Rum, hospitals and insurance: London’s hidden slavery souvenirs

By james read, guest blog author on 11 Sep 2015
Pair of domestic sugar loaf cutters

Pair of domestic sugar loaf cutters used to break up sugar at home

The 1700s were a shameful time in London’s history. Although slavery was something that happened far away, on American cotton farms and West Indian sugar plantations, England had many critical, if slightly murkier, parts to play. From MPs owning Caribbean plantations to a newly-discovered British appetite for sugar, England was implicit in human slavery. This uncomfortable past touched much of British life, and was hidden in a great many everyday objects and institutions.

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The origins of Christmas pudding

By sarah madden, blog editor on 22 Dec 2014
© Simone Walsh via Flickr

© Simone Walsh via Flickr

Christmas pudding has long been a staple of Londoners’ festive tables. Traditionally incorporating dried fruits, spices, sugar and alcohol this festal favourite is a representation of extensive British trade – and of the exotic bounty brought through London’s docks at the peak of Empire. Read the full postRead the full post

The Return of the Diary of a Museum of London Bee keeper

By lynne connell on 8 Jun 2011

It is now almost a year since the colony of bees first arrived at Museum of London, and definitely time for an update on how they are doing. The good news is that they have survived this winter’s cold weather. Brian (the bee man) asked me to check that the hive entrance was clear and to listen for signs of life. I went out to look at the hive on 16 January, when the weather was especially mild. I cleared some dead bees from the hive entrance and listened for buzzing. I didn’t hear a thing! However, the mild weather […]