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

6 Annotations

Pauline  •  Link

from L&M Companion (first paragraph)
The Bluecoat school for orphans and other poor children--mostly boys--founded in 1552 under the authority of the city corporation and occupying the site of the dissolved Greyfriars monastery in Newgate St. Its buildings were badly damaged in the Fire and the children dispersed to Ware and Hertford. By 1680 the school was rebuilt, and by 1687 housed close to 800 pupils. In 1892 it was transferred to Horsham in Sussex.

From the 1670s Pepys was to have a close connection with it. He took a leading part in the establishment in 1673 of the Royal Mathematical School in which 40 boys were trained in the science of navigation for the royal and mercantile navies. After his appointment as a Governor of the foundation in 1675 he produced two masterly memoranda--one on the administration of the Mathematical School (1677), the other on the grammar school (1682)--but ceased to attend meetings for about ten years in protest against the appointment of a master of the former who besides knowing nothing of navigation had never seen the sea. In 1692 he began a remarkable single-handed campaign to reform the financial administration of the Hospital and to improve the standard of teaching in the Mathematical School. Faced by obstruction on the governing body, he presented a report which set out his charges in crushing detail to the Lord Mayor and Aldermen. When, in turn, the Lord Mayor blocked discussion, Pepys forced his hand by publishing pamphlets. He won: by 1699 his critics were flattened and the two principal offenders (the treasurer and the mathematics master) replaced. Pepys was made Vice-President; but by then was too ill to do more. There remains in his library, besides a charming coloured drawing of a boy and girl of the Hospital, a vast manuscript of 800-odd pages in which are collected his papers on the disputes. It is as impressive a memorial as any other to the qualities that made him so efficient and so formidable a public servant.

Australian Susan  •  Link

The boy on the coin which Ruben has found a picture of is wearing the characteristic Blue Coat which gives the school its name. This is still worn on special occasions by pupils. See their website:
You will also see that the school is now co-ed. Wonder what Sam would have made of that! The website does not seem to have a history section - do hope Sam's work is remembered in the school.

Bill  •  Link

Christ's Hospital, Newgate Street, a school on the site of the Greyfriars Monastery, founded by Edward VI., June 26, 1553, ten days before his death, as a hospital for poor fatherless children and others. A sermon by Bishop Ridley in the preceding year had been the exciting cause and gave permanent form to this and two other princely endowments; but the more important preliminary concessions had been secured many years before the signature of the dying boy was affixed to the "Charter of Incorporation of the Royal Hospitals." The hospital is commonly called "The Blue Coat School," from the dress worn by the boys, which is of the same age as the foundation of the hospital. The dress is a blue coat or gown (the yellow petticoat, or "yellow," as it was called, having been discontinued), a red leather girdle round the waist, yellow stockings, and a clergyman's band round the neck. The flat black cap of woollen yarn, about the size of a saucer, was dropped some thirty years ago.

April 21, 1657. — I saw Christ Church and Hospital, a very goodly Gothic building; the hall, school, and lodgings in great order for bringing up many hundreds of poor children of both sexes; it is an exemplary charity. There is a large picture at one end of the hall representing the Governors, Founders, and the Institution.—Evelyn.
---London, Past and Present. H.B. Wheatley, 1891.

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.



  • Apr