Make the most of London

BBC Filming in Clerkenwell

May 10, 2017
BBC Filming in Clerkenwell


Whilst out with a lovely group on my Georgian London tour in North Clerkenwell we were lucky enough to come across the BBC filming. When I asked the crew, and after being told they were filming Jeremy Kyle the movie I was informed they were filming a new miniseries of Howards End. 

Back in February 2017 the BBC announced an all-star cast for Kenneth Lonergan's adaption of Howards End for BBC One. This is to be Academy Award® nominated screenwriter and playwright Lonergan's first TV screen adaption. The miniseries will consist of four hour-long episodes directed by Hettie Macdonald (White Girl).

Howards End was written by E. M. Forster, an English novelist, short story writer and essayist most famously known for A Passage to India (1924). He was born in Victorian London, in what is now Dorset Square. Before his second birthday his father had died of tuberculosis and he and his mother moved up to Rooksnest, near Stevenage, Hertfordshire which later served as a model for Howards End, because he held fond childhood memories from there.

Between 1897 and 1901, whilst studying at King's College Cambridge, he became a member of a discussion society known as the Apostles, who met in secret, and discussed their work on and about philosophical and moral questions. Many of its members later became members of the Bloomsbury Group. Forster was no exception and was a peripheral member in the 1910s and 1920s. 

About Howards End
Howards End was written and first published in 1910 and offers an extraordinary insightful glimpse into the life of England in the years before World War  and attempts to answer the question "Who shall inherit England?" meaning, which class of English people would come to define the nation? by exploring the lives of three different groups of people, each representing a particular social class and aspect.

Howards End is considered by some to be Forster's masterpiece. In 1998, the Modern Library ranked Howards End 38th on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century.

The Schlegel sisters of Howards End, representing the intellectual aspect of the upper classes are based, to some degree, on Vanessa and Virginia Stephen.

About Myddelton Square
Myddelton Square is the largest and grandest in Clerkenwell. The square and gardens is within Islington's council's designated New River Conservation Area, an area of special architectural and historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance.

The New River Conservation Area is one of the largest in Islington and includes some of the finest terraces and squares in the Borough. 

Mentions:

Joanna Lumley shares her authentic London gem with the Evening Standard (2015)
Peter Ibbetson, George Du Maurier (1892)

Notable Residents:

Thomas Dibdin - actor, playwright and stage manager of Sadler's Wells Theatre

Golding Bird - medical doctor and Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians

Fenner Brockway - Pacifist and Labour MP lived in a commune during Fabian times.

Matt Zimmerman - Tracy in Thunderbirds

Jabez Bunting - Wesleyan Methodist minister

Filming in Myddelton Square:

Suffragettes, 2015- Meryl Streep rallies a group of impassioned Suffragettes

Unforgotten 2, 12017 - the action was all filmed from inside a car driving around the square.

Howards End, 2017 - postman crossing the road

Book a Georgian London tour with Hazel, London Guided Walks

 

Rossopomodoro - a taste of Naples in Covent Garden

March 30, 2017
Rossopomodoro - a taste of Naples in Covent Garden

One of the challenges of eating out in Covent Garden is to avoid the tourist traps and find somewhere authentic and affordable. Rossopomodoro’s Covent Garden restaurant is in olive-spitting distance from well-known chains Bella Italia and Spaghetti House. I was curious as to what culinary delights yet another Italian restaurant chain can offer the area.

The décor is simple and functional with ceiling lamps, and a golden mosaic tile wood oven creates a kitchen-like appearance.  

The menu is wide and varying. Napoli is famed for its pizzas. There were many ingredients and dish names we weren’t familiar with. Being in an adventurous mood we took the recommendations of the hospitable staff.

Starters:

Aperol Spritz (Prosecco, Aperol and soda water)

Prosecco

Green & juicy black olives and salted yellow Lupin beans with chilli and pepper

Burrata - Fresh and creamy Burrata on a whole-wheat focaccia with slices tomatoes and grilled vegetables (aubergine, courgette and roasted red pepper). Burrata is a combination of mozzarella (providing the outer shell) and cream (providing a gooey centre). When visiting Napoli we over indulge on mozzarella as it has been such a disappointment anywhere else. Here they fly in their DOP Buffalo Mozzarella so we knew we were onto a good thing. The opening of the burrata is an event itself with olive oil and pepper adding the final touches. Each mouthful differentiated itself from the previous one by the varying topping. 



