London in the Time of the Stuarts

By Walter Besant | Go to book overview

CHAPTER I
FOOD AND DRINK

IN considering the manners and customs of London during the seventeenth century we are met with the difficulty that a long civil war, followed by a visitation of Plague and a dreadful Fire, cuts the periods into two parts, and that after the war is over and the King restored we find great changes, in religious thought and ideas, in manners and customs, in society and fashions. The seventeenth corresponds in this respect with the nineteenth century; in our own time we have emerged out of eighteenth-century ideas, which prevailed until displaced by the silent though rapid revolution of the Victorian age. In the seventeenth century there is a similar revolution, but violent and created by the sword.

The City of 1670, as we have seen by our study of the map, resembled in very few details the London of 1640. We must endeavour to bear that point very carefully in mind. And if we take the latter, rather than the former half of the century for consideration, it is because the former half offers little change from the London of Queen Elizabeth.

The rents of houses varied, of course, with the site and the size. It would appear that for £30 a year one could rent a house of moderate size in any but the most expensive parts of the town. On Ludgate Hill or in Cheapside the rents were a great deal higher.

Of the furniture in such a house I have an inventory belonging to the year 1680. There were four bedrooms. One of these, the principal room, was furnished with a carved bedstead, which had a canopy and a valence; curtains, a looking-glass, and four chairs. The other three bedrooms were less splendidly furnished. There was, however, a plentiful supply of blankets, pillows, bolsters, and feather beds. There were two parlours. One of these was hung with tapestry; curtains of green cloth and a green carpet adorned it; it contained two tables, a clock case, a leather chair, a plush chair, six green cloth chairs, and two green stools. There was a cupboard and one of the tables had a drawer. The other parlour was more simply furnished, and was hung with grey linsey woolsey and gilt leather.

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London in the Time of the Stuarts
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • 49079 Preface v
  • Contents ix
  • Illustrations xi
  • Sovereigns 1
  • Chapter I James I 3
  • Chapter II Charles I 22
  • Chapter III the City and the Civil War 53
  • Chapter IV the Commonwealth 64
  • Chapter V the Restoration 74
  • Chapter VI 82
  • Chapter VII: James II 103
  • Chapter VIII William the Third 117
  • Chapter IX Queen Anne 127
  • Religion, Government, and Trade 135
  • Chapter I Religion 137
  • Chapter II Tiie Church and Dissent 154
  • Chapter III Superstitions 159
  • Chapter IV Sanctuary 168
  • Chapter V City Government and Usages 172
  • Chapter VI Trade 190
  • Chapter VII the Irish Estates 206
  • The Great Plague and Fire 213
  • Chapter I Plague 215
  • Chapter II Plague and Medicine 233
  • Chapter III the Fire 240
  • Chapter IV Ii. the Fire of London 244
  • Chapter V Contemporary Evidence 258
  • Chapter VI London After the Fire 269
  • Manners and Customs 285
  • Chapter I Food and Drink 287
  • Chapter II Dress and Manners 298
  • Chapter III Weddings and Funerals 308
  • Chapter IV Places of Resort 311
  • Chapter V Theatre and Art 318
  • Chapter VI: Sports and Amusements 328
  • Chapter VII Coaches 338
  • Chapter VIII Punishment and Crime 345
  • Chapter IX Public Morality 355
  • Chapter X General Notes 359
  • Appendices 363
  • Index 385
  • Ogilby and Morgan's Map of London, 1677 397
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