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

Open location in Google Maps: 51.550727, -0.126263

14 Annotations

First Reading

Pauline  •  Link

From L&M Companion
A thriving Middlesex village on the road north from the city--the Great North Road--and a favourite resort of Londoners. The bulk of its houses lay between 2 and 3 miles from the Standard on Cornhill, but the parish included straggling clumps of dwellings all the way to its end on the slope of Highgate Hill, and included Newington Green, Kingsland (where Pepys had been put out to nurse as a baby), Stroud Green and Tollington--altogether, in 1664, some 460 houses. Traversed by the New River, it was famous for its pastures, dairies and refreshment houses, as well as for the ponds on which Londoners shot duck. Pepys knew the district well as a boy, when he played with his bow and arrows in the fields and had cakes and ale with his father at the King's Head. Towards the end of the diary period he was in the habit of taking his wife there for an evening airing by coach--'our Grand Tour' (vii.126).

vicente  •  Link

Famous connections: Thomas paine and Charles for starters http://encyclopedia.thefreedictio…
Click the link for more information. and it is believed that he wrote passages of the Rights of Man Thomas Paine's Declaration of the Rights of Man :

vicente  •  Link

Errata Charles = Charles Dickens of Oliver and other famous stories.

Pedro.  •  Link

Famous connections.

The Angel at Islington on the monopoly board? Well it gets rid of one of the music/poker annotations.

language hat  •  Link

Around the year 1000 it was Gislandune.
(Probably 'Gisla's hill,' Gisla being an Old English name.)

Rex Gordon  •  Link

Islington (from Ackroyd, London: The Biography, pp 520-21)

The Romans fought their battles there against Boudicca; there is evidence of a Roman encampment at Barnsbury, and the area of King's Cross was once known as Battle Bridge. A now forgotten track, Hagbush Lane, exists beneath the Liverpool Road. An ancient British settlement lies to the immediate south-east of Islington Green. The Saxon King Aethelbert granted Islington to the canons of St Paul's (hence the name Canonbury), and it appears in the Domesday Book that the ecclesiastical authorities owned approximately five hundred acres of territory. Fitz-Stephen depicts the area as "fields for pasture and open meadows, very pleasant, into which the river waters do flow, and mills are turned about with a delightful noise ... beyond them an immense forests extends itself, beautified with woods and groves, and full of the lairs and coverts of wild beasts ... and game, stags, bucks, bears and wild bulls." ...

(F)or some thousand years it was a haven of relaxation and entertainment for those ordinarily trapped within the city. In the time of Henry II (reigned 1154-89) "citizens played ball, exercised on horseback and took delight in birds, such as sparrow hawks, goss hawks, and in dogs for following the sports of the fields of Iseldon." In the sixteenth century Stow described Islington as a place of "fields commodius for the citizens therein to walke, shoote and otherwise to recreate and refresh their dulled spirits in the sweete and wholesome ayre." Immediately south of the Angel, fields were set aside for traget practice; on eighteenth century maps almost two hundred "marks" can be discerned, with the most proficient archers being awarded titles such as the "Marquis of Islington," the "Marquess of Clerkenwill" and the "Earl of Pancridge."

It was in Islington that Sir Walter Raleigh first smoked tobacco; the site of his house later became an inn for the citizens seeking refreshment of another kind. Islington was famous for its hostelries, among them the Three Hats, Copenhagen House, White Conduit House and the Angel itself, which gave its salubrious name to an entire district. Here also were Sadler's Wells, Islington Spa, the New Wells, the Pantheon in Spa Fields, the English Grotto in Rosoman Street, the London Spa, Merlin's Cave, Hockley-in-the-Hole, Bagnigge Wells, St. Chad's Well in Gray's Inn Road and Penny's Folly on the Pentonville Road.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

Wencaslas Hollar (Czech/British, 1607-1677)

View of London from the Islington spa, two men seated seen from behind in the foreground at right, looking at view of London, with St Paul's seen in distance, pinnacled tower at right and three towers at left; three men practising archery at left.
Etching, 1665…

Petra RM  •  Link

Upper Street, Islington (destination for Pepys on May 12th 1661), begins where St John's Street meets Goswell Road. This would be roughly under the 'N' of 'London' on the scroll in "Newcourt's An Exact Delineation of the Cities of London... Drawn in 1658, and published in facsimile by Edward Stanford 1863" (…)