Calamari e Zeppole 
The fried Calamari batter was crisp and light and fried seaweed zeppole were chewy and tasty and added a nice contrast of textures. The lemon dressing was zesty and really made the dish pop. 


Mains:

Gialla, Provola e Nduja Pizza

Liking spicy food I chose this sweet yellow plum tomato sauce, mozzarella, spicy spianata salami and basil pizza drizzled with chilli oil. The pizza dough has a raised soft crust with slight charring and a soft, juicy heart in the centre. The unfamiliar ingredient was the spicy spianata which is a flattened salami sausage smoked over maple wood which has a deliciously rich and spicy and subtly smoky flavour. Unlike other salamis, including pepperoni, the spianata melts, creating juicy meaty pools of happiness.

Cestello di Pasta Mista Cozze e Fagioli 

Mixed Pasta with mussels, cannellini beans, cherry tomatoes, garlic and chilli served in homemade basket of bread. This made for an interesting and subtle mix of flavours. Contained within a pizza-base bowl which remains crisp on the edge and absorbs the juices at the bottom. It is unusual to see Pasta Mista Cozze e Fagioli in London but in Naples it is wheeled out at the end of wedding feasts, at the point where guests think the meal has ended and are so stuffed they can’t eat any more but are always tempted by la sorpresa dello chef, a firm local favourite.


Wine:

We chose Greco di Tufo DOCG, one we are familiar with from our holidays in Napoli. With flavours of wild fennel, sage and white flowers it was robust enough to hold its own against the Gialla, Provola e Nduja Pizza.

Dessert:

Babà a Crema 
It’s stylishly served with a vanilla sauce drizzle and cherries. The sweet sponge cake is so soaked with rum that is oozes out when teased with the fork. This Italian version of the French Rum baba, briskly brushes away the ghostly memories of 1980s wedding breakfasts. 

Delizia 
Prettily presented with consistent textured sweet lemon sponge cake and tangy lemon cream.


Digestif

Nurchetto, apple liqueur.

Much like the cox apple in England, the annurca apple is the queen of Italian apples. It’s crisp, tart and juicy. It lends itself well to the culinary preparations from cakes, sorbets, decoctions vinegar, jams, juices 


The Verdict:

This is no normal Italian restaurant chain - Their unique approach to ingredients they source from in and around the Naples area. Naples is the region’s capital and is famous the world over for their pizzas (think Julia Roberts in 2010 film Eat, Love Pray rather than Mystic Pizza). Their pizza dough has a 24-hour long proofing process and is made with Caputo red quality flour and mineral water they import. They even have a clock on the wall showing how long their dough has been proofed.

Their key to success? Local Napolitan, high-quality ingredients, traditional Neapolitan recipes and professional and passionate staff is a winning combination.

Rossopomodoro Covent Garden address:

50 - 52 Monmouth Street, WC2 H9EP

Book a table online

Opening Times:

Monday – Thursday: 12.00 – 23.00

Friday – Saturday: 12.00 – 23.30

Sunday: 12.00 – 22.00

Heading to Covent Garden at Lunchtime?

Rossopomodoro offers a lunchtime deal: Two courses for £9.95 2 with a coffee and a coppetta dessert for  £2.95. Offer available Mon-Fri 12pm to 5pm, except public holidays.

T&Cs: 12.5% optional service charge. Not valid with any other offer. Subject to availability. Not available on Bank Holidays and special events dates.

Rossopomodoro has other branches in Camden, Chelsea, Hoxton, Oxford Street (John Lewis), Swiss Cottage, Wandsworth, Kingston and Newcastle.


