Homeopathy: A Most Extravagant Conceit
The following is from medical doctor John Hogg’s book, London As It Is, published in 1837:
One of the most extravagant conceits ever promulgated in connexion with the healing art, was started by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, at Leipsick, about fifteen years ago, under the name of HOMEOPATHY.
The acknowledge principle in medicine is - “Contraria contrariis curantur” - that fevers, for instance, require cooling remedies, and that cold and numbness should be met by warm stimulants.  This idea is declared to by Hahnemann to be utterly erroneous; his doctrine is, that every irregularity in the system is a natural effort, and ought to be encouraged; to give effect to his notion, he administers to the invalid such medicines as would induce corresponding symptoms in a healthy individual, in fact, alcohol is the remedy for fever, and ice for ague; he admits that the remedies must be employed very sparingly, that the millionth part of a grain or a drop, is a full dose; that a brain fever at Greenwich (after the fair) might be cured by making the patient drink out of the Thames, into which a glass of gin had been thrown an hour previous at London-bridge!  
Glaring as this absurdity is, it has found some proselytes in London, but they have principally been among the aged of the softer sex.  

Homeopathy: A Most Extravagant Conceit

The following is from medical doctor John Hogg’s book, London As It Is, published in 1837:

One of the most extravagant conceits ever promulgated in connexion with the healing art, was started by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, at Leipsick, about fifteen years ago, under the name of HOMEOPATHY.

The acknowledge principle in medicine is - “Contraria contrariis curantur” - that fevers, for instance, require cooling remedies, and that cold and numbness should be met by warm stimulants.  This idea is declared to by Hahnemann to be utterly erroneous; his doctrine is, that every irregularity in the system is a natural effort, and ought to be encouraged; to give effect to his notion, he administers to the invalid such medicines as would induce corresponding symptoms in a healthy individual, in fact, alcohol is the remedy for fever, and ice for ague; he admits that the remedies must be employed very sparingly, that the millionth part of a grain or a drop, is a full dose; that a brain fever at Greenwich (after the fair) might be cured by making the patient drink out of the Thames, into which a glass of gin had been thrown an hour previous at London-bridge!  

Glaring as this absurdity is, it has found some proselytes in London, but they have principally been among the aged of the softer sex.  

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Your Favourite Historian

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Art: Why I’m Proud to be a Shuffler

‘Every major art exhibition is always the same.  The ticket holders go in with their expensive tickets, and with their guide-books and ear-phone sets, and they look and they stare, and then they shuffle along and look and stare again.’

When the lovely @davidallengreen posted about the dreary didacticism of London’s expensive art gallery exhibitions yesterday I read with interest and thought hard.  I am exceptionally lucky: I live in central London and have the opportunity to attend the exhibitions which take my fancy.  Some are better than others, but I go for the ‘Art’ and to see what I think.   
When I go to an exhibition I get the audio guide.  Having spent my wallet-stabbing 10-15 Great British Pounds I might as well.  And let’s not beat about the bush: ‘Art’ in the drying brushstroke or the horrifically-expensively-insured-flesh has never been for people who cannot pay to see with either in money or patronage.  Vermeer’s domesticity was not for the people, but his patrons and sometimes his friends. Their viewing of his pictures was influenced by what they knew of his household, and their own comparable set-ups.  They knew about the troublesome wife, the money problems, even down to the exquisite light of Delft’s famously clean and minimalist interiors.  They did not need the caption. 
Likewise, one of David’s favourite portraits, that of Cecilia Gallerini by Leonardo da Vinci.  Cecilia was the mistress of Ludovico Sforza, one of Leonardo’s patrons and Duke of Milan.  She was educated in law, politics and art and held salons for Italy’s elite with her lover, twenty years her senior.  She was fifteen when Ludovico asked Leonardo to paint this portrait.  She would have to make way for his career and spend much of her life shunted from pillar to post but the ermine represents her purity, her elegant hand art, her face intelligence and a conceived idea of beauty.  It was displayed in her household during her lifetime, long after the affair was over.  This is a picture of a girl, like Elizabeth I at the same age, who understood men of ‘much wit but little judgment’.   It never fails to make my heart ache.