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

Islington, an extensive suburban parish, extending north from Clerkenwell to Highgate and Hornsey, and east and west from Shoreditch, Hackney, and Stoke Newington to St. Pancras. It is 3 1/4 miles long, 2 1/8 wide, and 10 1/4 miles in circumference, and has an area of 3107 acres. It includes the town of Islington and the hamlets of Holloway, Highbury, Canonbury, Barnsbury, Kingsland, Ball's Pond, and other places. In the 17th century a country village, - when the first census was taken in 1801, it was still rural, and the entire parish had only 10,212 inhabitants.
The origin of the name is uncertain. In ancient records it is written Isendone, Iteldone, Yseldon, Eysddon (Domesday and City Books, 1398). From about the middle of the 16th century it was commonly written Hisselton.
Hither came alle the men of that contray
Of Hisselton, of Hygate, and of Hakenay.
---Turnament of Tottenham.
Stow (1598, 1604) writes Iseldon, but Islington was in use much earlier.
Islington was famous for its dairies, brick-kilns, houses of entertainment with their tea-gardens and ducking-ponds, cheesecakes and custards, and fields, the favourite Sunday resort of rural-minded citizens.
---London, Past and Present. H.B. Wheatley, 1891.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Running to the south of Pentonville Road, Islington, is St. John Street. This was originally a drovers’ road, which farmers used to take their livestock to Smithfield Market in London. The road provided business for the Angel Inn: the area was rural so it was believed to be dangerous to be out at night. Farmers and drovers would rest at the Angel, and allow their livestock to graze on the surrounding pastures.

By the 1630s the Angel was owned by a man called William Riplington. He was the Officer of the Great Wardrobe – essentially in charge of King Charles’ clothing.
In 1638 Riplington was fined for building an extension to the Angel without obtaining building consents. That’s right: a rich and powerful man was convicted for not getting planning permission! How times have changed …

It is thought that William Hogarth's 'The Stage Coach, or Country Yard Inn' was probably modelled upon the Angel.

By the 1700s the drovers’ road provided so much business that the Angel was just one of several inns that lined what is now Islington High Street. But the area was still rural.

That changed in 1756 with the building of the New Road - what is now Marylebone Road/Euston Road/Pentonville Road/City Road. The M25 of its day, it was built to divert heavy traffic away from central London’s narrow streets.

For pictures and more history see…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

The day after the Diary ends, 1/11 June, 1669, Cosmo, the future Grand Duke of Turin, leaves London with his retinue.

Their destination is Chelmsford. The first stop to stretch their legs was at Islington:

After a short ride, he arrived at Islington, which is a collection of houses in the environs of London, and there dismounting, went to see a man walk upon the water, which is reckoned a wonderful thing by the English, owing to their not having investigated the manner by which he supports, and puts himself in motion.

To the four sides of a quadrilateral frame, joined together with iron bars, which unite in the center, and one of which rises to a reasonable height, are fixed certain round chests (barrels) resembling bladders, filled with wind, closed up, and without any vent.


To the before-mentioned iron in the center, the man is tied round the waist, covering, with a cloak which he has on, the fastening, and the iron to which he is attached, and by moving his feet, from the soles of which hang two pieces of leather resembling wings fastened to his shoes, he sets the machine in motion, which by means of these chests is guided along the surface of the water, and supports him in such a manner, that he walks in the greatest safety, steering himself by the motion of his feet along the lake (contiguous to the house) which was neither very spacious nor very deep, and, consequently, its waters not liable to be much agitated by the wind. Had this been the case, it might not, perhaps, have been so easy to put in practice his invention of sustaining himself upon it, though he vainly asserted, that with the same machine he would have made no difficulty, during a dead calm, to attempt crossing the Channel, which is seven leagues broad between Dover and Calais.

Resuming his journey from Islington, his highness arrived about mid-day at Thornton, a villa of my Lord William Petre ...



I've standardized the spelling of names I know, corrected scanning errors I could figure out, and increased the number of paragraphs. I apologize if I guessed incorrectly:


His highness, Cosmo, must be considered only as a traveler. Under his direction, the narrator of the records was Count Lorenzo Magalotti, afterwards Secretary to the Academy del Cimento, and one of the most learned and eminent characters of the court of Ferdinand II. They were all professed Catholics, of course.

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