You may also like our blog posts:

*I was a guest of Rossopomodoro, but as always my opinion is my own. Contact blog@londonguidedwalks.co.uk

 

Floating Garden Party

March 24, 2017
Floating Garden Party

A unique London Thames experience - 25th, 26th and 27th May 2017

The Floating Gardens of Westminster coincide with the Chelsea Flower Show between 23rd – 27th May 2017. A cool and contemporary cruise collides with a quintessentially British garden, offering tourists and Londoners alike the best floating garden party in the city.

The fresh, flower-clad vessel will see a City Cruises sightseeing boat transformed into a fragrant paradise. Hundreds of thousands of fresh roses will adorn the ship's exterior and turf will be laid on the inner and outer gardens, creating a typical English countryside garden and a completely unique experience on the River Thames.

The rose-lined top deck pathway will feature a three-tier water centrepiece, creating the gardens coolest hotspot with unparalleled views of London’s skyline. Designed by Amie Bone, who has dressed glitzy London hotels including The Corinthia and the Shangri-La Hotel in The Shard with her fabulous floral expertise, the ship is the first of its kind to sail along the Thames and is the ultimate springtime day out.

Indulge in unlimited bubbles and delicious canapes while a DJ brings the party to life with a live set. You will also take away a goody bag full of floral treats, complete with a plantable ticket to bring the Floating Gardens of Westminster to life at home.


The Floating Gardens of Westminster will depart from Westminster Pier on the 25th, 26th and 27th May 2017 at 12pm, 2.30pm, 5pm and 7.30pm.  Cruise duration c. 90 minutes.


Get your tickets now



Related Links:
Quirky Dining Experiences


Written by Hazel at LondonGuidedWalks.co.uk - Keep in the know with our email newsletter
 

Cake and cocktails? Yes please

March 21, 2017
Cake and cocktails? Yes please


A girly catch-up was well overdue. Since we couldn’t decide between cake and cocktails we decided to head somewhere in Central London that offered both. Having been to the Quarter Bar & Lounge at London Bridge Hotel for cocktails before I was aching to try their afternoon tea. 

We had a booth reserved which gave the feeling of privacy. Champagne or a sparkling cocktail can replace the usual tea offering for an additional £10. We chose the regular afternoon tea and had a couple of cheeky cocktails beforehand.



Our favourite cocktails were the Hipster which had a tequila base, aperol, ginger, passion fruit and super pretty edible flower decorations and a vodka-based apple martini which isn’t even on the menu. The staff were professional, friendly and attentive without being intrusive.

Sipping our teas (Assam and green) we were presented with our afternoon tea, beautifully presented on an impressive three-tier stainless steel cake-stand.


The finger-sandwich fillings included egg mayonnaise and cress, generously sliced pepper-edged honey-roast ham and wholegrain mayo and double-layered coronation chicken and spring onions. A mini smoked-salmon bagel with cream cheese also accompanied the savouries. All sandwiches are freshly made on the premises and you can really tell.

Two scones; one fruit, one plain followed. They scones are sizeable and hold their shape when bitten into. The accompanying thick cream and homemade strawberry jam is bountiful.



The cakes seemed almost too pretty to eat….almost. The difficulty was which cake to start with. The display consisted of a mini chocolate tartlet, mini macaroons, a vanilla and raspberry delice and a layered triple chocolate delice. The mini chocolate tartlet made it to the top of the hit list and looked especially sophisticated with the phials fruit proudly positioned on top. The pastry is crisp, light and thick enough to hold its shape when bitten into. The chocolate filling is bold and smooth. 



The jelly top of layered vanilla and raspberry delice is packed full of flavour. The mousse was creamy and consistent. The layered triple chocolate delice is especially fun to dive into due to it’s crispy meringue topping. 

We played guess the flavour with the macaroons. Our conclusion: lemon, raspberry, chocolate and a surprising coffee. We had been hoping for a salted caramel. The shells we smooth and crack-free, the texture firm, and the flavours unapologetic. 

