Rebel Rebel

From Inktober posts in October 2018 – part of my Pick and Choose History of Courtenay Street, Kennington and Lambeth:

 

Rebel Rebel – in fact so many I went for a double page spread! Kennington and North Lambeth have a long history of protest and free thinking, maybe it’s having the Thames safely between us and the establishment that makes us a little more radical? We have here the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381- they sacked Lambeth Palace – mainly destroying documents and ledgers that could be used to identifyand locate people

for tax / military service purposes. The Jacobites of 1745 captured at Culloden were shipped to London and then most were executed at Kennington Common. Guy Fawkes and his crew stored their gunpowder at his house on Fore Street in Lambeth – handy for transportation by river to Westminster. In 1848 the Chartists rallied at Kennington Common, their leader and main speaker for the rally was Feargal O’Connor – all they wanted was for everyone to have a vote! In 1990 the poll tax protesters mustered at Kennington Park before marching on Westminster – it didn’t end well. William Blake, visionary and poet, lived at Hercules Road.

Muriel Matters an Australian suffragette lived in Kennington and is famous, whilst in London, for using a hot air balloon to deliver suffrage leaflets to/on the people of London. Rather more effectively Emma Cons was a social campaigner who worked in Lambeth for better housing and conditions for the poor, she also set up Morley College and rescued the Old Vic from dereliction beginning a programme of Shakespeare, classical music and penny lectures (which they are now still doing at Morely College). Her work at the Old Vic was taken over by her niece Lillian Baylis and her legacy there of creating an acting company who could put on classics and new plays led eventually to the setting up of the National Theatre. Oh and me and the women from WEP Lambeth – we’re here too! I haven’t covered here all the other bits of Lambeth – such as Brixton and Norwood – maybe another page for them and I’m still working on the research!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Lost Palaces

From Inktober posts in October 2018 – part of my Pick and Choose History of Courtenay Street, Kennington and Lambeth:

img_1145-1.jpg

The Lost Palaces of Kennington. I’m pretty much living in the paddock of Kennington Palace (now replaced by the hideous Edinburgh House) there is no image of the earlier medieval palace except of the Long Barn which was once part of its stables. My drawing is based on a floor plan derived from archaeological digs of the 1960s and extant examples of medieval manor houses such as Baddesley Clinton and Ightham Mote. The manor was replaced with another grand house for which there is an engraving from the 18th century and a picture of the gate house from the 19th. Norfolk House was gone of Agnes dowager Duchess of Norfolk and Catherine Howard spent her youth there. (It is now replaced by a Novotel). Fawkes Hall (the corrupted name of which gives its name to Vauxhall) lasted long enough that an engraving of it exists. It was the prison of Arabella Stuart whose only crime was to be a Stuart but not Guy Fawkes – sadly as that would be ironic given the site is occupied now by MI6!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Pubs & Ghost Pubs

From Inktober posts October 2018 – Part of my Pick and Choose History of Courtenay Street, Kennington and Lambeth

IMG_1144

img_1143.jpg

Pubs and ghost pubs. Courtenay Street is still well served by pubs and bars with the Duchy Arms at the corner of the street, the Dog House, Tommyfield, Cock (previously Tiki bar), Ship on the main Kennington Road, the Pilgrim, Royal Oak and Royal Vauxhall Tavern on Kennington Lane and the Dog House tucked away on the far side of Spring Gardens. But there used to be so many more! Looking at how overcrowded people were in their homes it is clear that the pub was the drawing (and dining) room of the poor – a place to meet and entertain.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Yesterday of the Boy

From Inktober posts Oct 2018 – part of the Pick and Choose History of Courtenay Street, Kennington and Lambeth:

img_1142.jpg

Yesterday of the Boy, there is indeed an International Men’s Day (19 Nov) and many boys still live in poverty and are forced to work from a young age or sent to war as child soldiers. In 1911 in Courtenay Street there were 77 boys (under 18) seven were out at work, the youngest of whom was 14, a van boy for Pickfords. Other jobs were; office boy, carman, district messenger, kitchen boy, labourer. Based on ages in 1911, 18 of these boys would have been old enough to fight in the First World War. Many lived in poverty, two in just one room with their families, 29 in seriously overcrowded accommodation. On the other hand the street could have supported its own football league!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Prince of the Welsh?

From Inktober posts Oct 2018 part of the Pick and Choose History of Courtenay Street, Kennington and Lambeth:

img_1139.jpg

Prince of the Welsh? Well the Prince of Wales has owned most of Lambeth for a long time, but it seems more likely that the Welsh were attracted here in the 18th and 19th centuries because of all the market and private gardens. So many came that Allen in his history of Lambeth (written in 1827) says that the hiring fair by St Mary’s became known as ‘Taffy’s Fair’. I also found out that young women and girls would set off from Tregaron in Wales at one minute past midnight on a Sunday (to avoid working on the Sabbath) to begin the long walk to London where many of them worked in market and private gardens. Some picked strawberries and sold them in little baskets at roadsides, others worked weeding in gardens and some worked in the dairy trade. Looking at a trade directory from the early 1900s I had already noticed how many of the dairies and milkmen had Welsh surnames, and it seems their involvement in the milk trade has deep roots.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Secret Tunnels of Kennigton

From Inktober posts Oct 2018 part of the Pick and Choose History of Courtenay Street, Kennington and Lambeth:

img_1138.jpg

Secret Tunnels in Kennington! We all know about the ones from MI6 to MI5 and so on but these ones mentioned by Clowes in 1916 (which he dismisses) might still be there – who knows. When I plotted them on a map they seemed to form a straight line down Kennington Lane to the river – so it might be that the ‘tunnel’ was in fact a dry culvert or old sewer – or perhaps more interesting? There were convictions for smuggling in Lambeth in 16th/17th Centuries and it was also a place where various discarded Queens and pretenders got put (Caroline of Brunswick, Catherine of Aragon and Arabella Stuart) so perhaps also the tunnels were for escape and intrigue… speculations such as this are why I issued myself with an Artistic Licence.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Gardening – Kennigton Roses

From Inktober posts in October 2018
Gardening

“Really this is from yesterday – I was thinking about it as I was working at the Garden Museum last night. In case you can’t read my writing it says: Gardening. In Courtenay Street if you want to start a conversation that isn’t about the weather, the latest planning catastrophe or the wheelie-bin controversy, you can always talk about roses. Kennington is rich in roses and Courtenay Street and Square especially so. There is a flame coloured rose on the corner of the square that blooms brightly all winter. There have always been gardens and gardeners here, including John Tradescant Senior and John Tradescant younger, great plant hunters and pioneers of the 17th Century who gave us the horse chestnut, tradescantia and the first public museum in Britain (in which one of the exhibits was a dodo).”

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment