4 capitals of Great Britain — страница 3

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this time was perhaps 18,000, which seems very small to us but was very large by the standards of the time. London grew in size through the 12th century and some people began to build housed outside the walls. In 1176 the wooden bridge across the Thames was replaced with a stone one. A writer described London about the year 1180: London is happy in its clean air, in the Christian religion, in the strength of its fortifications, in its natural situation, in the honor of its citizens. The Cathedral is St Pauls but there is also in London and its suburbs 13 large monasteries, beside 126 parish churches. On the east side lies the tower, very large and strong with 4 gates and turrets at intervals and runs around the northern side of the city. To the north lie fields and meadows with

small rivers flowing through them, by these water mills are driven with a pleasant murmur. To this city come merchants from every nation under heaven rejoicing to bring merchandise in their ships'. Someone else wrote: 'Amongst the noble and celebrated cities of the world, that of London, the Capital of the Kingdom of England is one of the most renowned, possessing above others, abundant wealth, extensive commerce, great grandeur and significance'. London was a lively place. There was a horse market at Smithfield (originally smooth field) where horse racing took place. Smithfield was also the site of public executions, which always attracted large crowds. Londoners also loved dancing on the open spaces that surrounded the town. They liked archery and wrestling and men fought mock

battles with wooden swords and shields. In Winter people went ice skating on frozen marshes at Moorfield using skates made of animal bones. In the 12th or 13th century London was often spelt Lunden or Lundon. By the time of Chaucer in the late 14th century it was spelt London. In the 13th century the friars came to London. Friars were like monks but instead of living lives separate from the world they went out to preach. There were different orders of friars each with a different colour of costume. Dominican friars were called black friars because of their black costumes and the place where they lived in London is still called Blackfriars. There were also grey friars (Franciscans), white friars and crutched friars. (The word crutched is a corruption of cruxed. Crux is Latin for

cross and the cruxed friars had a cross stitched onto their cloaks). The Jews suffered from persecution during the Middle Ages. The first Jews came to London in 1096 as refugees from Rouen after a massacre occurred there. Jews in London lived in a ghetto in old Jewry. They were some of the first people since Roman times to live in stone houses. They had to as wooden houses were not safe enough! In 1189 a wave of persecution resulted in the deaths of about 30 Jews. In 1264 rioters killed about 500 Jews in London. In 1290 all Jews were expelled from England. In 1381 the peasant revolt broke out. On 13 July the rebels marched on London and sympathizers opened the gates to them. The king and his ministers took refuge in the Tower of London while the rebels opened the prisons and

looted the house of John of Gaunt, an unpopular noble. On 14 July the king met the rebels at Moorfield and made them various promises, none of which he kept. The next day the king went to mass at Westminster while he was away the rebels broke into the Tower of London and killed the Archbishop of Canterbury and several royal officials who had taken refuge there. They confronted the king on his way back from mass. The mayor of London stabbed the leader of the rebels, fearing he was going to attack the king. Afterwards the king managed to calm the rebels and persuaded them to go home. The population of London may have reached 50,000 by the middle of the 14th century. At least a third of the population died when the Black Death struck in 1348-49 but London soon recovered. Its

population may have reached 70,000 by the end of the Middle Ages. LONDON IN THE 16th AND 17th CENTURIES The population of London may have reached 120,000 by the middle of the 16th century and about 250,000 by 1600. In the Middle Ages the church owned about 1/4 of the land in London. When Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries it released a great deal of land for new buildings. Nevertheless the suburbs outside London continued to grow. In the late 16th century rich men began to build houses along the Strand and by 1600 London was linked to Westminster by a strip of houses. Banqueting House was built in 1622. In 1635 the king opened Hyde Park to the public. In 1637 Charles I created Richmond Park for hunting. Also in 1637 Queens House was completed in nearby Greenwich. Wool was still