Being so conveniently located in the City of London, so close to historical attractions such as the Tower of London, St Katherine’s Dock, St Paul’s Cathedral and Shakespeare’s Globe, the area surrounding our luxury rented apartments is the site of so many significant events which shaped this great city.
The area has also been home and workplace to many significant figures which have shaped the culture, society, politics and economics in British history. Wander through the streets around Marlyn Lodge and look out for English Heritage’s distinctive blue plaques denoting certain buildings in the area where historical figures have lived worked and died.
And here are just a few of them...
Samuel Johnson. 17 Gough Square, EC4
Often known simply as “Dr. Johnson” the Staffordshire born poet, playwright and writer is probably best known for his “Dictionary of the English Language”. Defining some 43,000 words, the dictionary was first published in 1755. It revolutionised how dictionaries were created and is considered a seminal work in the study of the English language. Johnson loved living in London and famously stated that '”When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.” His dictionary was compiled at the house in Gough Square, where he paid a rent of £30 per year. How times have changed!
Wat Tyler. Fishmongers' hall, Upper Thames street, EC4
Walter "Wat" Tyler led the Peasants revolt against Richard II in 1381. Marching with 10,000 supporters from Canterbury in Kent to confront the young 14 year old Richard in London, the rebels demanded social and economic reforms and an end to an unpopular poll tax. Tyler’s rebellion started successfully, releasing women trapped in London brothels, freeing debtors from prisons and resulting in a frightened Richard seeking safety in the Tower of London. However, the rebellion ultimately failed when Tyler was eventually killed by the Lord Mayor of London, William Walworth, who stabbed him in the neck with a dagger at the Fishmongers’ Hall in Smithfield. The 12-inch blade which slew Tyler is still in excellent condition and remains housed at Fishmongers’ Hall until now (viewing by appointment only).
William Shakespeare. Ireland Yard. EC4
Needing no introduction, Shakespeare is widely known as the “Bard of Stratford upon Avon”. However, Shakespeare spent much of his working life in London, establishing the world famous Globe theatre where his many of his most famous works debuted. The writer bought his Ireland Yard home in 1613 (he died only a few years later in 1616) for £140 and the house was conveniently located close to the Blackfriars Playhouse (the Globe burned down in 1613 and the company relocated to Blackfriars). The property remained in the Shakespeare family until 1667.
Bud Flanagan. 12 Hanbury Street, Spitalfields, London E1 6QR
Although not widely known outside of the UK, Bud Flanagan (1896-1968) was an extremely popular “music hall” and radio entertainer between the 1930’s and 1960’s. As one half of the double-act Flanagan and Allen, and member of “The Crazy Gang”, Flanagan is perhaps best remembered today through songs he recorded such as “Underneath the Arches” and “We’re going to hang out the washing on the Seigfried Line” which were enormously popular in their time. Flanagan also famously sung the theme tune to the ever popular TV sitcom Dad’s Army “Who do you think you are kidding Mr. Hitler” in 1968. 12 Hanbury Street was Flanagan’s birthplace and childhood home.
Edith Cavell. London Hospital, Whitechapel Road, Whitechapel, London E1 1BB.
Born in 1865, Edith Louisa Cavell was a true pioneer of modern nursing and trained and worked at the Whitechapel hospital. She is best remembered as a true hero of the First World War, helping hundreds of allied soldiers to escape from occupied Belgium. Her attitude that "patriotism is not enough" and a firm belief that “[she couldn’t] stop while there are lives to be saved” saw Edith driven to help all wounded soldiers regardless of what side they were fighting on. Tragically, her bravery and kindness ended when she was cruelly executed by a German firing squad in 1915, an event which sparked international condemnation.