 

Example of Quarter Bar & Lounge Afternoon Tea Menu

Choose from a range of teas 

Selection of finger sandwiches e.g. smoked salmon & caper butter on brown bread, egg mayonnaise & mustard cress on white bread, cucumber, sundried tomato paste & dill cream cheese on brown bread (v), honey roast ham, English mustard & rocket salad on white bread 

Homemade plain & fruit scones clotted cream & homemade strawberry jam 

Quarter selection of pastries mini fruit tartlet, bergamot cupcake, mini macaron, layered triple chocolate delice 


Afternoon Tea Prices

Classic Afternoon Tea £25
(see above)

Champagne Afternoon Tea £35
Classic afternoon tea and a glass of Duval-Leroy Fleur de Champagne Brut

Cocktail Afternoon Tea £35
Classic afternoon tea and your choice of a sparkling cocktail from menu

Vegetarian afternoon tea options also available. 


Afternoon Tea Times:

Monday - Friday: 2.30pm - 5.00pm
Saturday, Sunday & Bank Holidays: 1.00pm - 5.00pm


Overall, afternoon tea at the Quarter Bar & Lounge at London Bridge Hotel was very enjoyable. Its location was perfect for both of us to come into central London,being a stone’s throw from an entrance to London Bridge station. The Quarter Bar and Lounge is a comfortable and relaxing environment where the staff are proficient and friendly. 

For further information and to book your experience online please visit: http://www.londonbridgehotel.com/food-drink/afternoon-tea/


You may also like our blog posts:

Afternoon at The Keeper's House, Royal Academy

Afternoon Tea on the BB Bakery Bus


*I was a guest of London Bridge Hotel for the classic afternoon tea. As always, my opinion is my own.
Contact blog@londonguidedwalks.co.uk

 

Have you visited Nunhead Cemetery yet?

March 16, 2017
Have you visited Nunhead Cemetery yet?
Nunhead Cemetery was originally called All Saints. Covering 52 acres, it is the second largest of the ‘Magnificent Seven’ cemeteries established around the outskirts of London between 1832 and 1841 during a time when inner city churchyards were unhealthily overcrowded.
The cemetery was built on Nunhead Hill which rises two hundred feet above sea level with views of the City of London and St Paul’s Cathedral to the north and the North Downs to the south.
The London Cemetery Company, the original owner, went bankrupt and passed the graveyard into to the ownership of the United Cemetery Company (UCC) in 1960. The UCC couldn't run it profitably, so closed Nunhead in 1969, locked the gates, and left it to decay.
In 1975, Southwark Council bought the site for £1, although very little was done with it until the late 1990s when it was awarded Lottery funding, allowing the Friends of Nunhead Cemetery to renovate and restore it.
Almost 270,000 people are buried here, dating back as far as 1840.
The Anglican chapel is in the Gothic style and constructed from Kentish ragstone, and was one of two built in 1844 to the design by Thomas Little. Little had been a pupil of architect Robert Abraham (Arundel Castle, east wing and Norfolk House, St. James’s Square and Alton Towers, garden buildings). There are almost one hundred drawings of Nunhead Cemetery’s chapels held by the Royal Institute of British Architects.
After the completion of the Nunhead Cemetery chapels Little went on to design the layout of Paddington cemetery, its chapels and lodges, as well as numerous churches in London and Sussex. In 1975, Southwark Council bought the site for £1, although very little was done with it until the late 1990s when it was awarded Lottery funding, allowing the Friends of Nunhead Cemetery to renovate and restore it.
Art in Nunhead Cemetery, 20 Feb - 22 April 2017
Nunhead Cemetery hosts ‘Sacred Bodies’ by Sara Burgess. Read more here Written by Hazel at LondonGuidedWalks.co.uk - Keep in the know with our email newsletter
 

