The American Cockney is back – I have been remiss however better late than never, wouldn’t you say! Actually my lack of follow-up is greatly due to having such a grand time in my adopted home. Random new friends (hopefully) and Regina ask what I do with my time, I always say, not-much, when I seem to fill my days with ambling about central London with no direction intended except to fill my hours visiting, revisiting and generally having good fun. I have discovered many things, some are historic, some are interesting and all are iconic!
I am an average adult student at City Lit – I was lousy at math.
A failed historian
Never was the valedictorian – however I have engrossed myself in London history courses and it has turned into a highlight of my first year and a half in London and also an important part of my life’s ever growing edge! I have completed Medieval London, Tudor London and recently Stewart London! This September we begin London 1660 -1714, concerning the plague, fire and Revolution! A few interesting tidbits of each period – if I take liberties it is not intended; only an American’s mis-understanding:
Romans established Londinium at about AD 43 as a trading outpost – Everywhere, I travel it seems the Romans were there first. Roman Legions withdrew in AD 410 – then Saxons and Vikings were in-rule.
St. Paul’s built in AD 604 – (I was surprised St. Paul’s (home) , the Tower (protect) , Queenhyth (supplies) all seems so easy!
Queenhyth was first dock and is still the only one existing, next to Blackfriars Bridge (visit this place a great mosaic timeline)
Alfred the Great, AD886 unites all of London!
Saxon King Edward the Confessor builds Palace of Westminster and the Abbey in 1042. Most important date in England, 1066, William the Conqueror defeats Harold the last Saxon King at the Battle of Hastings and in anointed King of England!
P.S. – We study these facts and historical debates over 12 weeks and then on one class we walk to the places the events occurred – how great is that! Remember it all begins and ends on the Thymes River! This was my favorite class for many reasons:
1. It covers about 1500 years
2. Dark Ages, Myths, King Author ?, Merlin ?, Stonehenge?, The 9 standards, Queen Matilda, Thomas Becket, Black Knight, Black Death
I must take this course again! Pay more attention!
Tudor London- 1485-1603
King Henry VII begins the dynasty followed by King Henry VIII then Edward VII, Mary I and ending with Queen Elizabeth I. ( not all included , just the significant for the Tudors)
Mayor of London John Grisham and his son Thomas were as important to London success during this period as any of the Royals in making London , the envy of the World!
The Plague came in 1572 – 1579 – 1582 – half of London died! It took 200 years to rebuild the population – great success and also great tragedy!
William Shakespeare, Marlowe , Johnson – at their best. Theatres built in Southwark (a naughty place) the Rose 1587 the Globe 1599, brothels, taverns – outside the city proper and everything is legal, ha!
Luther nails his 95 thesis on Wittenberg church.
Henry VIII becomes head of English church, annulled his marriag , marries Anne, executes Anne, marries Seymour. Wow this was convoluted but so diabolical, important and a big fabric to English Royal history!
Also in this period -Somerset House, Royal Exchange, St. James Palace, Drapers Hall, Bridewell Palace, Hampton Court – the list is long and Royal – London has outgrown it’s original foundations! My head is spinning in absorbing in these classes – remember my America does not start in depth for another 100 years, Wow!
Stewart London – 1603 – 1700
James 1st of Scotland becomes King of England – he is flamboyant, organized and prepared but also, he is a Scot! He had two sons, Henry, being groomed to be King and Charles the lesser.
Henry died at 18 of fever – Charles became King in 1625.
London moved toward the west – Covent Garden, Bloomsbury Square, Lincoln’s Inn Field, all aristocratic gardens for the noble and gentile society of the rich and powerful of London! The
Strand became less important, Court culture was important to aristocratic class. James 1st. believed Monarchy derived power from God. Seeds were planted for civil unrest.
Queen Anne of Denmark never moved to London.
Civil war in 1642 – Oliver Cromwell and the Parliamentarians vs. the Royalists Cavaliers. Charles 1st. defeated and beheaded -Cromwell ruled for 11 years – until Charles 2nd came back after Cromwell’s death to re-establish the Monarchy! After this period the King and Royal Family were never again what came before – a little watered down in control of the U.K.
Well , this has been my educational historical adventure – not as much fun as my lists however more fulfilling and I have so much more to learn and more classes to take! Interesting fact – my classes are 95% native British – again somewhat surprised, now you know why I do not speak up in class , but everyone is a reserved kind personage which is what I would expect!
Until the next time – I will tell of a few events I have attended.
Thanks for giving me some time – the American Cockney, out.