This picture demonstrates why knowledge is the key.  David is a lawyer, steeped in years of learning and experience of what comprises the law but art is no different: talented artists are born but it takes years to become proficient at drawing and painting.  Modern art claims a moment in time caught in swathes of paint which our gut identifies as positive or negative, and one to which we are all entitled.  It is largely conceived by men and women who did not need but wanted art.  This mechanism is notionally selfish and so, as invited voyeurs we might take what we want from it.  But the art of the ‘masters’ is one which asks for knowledge of who they were and what they hoped to gain from their work.  Smudges of Leonardo’s fingerprints have been identified in Cecilia’s face and hair.  They cannot be seen by just gazing at the picture, nor can the heartbreak of her life been seen in her fifteen year old face.  Older art tells a story to which we are not entitled, but might catch a glimpse if we are told.  We need the captions.  
They might be written by dry, disconnected curators or earnest interns with no idea what we might want to see on the wall.  Often, they are.  The internal workings of museums can make chronic hiatus hernia look like a holiday.  Frequently, the headset drones on with the voice of a twenty-first century patron, dispersing monotone largesse to the grunts who file through in their obedient masses.  
 
When looked upon as such, these exhibitions and that headset are shit value for money; they are the rich and entitled establishment doing their bit.  But their bit involves liaising with the museums, curators, shippers, insurance companies, banks, trusts, porters, interns, guides and visitors.  It involves people who know the minutiae of what there is to know about Cecilia Gallerani’s life trying to write a caption for people with only the barest understanding of the Renaissance.  That 20 quid, give or take, lets you into another world for the few hours you want it.  Those captions might not provide an instant and visceral connection to the cracked and oil-daubed piece of canvas in front of you but our interior worlds are private and precious, and who is to say what the middle-aged shuffler in front of you gains from Cecilia’s face.
 
Which in turn leads to my other main bone of contention with David’s article: ‘Any artist who puts any effort whatsoever into writing the caption, or the catalogue or sales “explanation” of their work, has no business calling themselves an artist’.  Total horseshit.  Leonardo had to explain himself to Cesare Borgia and Raphael to the Pope.  On a slightly more recent note I have hugely enjoyed Grayson Perry’s exhibition at the BM, Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman to which he has contributed not only his own art but multi-media ‘captions’.  Artists who do not, or cannot explain themselves are usually of the most mediocre order.  
 
To decry these exhibitions, and those who pay their money and file around the course is to sneer at anyone who wants to learn, to understand why great art was made and why.  It’s like sneering at the girl who queued up to see the Mona Lisa twenty years ago, heart in her mouth, garbage translation of the Musée du Louvre’s catalogue clutched tightly in her hand.  
 

Art: Why I’m Proud to be a Shuffler

‘Every major art exhibition is always the same.  The ticket holders go in with their expensive tickets, and with their guide-books and ear-phone sets, and they look and they stare, and then they shuffle along and look and stare again.’

When the lovely @davidallengreen posted about the dreary didacticism of London’s expensive art gallery exhibitions yesterday I read with interest and thought hard.  I am exceptionally lucky: I live in central London and have the opportunity to attend the exhibitions which take my fancy.  Some are better than others, but I go for the ‘Art’ and to see what I think.  
 

When I go to an exhibition I get the audio guide.  Having spent my wallet-stabbing 10-15 Great British Pounds I might as well.  And let’s not beat about the bush: ‘Art’ in the drying brushstroke or the horrifically-expensively-insured-flesh has never been for people who cannot pay to see with either in money or patronage.  Vermeer’s domesticity was not for the people, but his patrons and sometimes his friends. Their viewing of his pictures was influenced by what they knew of his household, and their own comparable set-ups.  They knew about the troublesome wife, the money problems, even down to the exquisite light of Delft’s famously clean and minimalist interiors.  They did not need the caption.
 