‘Sacred Bodies’ by Sara Burgess

March 16, 2017
‘Sacred Bodies’ by Sara Burgess
Art in Nunhead Cemetery, 20 Feb - 22 April 2017
Nunhead cemetery hosts ‘Sacred Bodies’ by Sara Burgess her first solo exhibition of her metal sculpture work in an outdoor space. This art exhibition explores our connection between the inevitable physicality of our earthly, human existence and our violation to overcome suffering.
‘Iron Maiden’ is a stylised wrought-iron torso in a female form; highlighting the enduring discrimination against women throughout the ages and took 50 hours to complete. Burgess says ‘I was learning more about blacksmithing and scroll work, and practicing my welding and construction skills - figuring out how to weld the scrolls together was no easy task!’
What are the challenges of creating your metal sculpture work?
‘I use the superb metal workshop facilities at Pelham Hall, Morley College on Saturdays. If I had a studio with metal-work facilities I'm sure I’d be able to spend more time creating my sculptures.’
So what’s next for Sara?
‘I'm currently working on a small-scale maquette (model) of a torso with arms - it's still headless though - and a cage door within the body with more delicate wire material and using brazing - a form of soldering. So watch this space!’
Catch with Sara’s work at Nunhead Cemetery which is open every day until 22nd April 2017.
 

Michelangelo & Sebastiano exhibition review

March 14, 2017
Michelangelo & Sebastiano exhibition review

Credit Suisse Exhibition: Michelangelo & Sebastiano plays homage to two of Italy’s great Renaissance masters, Michelangelo and Sebastiano del Piombo.

The large altarpiece The Raising of Lazarus by Sebastiano (NG1) was one of the first paintings in the National Gallery and so it seems quite surprising that Sebastian is not so well known with those not so immersed in the Renaissance art world.

The National Gallery’s latest exhibition is the first to explore the creative partnership between Michelangelo (1475-1564) and Sebastiano (1485-1547). This is done through around 70 works, including paintings, drawings, sculptures and letters produced by Michelangelo and Sebastiano before, during, and after their friendship and in so doing provides us with a unique insight into both men’s professional and personal lives. 

Michelangelo was working on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel when Sebastian arrived in Rome from Venice. The two men quickly became friends, a friendship which lasted over twenty-five years. Sebastiano was the only oil painter in Rome to rival Raphael who was enjoying his increasing popularity at the time. His skills and friendship must have benefited Michelangelo who favoured neither oil painting nor Raphael. A young Sebastiano would doubtlessly have benefited from the friendship, from Michelangelo’s drawings and conceptual ideas. They collaborated on a number of works including the Pieta for the church of San Francesco in Viterbo, the Raising of Lazarus for the Cathedral of Narbonne, and the Borgherini Chapel:

The are other firsts; Sebastiano’s Visitation ventures from the Louvre; and the Lamentation over the dead Christ from the State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg. The exhibition tells a story from origins, via friendship and rivalry through to an acrimonious end. 

Exhibition Highlights

Michelangelo’s Pieta never fails to impress. Although a cast of the original, this is a chance of seeing it as to how it was designed to be seen, at floor height rather than up and out of reach in Chapel of the Pieta in S. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City. Try to find, hidden in the folds of Mary's left hand, a subtle "M" believed to stand for Michelangelo.  

A combination of 3D printing technology and traditional forming methods has enabled the successful reconstruction of the Borgherini Chapel. Even though it is slightly smaller than the original it is still impressive. 

I very much enjoyed looking at works from different angles, be it earlier versions such as The Risen Christ by Michelangelo which is a larger-than-life-size marble statue (1514-1515) lent by the Church of S. Vincenzo Martire, Bassano Romano. The Risen Christ stands proudly next to a plaster cast of Michelangelo’s second version of the same subject (1519-21) which is permanently housed in the S. Maria sopra Minerva, Rome. This is the first time visitors have had the opportunity to see these two versions side by side. To also see Sebastiano’s painting and study for Christ carrying the Cross whose style at this time seems so closely aligned with Michelangelo’s was particularly special. 

The focus of the exhibition is collaboration and nothing highlights this more than the informal charcoal studies on the reverse of the Viterbo Pieta (1512) which are believed to be by both artists. Some of the smaller figure studies appear to be Michelangelo’s ideas for designs that he would paint on the Sistine Chapel ceiling of the same year, (The Creation of Man) and The Brazen Serpent).

You don’t need to be knowledgeable about Michelangelo, Sebastiano or Italian Renaissance art to enjoy this exhibition as it carefully guides you, providing enough to see and read to build a better understanding of these Renaissance artists as individuals and collaborators.

