With panto season firmly upon us, digital curator, Ellie Miles, goes back 200 years to meet some of pantomime’s earliest characters. Whilst working on the theatrical portraits for collections online, I kept finding the same characters appearing. In the left hand side of this print you can see Harlequin, wearing a mask. To Harlequin’s right, in blue, is the character ‘Pierrot’. Beatrice blogged about Pierrot costumes a couple of years ago. She wrote about Gertie Millar’s Pierrot costume, which Millar wore in 1909, but this print is from 1802, when Pierrot was just one the characters in the Harlequinade. I […]
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The story of London Tweed
So this is how the story goes. In 1826 a London merchant decides to buy some cloth from a weaver in Hawick, a town in the Scottish borders famous for its cloth production. Very happy with his order, he decides to get some more but – crucially – misreads the weaver’s dashed handwriting. Instead of ‘twill’ this Londoner reads ‘tweed’, and assumes this new cloth must take after the River Tweed which runs fast and clear through the textile areas of lower Scotland. ‘Tweed’ and not ’twill’ has been the term used ever since.
Infographic: The Great Fire of London
Nearly 350 years ago the City of London faced one of its most famous disasters. To mark this occasion we’ve put together a handy infographic with some of the topline facts and figures – discover even more at the Museum of London’s free ‘War, Plague and Fire’ gallery!
The Great Dock Strike – 125 years on
“The St. Lawrence is mere water. The Missouri muddy water. The Thames is liquid history.” So declared John Burns – a great advocate of London’s history – when asked to compare the Thames against those other great rivers in 1929. Forty years earlier in 1889 Burns had been a towering figurehead of the Great Dock Strike, thus sealing his own place in those murky waters. As the 125th anniversary of the strike approaches (14 August – 16 September) it feels an opportune moment to reflect on what this particular passage of liquid history might mean today.