Likewise, one of David’s favourite portraits, that of Cecilia Gallerini by Leonardo da Vinci.  Cecilia was the mistress of Ludovico Sforza, one of Leonardo’s patrons and Duke of Milan.  She was educated in law, politics and art and held salons for Italy’s elite with her lover, twenty years her senior.  She was fifteen when Ludovico asked Leonardo to paint this portrait.  She would have to make way for his career and spend much of her life shunted from pillar to post but the ermine represents her purity, her elegant hand art, her face intelligence and a conceived idea of beauty.  It was displayed in her household during her lifetime, long after the affair was over.  This is a picture of a girl, like Elizabeth I at the same age, who understood men of ‘much wit but little judgment’.   It never fails to make my heart ache.

This picture demonstrates why knowledge is the key.  David is a lawyer, steeped in years of learning and experience of what comprises the law but art is no different: talented artists are born but it takes years to become proficient at drawing and painting.  Modern art claims a moment in time caught in swathes of paint which our gut identifies as positive or negative, and one to which we are all entitled.  It is largely conceived by men and women who did not need but wanted art.  This mechanism is notionally selfish and so, as invited voyeurs we might take what we want from it.  But the art of the ‘masters’ is one which asks for knowledge of who they were and what they hoped to gain from their work.  Smudges of Leonardo’s fingerprints have been identified in Cecilia’s face and hair.  They cannot be seen by just gazing at the picture, nor can the heartbreak of her life been seen in her fifteen year old face.  Older art tells a story to which we are not entitled, but might catch a glimpse if we are told.  We need the captions. 
 

They might be written by dry, disconnected curators or earnest interns with no idea what we might want to see on the wall.  Often, they are.  The internal workings of museums can make chronic hiatus hernia look like a holiday.  Frequently, the headset drones on with the voice of a twenty-first century patron, dispersing monotone largesse to the grunts who file through in their obedient masses.  

 

When looked upon as such, these exhibitions and that headset are shit value for money; they are the rich and entitled establishment doing their bit.  But their bit involves liaising with the museums, curators, shippers, insurance companies, banks, trusts, porters, interns, guides and visitors.  It involves people who know the minutiae of what there is to know about Cecilia Gallerani’s life trying to write a caption for people with only the barest understanding of the Renaissance.  That 20 quid, give or take, lets you into another world for the few hours you want it.  Those captions might not provide an instant and visceral connection to the cracked and oil-daubed piece of canvas in front of you but our interior worlds are private and precious, and who is to say what the middle-aged shuffler in front of you gains from Cecilia’s face.

 

Which in turn leads to my other main bone of contention with David’s article: ‘Any artist who puts any effort whatsoever into writing the caption, or the catalogue or sales “explanation” of their work, has no business calling themselves an artist’.  Total horseshit.  Leonardo had to explain himself to Cesare Borgia and Raphael to the Pope.  On a slightly more recent note I have hugely enjoyed Grayson Perry’s exhibition at the BM, Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman to which he has contributed not only his own art but multi-media ‘captions’.  Artists who do not, or cannot explain themselves are usually of the most mediocre order.  

 

To decry these exhibitions, and those who pay their money and file around the course is to sneer at anyone who wants to learn, to understand why great art was made and why.  It’s like sneering at the girl who queued up to see the Mona Lisa twenty years ago, heart in her mouth, garbage translation of the Musée du Louvre’s catalogue clutched tightly in her hand.  

 

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Nominate your Favourite Historian and Favourite History Book Poll

On November the 11th, History Today magazine released an online poll for the most influential historian, and most influential history book of the last 60 years.  Those nominated for the most influential historian are the famous white male historians of the 20th century, and the books all ‘big picture’ take on Europe or Russia, or historical theory.  Most of them have influenced each other, either positively or negatively, with some such as Fernand Braudel and Hugh Trevor-Roper, or E.H. Carr and Richard J. Evans adhering to the same schools of thought.  It’s not that they aren’t great or influential historians or books, but…..where are the historians who’ve explored the previously dim corners of social or domestic history?  Where are the women?  Where are the books that get you by the throat and drag you through time?  

