William I, City of London Charter 1067
Following victory at Hastings, William I was crowned King in Westminster Abbey. In a charter written in Anglo Saxon, he granted the City of London the same right to the freedom and independence citizens of London had enjoyed under the rule of his predecessor, Edward the Confessor. This unique independence is still the basis of many City privileges.
The White Tower 1078
Established by William I, the White Tower was built by Gundulf, Bishop of Rochester who supervised its construction in Caen stone (hence its pale colour), using masons imported from France. It served as a palace, a treasury and a prison as well as a military stronghold. The White Tower was the earliest component of the Tower of London, which exists as a larger complex of buildings built at different periods and set within defensive walls and a moat.
London Tornado 1091
What appears to have been a tornado destroyed a large area of the City’s largely wooden structures including London Bridge and what was to become St Mary le Bow Church. A new church was built to replace it known as St Mary de Arcubus, which became the site of the current St Mary le Bow Church on Cheapside.
Thomas Becket born 1118
Born on Cheapside, Thomas Becket became a powerful figure holding the offices of both Chancellor and Archbishop of Canterbury. After his assassination in Canterbury Cathedral 1162 by loyal followers of King Henry II, he was recognized by the Church in Rome as a martyr and declared a saint. His shrine became a place of pilgrimage.
St Bartholomew’s Hospital 1123
Raherus or Rahere, an Augustinian monk founded St Bartholomew’s Hospital (Bart’s) in 1123. He had contracted malarial fever during a pilgrimage to Rome and determined that he would build a hospital on his return to London. It was re-founded by Henry VIII in December 1546, on the signing of an agreement granting the hospital to the City of London.

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