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

Open location in Google Maps: 51.470276, 0.076282

1893 text

Shooter’s Hill, Kent, between the eighth and ninth milestones on the Dover road. It was long a notorious haunt of highwaymen. The custom was to leave the bodies of criminals hanging until the bones fell to the ground.

This text comes from a footnote on a diary entry in the 1893 edition edited by Henry B. Wheatley.

2 Annotations

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Celia Fiennes, who in 1697 proceeded out of London along the Dover Road, wrote in her diary of stopping at "Shuttershill, on top of which hill you see a vast prospect ...some lands clothed with trees, others with grass and flowers, gardens, orchards, with all sorts of herbage and tillage, with severall little towns all by the river, Erith, Leigh, Woolwich etc., quite up to London, Greenwich, Deptford, Black Wall, the Thames twisting and turning it self up and down bearing severall vessells and men of warre on it ..."

On 11 April 1661, diarist Samuel Pepys mentions passing under "the man that hangs upon Shooter's Hill and a filthy sight it was to see how his flesh is shrunk to his bones." (presumably a highwayman hanged and left to rot as a warning to other criminals - at 'Gibbet Field', now part of the local golf course).…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

L&M: “A highwayman: it was common to erect gallows at the scene of the crime. The body of the malefactor would sometimes be soaked in tar to preserve it. Shooter’s Hill, about eight miles out of London, was one of the most dangerous points on the Dover Road; the way was steep, narrow and fringed by woods. Many robberies were committed there until, under an act of 1739, a new road was built up the hill.”

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