Visit: Credit Suisse Exhibition: Michelangelo & Sebastian

The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 5DN

15 March – 25 June 2017

Daily 10am-6pm (last admission 5pm) | Fridays 10am-9pm (last admission 8.15pm)

Buy your tickets online here or call 0800 912 6958. 


Admission:

Adult £18 | Senior £16 | National Art Pass (Art Fund holders) £9

Student / Jobseeker / 12-18 years £9

Under-12s (ticket required) Free

Members go free

You may also enjoy Sensational Butterflies at the Natural History Museum

Written by Hazel at London Guided Walks

Email: blog@londonguidedwalks.co.uk

 

New Solo Show to open at Curious Duke Gallery

March 11, 2017
New Solo Show to open at Curious Duke Gallery



Solo Show of Contemporary Artist Louise McNaught explores the theme endangered animals through paintings and 3D painted sculptures at the Curious Duke Gallery, currently London's leading urban and contemporary art space for emerging artists. 

The exhibition on opens Friday 7th April. McNaught's wonderfully colourful combinations of animals and neons where the animals are ‘God-like, sublime and ethereal in their luminescence.’ 

McNaught embraces a mixed-media approach which is motivated by emotive and spiritual experiences. She cleverly balances the delicate relationship between the energy nature and destructive power of mankind. 

Louise McNaught completed her Fine Art Degree BSc (Hons) in 2012 at the University of Greenwich, and she has continued to work as a professional artist ever since, with international representation.

Paintings from this show also feature in her forthcoming book released worldwide in 2018 with Templar Publishing called 'Survival'.

When:

7 - 29 April 2017

11am-6pm Weekdays

12-4pm Saturday

Closed Sundays


Where:

Curious Duke Gallery, 173 WhiteCross Road, London EC1Y 8JT


 Website
www.louisemcnaught.com



Written by Hazel at London Guided Walks

Email: blog@londonguidedwalks.co.uk

 

Sensational Butterflies at Natural History Museum

March 9, 2017
Sensational Butterflies at Natural History Museum



This Easter, escape to the tropical butterfly house and see the crawling caterpillar transform into the beautiful butterfly at the all-time favourite National History Museum.

Sensational Butterflies returns for its ninth year in 2017 and remains a spring and summer favourite for schools, families and anyone seeking solace from the busy London streets.

Running from the 31 March – 17 September you can see so many butterflies and learn about their lives in the specially constructed tropical enclosure on the Museum's east lawn.

Wander among 100s of free flying butterflies and moths from all over the world. Marvel at the behaviour and sheer diversity of these incredible organisms, usually found in the tropical forests of Central and South America, Africa and Asia. Follow the trail through a tropical habitat of flowers, vines and foliage. As butterflies fly overhead, you'll pass happily-munching caterpillars, promised-filled chrysalises and frantic feeding stations.

If you are interested in seeing these beautiful animals flying freely, this is the best place in London to go. It’s is a wonderful chance to learn, via close-up observation, about these amazing creatures, and to delve into the world of sensational butterflies.

Buy your tickets online



Don't forget to share your experience with us on social media!

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 #SensationalButterflies

When: 31 March – 17 September, 10:00-17:50, (last admission 17:15)                                                        
                                                

Admission: Adult, child and concession £6.50*, family £22* 
                  Adult, child and concession £5.85, family £19.80
                  Free for Members, Patrons and children under four

Where: East Lawn, Natural History Museum, 
Exhibition Rd, London SW7 5BD

Visitor enquiries: 020 7942 5000

Buy your Sensational Butterflies tickets online now www.nhm.ac.uk/visit/exhibitions/sensational-butterflies
                                   


*A voluntary donation is included in our admission prices. If you are a UK taxpayer and pay the ticket price including donation, the Natural History Museum can reclaim the tax on the whole ticket price under the Gift Aid scheme. For every £100 worth of tickets sold, we can claim an extra £25 from the Government. This means you can further support the work of the Museum, at no extra cost to you.

