The Tudors


Dissolution of remaining monasteries 1538
King Henry VIII ordered the dissolution of the monasteries in 1536, however it is not until 1538 that the larger London monasteries local to the City such as Charterhouse and Blackfriars were finally suppressed and assets confiscated. Monks and nuns were turned out onto the streets and monastery buildings were demolished, sold off or re-modeled and given new purpose.
The coronation of Edward VI 1547
The coronation of King Edward VI, England’s first protestant King, was preceded by a procession through the streets of the City. Stands for spectators were set up along Cheapside and a Spanish acrobat slid down a rope strung from the spire of St Paul’s Cathedral to the Deanery. Unfortunately Edward’s realm was short-lived. Regency Council governed the country for six years, as he never reached maturity and died at 15 year’s old of tuberculosis.
City of London mapped 1550
George Hoefnagel surveyed London for what was to become the earliest printed map of London. It showed that London had now spread well beyond the City walls. The map was not actually printed until 1572.
St Paul’s Cathedral lightning strike 1561
The spire of St Paul’s Cathedral was struck by lightning and what remained of was remodeled but never replaced. The spire’s absence became a visible reminder for factions within Christianity at this time contentious for both Catholics and Protestants, each blaming the other for what they regarded as a sign of God’s displeasure.
First lottery in London 1569
The first recorded lottery in London took place at St Paul’s Churchyard in 1569. The draw took place in a temporary building adjacent to the west door of St Paul’s Cathedral. 40,000 lots were drawn at 10 shillings each and the prizes consisted of plate, tapestry and money. Any profit raised went toward the development of public works.
The opening of the Royal Exchange 1571
Conceived and built by Thomas Gresham, work started in 1566 on the Royal Exchange. It consisted of arcades of shops surrounding a central courtyard used for trading. It became the place to arrange business transactions and international trade in commodities. Gresham used the rental income from these shops to fund a programme of free public lectures at his house on Bishopsgate. It became known as Gresham College, which still provides free public lectures today.
Waterworks at London Bridge 1581
A waterwheel was installed within one of the arches of London Bridge. It worked as a pump to supply water into residences in many of the surrounding streets. The tidal race between the piers of the bridge caused by the difference in the height of the water upstream or downstream was enough to supply considerable pressure. Peter Morice, the man who invented the system, demonstrated its efficiency by pumping water right over the steeple of the Church of St Magnus.

Stow’s Survey of London published 1598
A tailor living in Aldgate, John Stow published a history and topographical survey of London. It became the most important history of London written and an enormously valuable record of the City of London’s layout.

© 2009 Cheapside Initiative / content management by incontrolCMS.net
Picture Credits   Terms and Conditions