Category: Politics & Bureaucracy

The Perils of Buggins’ Turn

The turbulent mayoralty of Sir Charles Whetham shows the pitfalls of assigning an important job by seniority rather than on merit.

Noxious niffs, nauseous nickers & blue-billy? It’s the City Gasworks

For more than half a century the few blocks between Blackfriars and Whitefriars in the City's south western corner were dominated by the City of London Gas Light and Coke Company.

Protests, Petitions & Poverty: The Fellowship Porters’ Chaotic Fall

The centuries-old Fellowship of Free Porters couldn't survive the seismic changes of the Victorian era. I chart its chaotic and tragic collapse mainly through the eyes of newspaper journalists.

Every Dog Must Have His Day

Having earlier written a post based entirely on architecture related to cars, I've now tried my hand at something similar for man's best friend.

Lesser Fleas

Nothing to do with fleas, nor even the plague. Instead, I describe another two of those administrative curiosities that London seems to specialise in - the Inner and Middle Temples.

James Townsend’s Legacy

Was he a liberal reformer and the first black Lord mayor of London, a figure to be celebrated, or an imperialist unaware of his own ethnicity? Read on to discover why I don't really answer the question.

Local Government, City of London Style

A post for devotees of municipal governance. Welcome to a world of Freemen, Liverymen, Councilmen, Aldermen, Sheriffs, Aldermanic Sheriffs and a Lord Mayor, in a city that is home to less than 10,000 people.

All Hail the Ale Conners …

Welcome to the bizarre world of the Southwark Courts Leet, City outposts south of the Thames that have had no purpose for centuries and yet are still with us, alive and ... er ... well, they are certainly alive.

Where the Weird Things Are

Try spotting the eccentricity - more difficult than you might expect - as I outline the history of the Eccentric Club. It's a story of thespians, beaver hats, philanthropy, Mr. Fulham and the owners of Chelsea FC's ground.
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