For me, they aren’t on that list, and it seemed so for a lot of others.  So, the Georgian London blog is hosting an alternative Favourite Historian and Favourite History Book poll.  There’s no antagonism, I’m just curious to see what the nominations will bring.  There’s no specific period or specific area of study.  I’m not looking to make an all female list either, I just want your nominations for the historian and the book that has influenced you.  If you only want to nominate in one category, that’s fine too.  

Please put your nominations in the comments here, and I’ll add them in as we go along, or you can tweet me with the hastags #FavoriteHistorian and #FavoriteHistoryBook (I’ll check on both English and American spellings, so don’t sweat it too much, but the Broadside is archiving the American spelling), or email lucy at georgian london dot com.  The lists so far (and I’m still compiling), in no particular order, look like this.

Favourite Historian

  • Natalie Zemon Davis
  • Robert Burke
  • John Grenville
  • Robert Scribner
  • Lyndal Roper
  • Joan Wallach Scott
  • Linda Colley
  • Sheila Fitzpatrick
  • David Kynaston
  • Dror Wahrman
  • Raphael Samuel
  • AJP Taylor
  • Christopher Hill
  • Richard J. Evans
  • Pietro Corsi
  • Ronald Syme
  • Roy Porter < It took a long time, people!
  • Samuel Eliot Morison
  • Alvin Jackson
  • R.F. Foster
  • Marianne Elliot
  • Mike Duncan
  • Margo Todd
  • E.P. Thompson
  • Mary Beard
  • Eric Hobsbawm
  • Howard Zinn
  • Dorothy George
  • Amanda Vickery
  • Eric Grove
  • Charles Boxer
  • N.A.M. Roger
  • Pat Thane
  • Stephen Nissenbaum
  • John Dower
  • Peter Bailey
  • Jackson Lears

Favourite History Book

  • The Family, Sex and Marriage by Lawrence Stone
  • Life in the English Country House by Mark Giruoard
  • The Origins of the Second World War by AJP Taylor
  • Theatres of Memory and Island Stories by Raphael Samuel <A popular dark horse
  • History of the Revolution in England, 1688 by Sir James Mackintosh
  • Gender and the Politics of History by Joan Wallach Scott
  • The Return of Martin Guerre by Natalie Zemon Davis
  • Roman Revolution by Ronald Syme
  • Web of Empire by Alison Game
  • The Making of the Modern Self by Dror Wahrman
  • The Prospect Before Her by Olwen Hufton <Getting a lot of votes
  • Imagine Communities by Benedict Anderson
  • New Towns of the Middle Ages by M.W. Beresford
  • Engage the Enemy More Closely by Corelli Barnett
  • The Friend by Alan Bray
  • Building the Devil’s Empire by Shannon Dawdy
  • Albion’s Seed by David Hackett Fischer
  • Thinking With Demons by Stuart Clark
  • The Columbian Exchange by Alfred Crosby
  • Edge of Empire by Maya Jasanoff
  • The Open Empire: China to 1600 by Valerie Hansen
  • The Fall of the Roman Empire by Peter Heather
  • Ecclesiastical History of the English People, by Bede
  • The Safeguard of the Sea: A Naval History of Britain by N.A.M Roger
  • Our Island Story by Henrietta Marshall
  • Ireland: A History by Robert Kee

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Book Review: The Music Trade in Georgian England
I have been lucky enough to receive a review copy of The Music Trade in Georgian England, edited by Michael Kassler and published by Ashgate. 

Well, where to start?  The depth of knowledge displayed by the contributors to this book is impressive and the reader comes away with a comprehensive understanding of the mechanisms of music production, sale and reproduction in Georgian England.  Make no mistake, this isn’t for anyone wanting a light read: it’s 576 pages of densely packed and heavily footnoted information.  But what GEMS.  From self-publishing artists like Purcell to the complexities of the musical instrument market, this book has it covered.  Mr Kassler is to be congratulated on the production of such a rigorous and readable work, for the bombardment of detail doesn’t lapse into the tedious or showboating.  It’s clear, decently illustrated (black and white) where appropriate and with explanations about music which if the reader is at all musical will make perfect sense.  
 
