The overlays that highlight 17th century London features are approximate and derived from:

9 Annotations

David Ross McIrvine  •  Link

James writes:

"Fleet Street was named for the River Fleet and later became synonymous for the British Press itself."

Whence the muck-diving contest among the various scribblers in the *Dunciad*, some 2 generations after Sam began his diary, *Dunciad* II 271-364
(1728 edition).

To where Fleet-ditch with disemboguing streams
Rolls the large tribute of dead dogs to Thames,
The king of dikes! than whom no sluice of mud
With deeper sable blots the silver flood.
'Here strip, my children! here at once leap in,
Here prove who best can dash through thick and thin,[326]
And who the most in love of dirt excel,
Or dark dexterity of groping well.
Who flings most filth, and wide pollutes around
The stream, be his the weekly journals bound; 280
A pig of lead to him who dives the best;
A peck of coals a-piece shall glad the rest.'

I think in Pope's day there may have been a rumor (or true tale) that pigs living in the Fleet-ditch muck (certainly there were later rumors of subterranean pigs living in the London sewers and emerging out of Fleet Ditch).
Whether Sam knew this rumor or has any observations about Fleet Ditch, I don't know.

David Ross McIrvine  •  Link

Miniated Porcine Fabulation Misses Main Verb; Barges Bring Bituminous Booby-Prize?

Make that "a rumor... that pigs WERE
living in the Fleet-Ditch muck."

And the peck of coals that the Queen of Dullness offers for the losers is due probably to the fact that coal-barges came up the Fleet in Pope's day, and folks went bobbing for clinkers in Fleet-Ditch.

David Ross McIrvine  •  Link

Well, this all started with the poster who mentioned that Fleet Ditch would stink up the area of Ludgate Hill Sam stopped at on April 9th.

Pedro's citation of Mayhew and the "mud-larks" who dove for coal (and it would be fun if they were called this in Pepys's or Pope's time) reminds me
that I forgot that a "pig of lead" is literally an INGOT of lead--another item (like the coal) that might fall off a barge.

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

The conduit in Fleet street:According to Eliza Picard "Elizabeths London" The Conduit here, was an elaborate one fed by water piped from Paddington via Tyburne and Marylebone. Quote a 'fair tower of stone garnished with images of St Christopher on the top, and angels round about lower down, with sweet sounding bells before them' ... 'it was rebuilt in 1582'.
She {EP] has a section on the water of London and she has spent much time researching.

Nix  •  Link

From Henry Shelley’s “Inns and Taverns of Old London”

By far the most outstanding feature of the Fleet Street of to-day is the number and variety of its newspaper offices; two centuries ago it had a vastly different aspect.

“From thence, along that tipling street,
Distinguish’d by the name of Fleet,
Where Tavern-Signs hang thicker far,
Than Trophies down at Westminster;
And ev’ry Bacchanalian Landlord
Displays his Ensign, or his Standard,
Bidding Defiance to each Brother,
As if at Wars with one another.”

How thoroughly the highway deserved the name of “tipling street” may be inferred from the fact that its list of taverns included but was not exhausted by the Devil, the King’s Head, the Horn, the Mitre, the Cock, the Bolt-in-Tun, the Rainbow, the Cheshire Cheese, Hercules Pillars, the Castle, the Dolphin, the Seven Stars, Dick’s, Nando’s, and Peele’s. No one would recognize in the Anderton’s Hotel of to-day the lineal successor of one of these ancient taverns, and yet it is a fact that that establishment perpetuates the Horn tavern of the fifteenth century. In the early seventeenth century the house was in high favour with the legal fraternity, but its patronage of the present time is of a more miscellaneous character. The present building was erected in 1880.

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