The overlays that highlight 17th century London features are approximate and derived from Wenceslaus Hollar’s maps:

Open location in Google Maps: 53.744341, -0.332443

4 Annotations

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Kingston upon Hull usually abbreviated to Hull, is a city and unitary authority in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England. It lies upon the River Hull at its confluence with the Humber estuary, 25 miles (40 km) inland from the North Sea.
The town of Hull was founded late in the 12th century. The monks of Meaux Abbey needed a port where the wool from their estates could be exported. They chose a place at the confluence of the rivers Hull and Humber to build a quay.
The exact year the town was founded is not known but it was first mentioned in 1193. Renamed Kings-town upon Hull by King Edward I in 1299, Hull has been a market town, military supply port, trading hub, fishing and whaling centre, and industrial metropolis. Hull was an early theatre of battle in the English Civil Wars.…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

All of England suffered from outbreaks of plague in the 17th century; in Hull they were in 1602-4 and 1637. In the last outbreak about 10% of the population of Hull died, including the mayor.

The outbreak of civil war in 1642 led to a scramble for saltpeter and other military supplies. Parliament had an immediate advantage due to its control of the gunpowder mills in London, Portsmouth and Hull.

Consequently in April 1642, as the country moved towards civil war, King Charles attempted to enter Hull. The governor, Sir John Hotham, held a meeting with some parliamentarians in a room in his house known as the plotting room, and they decided to refuse the King entry.

King Charles was determined to take Hull, but the navy supported parliament and the town could be reinforced and supplied by sea. A royalist army occupied the rest of the north of England, but Hull remained a parliamentary outpost.

In July 1642 a royalist army laid siege to Hull. However, at the end of that month, the defenders marched out and routed the royalists. The siege was then lifted. A second siege began in September 1643. This siege ended in October when, again, the defenders went out and defeated the royalists in battle. The civil wars ended in 1646.

In the late 17th century trade boomed in Hull. Exports of grain and wool continued to flourish, as did imports from Scandinavia. Shipbuilding also boomed.

In the 1690's travel writer Celia Fiennes described Hull: 'the buildings of Hull are very neat (it has) good streets. It’s a good trading town by means of the great river Humber that ebbs and flows like the sea. We entered the town of Hull from the South over 2 drawbridges and gates. In the town, there is a hospital called Trinity House for sailors’ widows. There is a good, large church in Hull.'

Also in the late 17th century the fortifications around Hull were modernized. From the mid-16th century there had been a castle on the East bank of the Humber with 2 forts or blockhouses North and South of it. The castle was rebuilt and the Southern blockhouse was rebuilt. A new triangular fort was built which included the citadel and the southern fort within its walls.

By the 18th century ,Hull was an outlet for manufactured goods from the fast-growing towns of Yorkshire. Goods like tools and cutlery were exported. Raw materials for the industrial towns were imported into Hull. One import was iron from Sweden and Russia. Materials for shipbuilding such as timber, hemp, pitch, and flax were also imported. Exports included grain and other foodstuffs. There were many whalers operating from Hull. Whales were hunted for their blubber, which was melted to make oil and for whalebone.

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Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Rembrandt Van Rijn, fleeing from a messy love life and bankruptcy, arrived in the Humber port oF Hull in 1661, staying for a year.

Some critics claim that Portrait of a Man with Arms Akimbo might have been painted by Rembrandt during his time in Yorkshire.
Simon Green, head of Museums and Galleries in Hull said that whilst it was impossible to make claims that any particular paintings were completed there, he welcomed the association with the artist.
“It is nice to know that we can connect him to the city …” he said. …

Far from being isolated from the rest of the world, Hull had been at the center of links to the North European continent for centuries.
The Dutch links can also be seen in the city’s architecture and Hull would have been an obvious destination for the great artist.
“Travel in that period was not what it is today – it was exceptional but travel across the North Sea from the Low Countries to Hull would have been less exceptional. Many people would have been doing it; families would have had links and sailors would have had connections as a matter of routine,” said Mr. Green.

It is believed Rembrandt had a studio at the High Street during his stay in Hull, where it is claimed he completed a number of paintings and drawings of local notables. A fire at Maister House in 1743 is thought to have destroyed much of the work he completed as well as taking the lives of 3 women and a child.

At least one East Riding family is known to have owned 2 portraits by Rembrandt although their whereabouts are not now known. The artist died in Amsterdam in 1669.…

I wonder if Charles II knew this? Should have put him to work! "Pepys and the Night Watch" has a nice ring to it, even if he did decline to ride during the Venner Uprising.

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


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