There is only one fault with this book and that’s the price, which is £60 on the cover.  I want to be very clear in saying that I think this book is well worth the money.  It’s the best book on music in Georgian London (it is Londoncentric) I’ve encountered.  If you were to buy one, this one should be it. But £60 is a lot of money.  It’s available for £57 from the necessary engine of Mr Amazon and if it sells well the price will drop.  I hope so, as this work deserves a wide audience amongst historians and musicians alike.

Book Review: The Music Trade in Georgian England

I have been lucky enough to receive a review copy of The Music Trade in Georgian England, edited by Michael Kassler and published by Ashgate. 


Well, where to start?  The depth of knowledge displayed by the contributors to this book is impressive and the reader comes away with a comprehensive understanding of the mechanisms of music production, sale and reproduction in Georgian England.  Make no mistake, this isn’t for anyone wanting a light read: it’s 576 pages of densely packed and heavily footnoted information.  But what GEMS.  From self-publishing artists like Purcell to the complexities of the musical instrument market, this book has it covered.  Mr Kassler is to be congratulated on the production of such a rigorous and readable work, for the bombardment of detail doesn’t lapse into the tedious or showboating.  It’s clear, decently illustrated (black and white) where appropriate and with explanations about music which if the reader is at all musical will make perfect sense.  

 

There is only one fault with this book and that’s the price, which is £60 on the cover.  I want to be very clear in saying that I think this book is well worth the money.  It’s the best book on music in Georgian London (it is Londoncentric) I’ve encountered.  If you were to buy one, this one should be it. But £60 is a lot of money.  It’s available for £57 from the necessary engine of Mr Amazon and if it sells well the price will drop.  I hope so, as this work deserves a wide audience amongst historians and musicians alike.

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For Ada Lovelace Day: Eleanor Coade

In 1769, Eleanor (sometimes Elinor) Coade arrived in Lambeth from Lyme Regis, bringing with her one of Georgian London’s forgotten wonders: Coade stone, or as she called it Lithodipyra.  She had been born in 1733 to a family of ceramicists, and to a father who couldn’t stay solvent.  He died in 1769 and in the same year, she and her mother, also Eleanor arrived in Narrow Wall, Lambeth, taking over an artificial stone foundry from one David Picot who retired or left the business two years later.  

 

There had been a history of artificial stone being made in the area, with Richard Holt being a pioneer from 1720 onwards, but the Coades had a secret.  Their stone was finer and more durable than anyone else’s.  They made it to a secret formula, which they guarded during their lifetimes.  The younger Eleanor Coade was the brains behind the formula and she took on the term ‘Mrs’, although she never married.  

 

Coade soon became the stone to have, due to their imaginative and life-like modelling.  Their sculptors were drawn from not only Britain but also some of the talented foreigners working in London at the time, such as John de Vaere who would later work for Wedgwood.  You could commission what you want, or choose from their catalogue, now in the British Museum.

 

Coade is an incredibly durable fake stone and it stays clean and isn’t eaten by pollution.  These things were not necessarily so important when it was made, but it could be made into very fine decoration, which was perfect when the Adam brothers began to decorate London in the 1770s and 1780s.  An unmarried woman with her own business, Eleanor Coade would go on to become the Georgian London’s greatest ceramic artist.  She took on her cousin John Sealy as a partner in 1799, by which time she would have been ready to retire.  She died in Camberwell in 1821, a devout Baptist and the recipe for the stone died with her but the secret ingredient has since been identified: ground ceramic.

 

Amongst London’s extant Coade is the castrated lion on the south side of Westminster Bridge, the Twining’s tea shop front and Captain Bligh’s tomb in St Mary’s Churchyard, Lambeth.


