Cheapside Cross in 1547 from page 313 of Old and New London by Walter Thornbury Volume I published in 1897 by Cassell & Company, Limited.
The volume comes from the library collection of Jack Adams.
The image carries the notation:
CHEAPSIDE CROSS, AS IT APPEARED IN 1547
(Showing part of the Procession of Edward VI. to his Coronation, from a Painting of the Time.)
The Thornbury volumes of Old and New London are interesting source documents and provide a wide range of engravings along with a huge text on the history, people and places of London. As a source, as with all sources of history, the text has to be treated more as a compendium of secondary sources and contextualised as a popular literature of its day. The quotations from any sources are unreferenced unless by general description within the text itself. Armed with these caveats Thornbury’s work remains a great source of insight, interest and information for anyone fascinated by the history of London.
The engravings are probably the most dynamic interface with this history because they provide snapshots of Victorian life which merit real study. The images which contain scenes from everyday life are the most engaging as they reveal a wealth of information to the ardent student of the scene. THE PREROGATIVE OFFICE, DOCTOR’S COMMONS, 1860 (see page 293), found on page 288 is a fine example. This old element of the legal system is the place where Wills are proven to the Prerogative Court. The office itself is a library of wills all bound in heavy volumes.
In the image there is much to take notice of. For example, everyone is wearing stout overcoats as the library itself clearly offers no heating. This is for obvious ‘Health and Safety’ reasons as testified by 8 buckets hanging from the walls together with a length of fire hose! The engraving clearly shows women in the office reading the wills. This is an indication of the fact, not often accounted for in media histories of the Victorian era, that women were very active in the life of the time rather than just lounge decoration. Attention to the range of hats worn is also of interest as hats denoted very definitive class and professional status.
OLD AND NEW LONDON:
A NARRATIVE OF
ITS HISTORY, ITS PEOPLE, AND ITS PLACES.
Illustrated with numerous Engravings from the most Authentic Sources.
THE CITY, ANCIENT AND MODERN.
A NEW EDITION, CAREFULLY REVISED AND CORRECTED.
CASSELL & COMPANY, LIMITED:
LONDON, PARIS & NEW YORK.
Details from the book’s front plate. The date for this publication, it is undated as shown, is probably 1878 but could be as late as 1897. All information and images taken directly from the original volume which is part of the library collection of Jack Adams
My intention is to produce my own work on London history based on the texts in my library and publish that within the next two years. In the meantime I will be writing blog articles around this material. If you are interested in this work then please sign up to my newsletter in which, bi-annually, I will be providing a magazine of my work with extra articles and stories.