Sunday, 28 March 2010

Do you loathe Lothbury?

This is our Blue Badge Guide, Kym Dewey, outside the Founders' Hall on our City Walk yesterday, Saturday 27th March. She told us of a 16th century writer called John Stow, who conducted and recorded a survey of London. This is how he describes the Founders at work (right next to the present Bank of England site):

"First the street of Lothberie, Lathberie or Loadberie (for by all these names haue I read it) tooke the name (as it seemeth) of Berie or Court of olde time there kept, but by whom is growne out of memorie. This street is possessed for the most part by Founders, that cast Candlestickes, Chafingdishes, Spice mortars, and such like Copper or Laton workes, and do afterwarde turne them with the foot & not with the wheele, to make them smooth and bright with turning and scrating (as some do tearme it) making a loathsome noice to the by-passers, that haue not been vsed to the like, and therefore by them disdainedly called Lothberie. "

The rest of the survey covers all the individual City wards, as well as the walls, rivers, bridges, gates, families, pastimes and sports, and charitable giving (thousands of people receiving food, drink, clothing and money). You can read the whole document online at

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