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An Epitaph, by a FriendTomorrow I&#8217;m giving a walkie-talkie at Sir John Soane&#8217;s Pitzhanger Manor-House for Open House Weekend 2011.  I have lots of thoughts about Soane and his ruthless pursuit of success and his cold perfectionism, but the memorial to his wife, which was created as a marble tablet for his house in Lincoln&#8217;s Inn Fields never fails to move me.  There&#8217;s just the small, niggling voice in the back of my head that hopes she knew how he felt before she died.  Or was it, like everything else in the house, just for show?

An Epitaph, by a Friend

Tomorrow I’m giving a walkie-talkie at Sir John Soane’s Pitzhanger Manor-House for Open House Weekend 2011.  I have lots of thoughts about Soane and his ruthless pursuit of success and his cold perfectionism, but the memorial to his wife, which was created as a marble tablet for his house in Lincoln’s Inn Fields never fails to move me.  There’s just the small, niggling voice in the back of my head that hopes she knew how he felt before she died.  Or was it, like everything else in the house, just for show?


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'An eccentrical lady': Mrs Griggs of Bloomsbury
'Died, 16th January 1792, at her house, Southampton Row, Bloomsbury, Mrs. Griggs. Her executors found in her house eighty-six living and twenty-eight dead cats. A black servant has been left £150 per annum, for the maintenance of herself and the surviving grimalkins. The lady was single, and died worth £30,000. Mrs Griggs, on the death of her sister, a short time ago, had an addition to her fortune; she set up her coach, and went out almost every day airing, but suffered no male servant to sleep in her house. Her maids being tired frequently of their attendance on such a numerous household, she was induced at last to take a black woman to attend and feed them. This black woman had lived servant to Mrs. Griggs many years, and had a handsome annuity given her to take care of the cats.'

'An eccentrical lady': Mrs Griggs of Bloomsbury

'Died, 16th January 1792, at her house, Southampton Row, Bloomsbury, Mrs. Griggs. Her executors found in her house eighty-six living and twenty-eight dead cats. A black servant has been left £150 per annum, for the maintenance of herself and the surviving grimalkins. The lady was single, and died worth £30,000. Mrs Griggs, on the death of her sister, a short time ago, had an addition to her fortune; she set up her coach, and went out almost every day airing, but suffered no male servant to sleep in her house. Her maids being tired frequently of their attendance on such a numerous household, she was induced at last to take a black woman to attend and feed them. This black woman had lived servant to Mrs. Griggs many years, and had a handsome annuity given her to take care of the cats.'

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Tottenham: Never do anything when you are in a temper, for you will do everything wrong.
Tottenham developed rapidly from a small village during the Georgian period, into a place of cheap housing for ordinary workers in the Victorian period. It was much influenced by the railways and built to be inhabited by people who were never far from the breadline. They did, however, live in a time when there was an abundance of work for the unqualified and unskilled, even if it was poorly paid. As a predominantly Victorian settlement Tottenham has many buildings typical of Victorian England’s sturdy efforts at public architecture and some of the commercial buildings date from early in Tottenham’s history.  Tottenham has continued to attract people because of cheap housing and the chance to live amongst familiar voices whilst remaining close to central London and it saw diverse ethnic groups arrive before the end of the nineteenth century. Many of the communities which settled and continue to occupy these traditionally poor areas are those which have the strongest internal ties. And many of these communities are now struggling with unemployment and the consequences of poverty and poor education.  
One of the early residential/commercial terraces is the burnt out shell pictured here. There are still some of this type of building in Hackney and Dalston, but they don’t fit with modern requirements and have been phased out over the last thirty years along with some of the traditional housing, making way for new developments. Developments such as the experimental Broadwater Farm Estate, the likes of which scar many of London’s Windrush settlements.
It’s unlikely, I know, that the people who took part in burning these shops and homes last night will care about the effect their actions will have on the heart of Tottenham. What does it matter to them if ugly boxes replace the many buildings from different periods which made up a street as varied as the people who shopped there? The majority of the buildings destroyed last night which have appeared in the news are the older ones (1840-1930). They informed Tottenham’s built history and looked back to a time when Tottenham, though always a low income area, was a place full of working families and a large community living in attractive if modest housing with decent municipal buildings.  Recent investment from English Heritage in the restoration of some Tottenham High Road shopfronts reflected the presence of buildings important to our knowledge of commercial architecture, but also the history of people in Tottenham. Last night&#8217;s riots will not only fragment the community in the short term, but increase a sense of dispossession and alienation in the long term. The importance of the built environment to people’s investment in their communities is consistently underestimated.
I hope the people left homeless, without their premises or injured by the riots are soon back on their feet, both physically and financially. But the urban fabric is not unimportant and its loss shouldn&#8217;t be neglected, no matter how lowly. Listening to the news today, all I am hearing is how the work of the past 25 years has been undone. Wrong, the work of the last century and a half has been undone. I don’t mourn the loss of these buildings as a sentimental lover of old bricks, but I see their destruction and know it to be a loss to the spirit of Tottenham itself.

