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

Open location in Google Maps: 51.518413, -0.062901

5 Annotations

First Reading

Pedro  •  Link

And in Whitechapel is buried Richard Brandon the man who decapitated Charles the First.

On the 20th of June 1649 there died, in his own house at Rosemary Lane, Richard Brandon, the official executioner for the City of London, and the man who, as is generally supposed, decapitated Charles the First. A rare tract, published at the time, entitled The Confession of the Hangman, states that Brandon acknowledged he had £30 for his pains, all paid him in half-crowns, within an hour after the blow was given: and that he had an orange stuck full of cloves, and a handkerchief out of the king's pocket, so soon as he was carried off from the scaffold, for which orange he was proffered twenty shillings by a gentleman in White Hall, but refused the same, and afterwards sold it for ten shillings in Rosemary Lane. The tract further informs us that the sheriffs of the City 'sent great store of wine for the funeral, and a multitude of people stood waiting to see his corpse carried to the churchyard, some crying out, "Hang him, the rogue! Bury him in a dunghill:" others pressing upon him, saying they would quarter him for executing the king. Insomuch that the church-wardens and masters of the parish were fain to come for the suppression of them, and with great difficulty he was at last carried to White-chapel churchyard, having a bunch of rosemary at each end of his coffin, on the top thereof, with a rope tied across from one end to the other.' In the Burial Register of Whitechapel there is the following entry under 1649: 'June 21st, Richard Brandon, a man out of Rosemary Lane. This R. Brandon is supposed to have cut off the head of Charles the First.'…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"By the late 16th century the suburb of Whitechapel and the surrounding area had started becoming 'the other half' of London. Located east of Aldgate, outside the City Walls and beyond official controls, it attracted the less fragrant activities of the city, particularly tanneries, breweries, foundries (including the Whitechapel Bell Foundry which later cast Philadelphia's Liberty Bell and London's Big Ben) and slaughterhouses.

"In 1680, the Rector of Whitechapel, the Rev. Ralph Davenant, of the parish of St. Mary Matfellon, bequeathed a legacy for the education of forty boys and thirty girls of the parish – the Davenant Centre is still in existence although the Davenant Foundation School moved from Whitechapel to Loughton in 1966."…

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

The Whitechapel Bell Foundry, London, E1 is Britain’s oldest existing business. Above the door it says 1570, but research indicates it may have been operating in the 1420s, and maybe even earlier.

The foundry’s business is bell making: Church bells and hand bells mainly, but whatever your bell requirements, this is the place. This factory not only manufactured Big Ben and Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell, but has supplied thousands of British churches and churches throughout the world. It also does a brisk business in maintenance, giving old bells a new lease of life and plenty of TLC.

As of 2019 it stands idle, possibly to be redeveloped as a boutique hotel. I hope it is saved and continues to teach foundry skills for another 500 years. The neighborhood should consider it an asset. Anyone can have a boutique hotel.

Log in to post an annotation.

If you don't have an account, then register here.


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