same guns fired for Philip’s wedding to the Queen in 1947 and at her Coronation six years later in ...
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London's First Theatre

Posted by Hazel Baker, London Tour Guide on Saturday, April 10, 2021, In : Theatre 

Well, London's first two theatres were built in Shoreditch. The first theatre was built in 1576 and was called The Theatre, not only London's first ever permanent Playhouse. And it was also Britain's the benefit of shortage, much like Southern was that it was just outside the walls of the city of London.

Even though plays were highly censored. The mayor of London had banned players from being performed within the City walls, but he couldn't ban them out of it. Before specific theatre buildings...


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Why did the Globe theatre close?

Posted by Hazel Baker - London Tour Guide on Saturday, April 10, 2021, In : Theatre 

Shakespeare's and John Fletcher's Henry VIII was originally a script called "All is True", which was a historical thriller. The play was based on the divorce of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon. Sir Thomas Lovell is a minor in the play. He's present at the Duke of Buckingham's trial and execution, and also at the festivities at Wolsey's residence. Later on in the play, Lovell is accosted by Bishop Gardner while he's on his way to inform the King that queen Anne is in labor, but may not su...


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Medieval Shoreditch

Posted by Hazel Baker - London Tour Guide on Saturday, April 10, 2021, In : Medieval 

Medieval Shoreditch was still mostly rural. The doomsday book shows that 'shore ditch' had been part of the parish of Stepney before becoming its own parish.

After the building of the first version of St. Leonard's church in the 13th century. And for many years, it was the main focal point of Shoreditch. Indeed. Many of you may be not aware that St. Leonard's church is actually featured in the nursery rhyme, Oranges and Lemons. 

Oranges and lemons

Say the bells of Saint Clements

You owe me five f...


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Richard Tarleton - An Elizabethan Clown

Posted by Hazel Baker - London Tour Guide on Saturday, April 10, 2021, In : Elizabethan 

Richard Tarleton was the most famous clown of the Elizabethan age. 

He had a gift of pleasing the groundlings of the Curtain theatre in Shoreditch and royalty alike. He was Queen Elizabeth I’s favourite clown and became her Court Jester and Groom of the Queen’s Chamber. In this rôle he: …told the Queen more of her faults than most of her chaplains, and cured her melancholy better than all of her physicians. 


The date of his birth is not recorded but he died on 3 September 1588. He wrote ...


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Holywell Nunnery, Shoreditch

Posted by Hazel Baker on Friday, April 9, 2021, In : Medieval 

1158 Holywell nunnery was founded just West of Shoreditch High Street. By the time of its demise in 1539 (due to the dissolution of the monasteries) it had become the ninth wealthiest nunnery in the country.

In total, the area was about eight acres with the church. As I said, founded in 1158, just South of where New Inn Yard is today and the museum of London's archeological department, MOLA have done excavations there. You're able to buy the report for £22 pounds and there they found a number...


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Regency Dress: Costume Dramas

Posted by London tour guide Hazel Baker on Tuesday, April 6, 2021, In : Regency 
I love a good costume drama. There's something quite magical about stepping back in time and seeing what an era from the past was like. That's not just to say about the costumes, but also the architecture and also how people lived; the accepted etiquette, technological advancements and scientific understandings.

Looking back at the long list of period dramas I have watched, I must confess to being a bit of a junky for them. My first love for film came when I was nine years old and I had chicke...
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