Tottenham: Never do anything when you are in a temper, for you will do everything wrong.

Tottenham developed rapidly from a small village during the Georgian period, into a place of cheap housing for ordinary workers in the Victorian period. It was much influenced by the railways and built to be inhabited by people who were never far from the breadline. They did, however, live in a time when there was an abundance of work for the unqualified and unskilled, even if it was poorly paid. As a predominantly Victorian settlement Tottenham has many buildings typical of Victorian England’s sturdy efforts at public architecture and some of the commercial buildings date from early in Tottenham’s history.  Tottenham has continued to attract people because of cheap housing and the chance to live amongst familiar voices whilst remaining close to central London and it saw diverse ethnic groups arrive before the end of the nineteenth century. Many of the communities which settled and continue to occupy these traditionally poor areas are those which have the strongest internal ties. And many of these communities are now struggling with unemployment and the consequences of poverty and poor education.  

One of the early residential/commercial terraces is the burnt out shell pictured here. There are still some of this type of building in Hackney and Dalston, but they don’t fit with modern requirements and have been phased out over the last thirty years along with some of the traditional housing, making way for new developments. Developments such as the experimental Broadwater Farm Estate, the likes of which scar many of London’s Windrush settlements.

It’s unlikely, I know, that the people who took part in burning these shops and homes last night will care about the effect their actions will have on the heart of Tottenham. What does it matter to them if ugly boxes replace the many buildings from different periods which made up a street as varied as the people who shopped there? The majority of the buildings destroyed last night which have appeared in the news are the older ones (1840-1930). They informed Tottenham’s built history and looked back to a time when Tottenham, though always a low income area, was a place full of working families and a large community living in attractive if modest housing with decent municipal buildings.  Recent investment from English Heritage in the restoration of some Tottenham High Road shopfronts reflected the presence of buildings important to our knowledge of commercial architecture, but also the history of people in Tottenham. Last night’s riots will not only fragment the community in the short term, but increase a sense of dispossession and alienation in the long term. The importance of the built environment to people’s investment in their communities is consistently underestimated.

I hope the people left homeless, without their premises or injured by the riots are soon back on their feet, both physically and financially. But the urban fabric is not unimportant and its loss shouldn’t be neglected, no matter how lowly. Listening to the news today, all I am hearing is how the work of the past 25 years has been undone. Wrong, the work of the last century and a half has been undone. I don’t mourn the loss of these buildings as a sentimental lover of old bricks, but I see their destruction and know it to be a loss to the spirit of Tottenham itself.

Tags: JustMigrated

Instructions to Apprentices on Leaving the Foundling Hospital
Hospital for the Maintenance &amp; Education of Exposed &amp; deserted Young Children, in Lamb&#8217;s Conduit Fields.  INSTRUCTIONS to _____ upon being put Apprentice to ____ of _____ on the ___ Day of ___ in the year 17__ who on the ___ Day of ____ was ____ years old. _____ is to serve h__ till ____ years old.  YOU are placed out Apprentice by the Govrs. of this Hospital. You were taken into it very young, quite helpless, forsaken &amp; deserted by Parents &amp; Friends. Out of Charity you have been fed, clothed, and instructed; which many have wanted.
 You have been taught to fear God, to love Him, to be honest, careful, laborious, and diligent. As you hope for Success in this World, and Happiness in the next, you are to be mindful of what has been taught you. You are to behave honestly, justly, soberly, and carefully in everything, to everybody, and especially towards your____and Family; and to execute all lawful Commands with Industry, Chearfulness, and good Manners.
 You may find many Temptations to do wickedly, when you are in the World; but by all means fly from them. Always speak the Truth. Tho&#8217; you may have done a wrong thing, you will, by a sincere Confession, more easily obtain Forgiveness than if by and Obstinate Lye you make the Fault the greater, and thereby deserve a far greater Punishment. Lying is looked upon to be the Beginning of everything that is bad; and a Person used to it is never believed, esteemed, or trusted.
 Be not ashamed that you were bred in this Hospital. Own it; and say that it was thro&#8217; the good Providence of Almighty God that you were taken care of. Bless Him for it; and be thankful to those worthy Benefactors who have contributed towards your Maintenance and Support. And if ever it be in your Power, make a grateful Acknowledgment to the Hospital for the Benefits you have received.
 Be constant in your Prayers, and going to Church; &amp; avoid Gaming, Swearing and all evil Discourses: By this means the Blessing of God will follow your honest Labours, and you will also gain the Good-Will of all good Persons. 	If you follow the Instructions which had all along been taught you, and which we now give you, you may be happy; otherwise you will bring upon yourself Misery, Shame, and Want.  Note, Your Master will provide you Meat, Drink, Washing, Lodging, and Clothing: And he has agreed to pay you Five Pounds a year, for the Three last years of your Apprenticeship.  Devised 17th of April, 1754

Instructions to Apprentices on Leaving the Foundling Hospital

Hospital for the Maintenance & Education of Exposed & deserted Young Children, in Lamb’s Conduit Fields.

INSTRUCTIONS to _____ upon being put Apprentice to ____ of _____ on the ___ Day of ___ in the year 17__ who on the ___ Day of ____ was ____ years old. _____ is to serve h__ till ____ years old.

YOU are placed out Apprentice by the Govrs. of this Hospital. You were taken into it very young, quite helpless, forsaken & deserted by Parents & Friends. Out of Charity you have been fed, clothed, and instructed; which many have wanted.


You have been taught to fear God, to love Him, to be honest, careful, laborious, and diligent. As you hope for Success in this World, and Happiness in the next, you are to be mindful of what has been taught you. You are to behave honestly, justly, soberly, and carefully in everything, to everybody, and especially towards your____and Family; and to execute all lawful Commands with Industry, Chearfulness, and good Manners.


You may find many Temptations to do wickedly, when you are in the World; but by all means fly from them. Always speak the Truth. Tho’ you may have done a wrong thing, you will, by a sincere Confession, more easily obtain Forgiveness than if by and Obstinate Lye you make the Fault the greater, and thereby deserve a far greater Punishment. Lying is looked upon to be the Beginning of everything that is bad; and a Person used to it is never believed, esteemed, or trusted.


Be not ashamed that you were bred in this Hospital. Own it; and say that it was thro’ the good Providence of Almighty God that you were taken care of. Bless Him for it; and be thankful to those worthy Benefactors who have contributed towards your Maintenance and Support. And if ever it be in your Power, make a grateful Acknowledgment to the Hospital for the Benefits you have received.


Be constant in your Prayers, and going to Church; & avoid Gaming, Swearing and all evil Discourses: By this means the Blessing of God will follow your honest Labours, and you will also gain the Good-Will of all good Persons. If you follow the Instructions which had all along been taught you, and which we now give you, you may be happy; otherwise you will bring upon yourself Misery, Shame, and Want.

Note, Your Master will provide you Meat, Drink, Washing, Lodging, and Clothing: And he has agreed to pay you Five Pounds a year, for the Three last years of your Apprenticeship.

Devised 17th of April, 1754