Photo Credit:  © The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London


 

Written by Hazel at London Guided Walks

Email: blog@londonguidedwalks.co.uk

 

 

 

 

#BeBoldforChange - looking back to move forward

March 8, 2017
#BeBoldforChange - looking back to move forward



International Women's Day is a day where people come together to help forge a better working world, a more gender inclusive world. This year's International Women's Day is #BeBoldForChange

By definition bold means 
(of a person, action, or idea) showing a willingness to take risks; confident and courageous. Bold, taking risks, confident and courageous aren't words often associate with women, not in a positive light. But why?

Women such as Anne Askew, Edith Cavell and Fanny Burney are all women who showed courage and took risks throughout history. Having covered Fanny Burney in my Evelina’s London walk for last year’s International Women’s Day so let’s back a bit further in time, to the Tudor period.

Anne Askew
Anne is an English poet and Protestant who was condemned as a heretic. She is one of the earliest female poets known to compose in the English language. She kept her maiden name after marrying and the first Englishwoman to demand a divorce.

In 1543 Henry VIII made it illegal for low rank men and all women to read the bible. In protest Anne travelled to her nearest city Lincoln and spent a week openly reading her bible in the Cathedral. This was a bit too much for her Catholic husband and by one way or another Anne left her marital home and joined her sister in London.

Anne became a famous preacher during her time in London, reading and quoting from the Bible to Protestant and Evangelical men and women of all classes. Eventually the authorities had had enough and they arrested Anne in 1545 for heresy. Fortunately for her, no witnesses came forward so the charges were dropped.

While in Newgate Prison Anne wrote protest songs and poems. She saw herself as a knight fighting injustice. She also described the King as cruel. But she also asked God’s forgiveness on behalf of the men ‘what will fall’ who persecuted her.

Here is Anne Askew’s Newgate ballad:

Like as the armed knight
Appointed to the field,
With this world will I fight
And Faith shall be my shield.

Faith is that weapon strong
Which will not fail at need.
My foes, therefore, among
Therewith will I proceed.

As it is had in strength
And force of Christes way
It will prevail at length
Though all the devils say nay.

Faith in the fathers old
Obtained rightwisness
Which make me very bold
To fear no world's distress.

I now rejoice in heart
And Hope bid me do so
For Christ will take my part
And ease me of my woe.

Thou saist, lord, who so knock,
To them wilt thou attend.
Undo, therefore, the lock
And thy strong power send.

More enmyes now I have
Than hairs upon my head.
Let them not me deprave
But fight thou in my stead.

On thee my care I cast.
For all their cruel spight
I set not by their haste
For thou art my delight.

I am not she that list
My anchor to let fall
For every drizzling mist
My ship substancial.

Not oft use I to wright
In prose nor yet in rime,
Yet will I shew one sight
That I saw in my time.

I saw a rial throne
Where Justice should have sit
But in her stead was one
Of moody cruel wit.

Absorpt was rightwisness
As of the raging flood
Sathan in his excess
Suct up the guiltless blood.

Then thought I, Jesus lord,
When thou shalt judge us all
Hard is it to record
On these men what will fall.

Yet lord, I thee desire
For that they do to me
Let them not taste the hire
Of their iniquity.’

On 28 June 1546 Anne was charged with heresy at the Guildhall. The next day she was taken from Newgate prison to the Tower of London to await execution. Anne is also the only woman on record known to have been both tortured on the rack in the Tower of London and burnt at the stake. She should never have been racked as she was the daughter of a knight, had already confessed, and was already condemned to die. Anne wrote letters describing her torture in letters which were smuggled out of the prison, 'And because I lay still and did not cry, my Lord Chancellor and master Rich took pains to rack me with their own hands till I was nigh dead.'

July 16, 1546, she was martyred in Smithfield, London. Unable to stand as a consequence of the torture she endured at the Tower of London, Anne had to be carried to the stake on a chair. She burned to death, along with three other Protestants, John Lassells, John Hemley ('a priest') and John Hadlam ('a tailor').

So, I am finishing off my blog post of International Women's Day 2017 and I grab an old pad for a few more amends and I see on the page edges of my pad a name, marked in pencil. My name. This must have been a pad whilst I was studying for my GCSEs. To see my own teenage writing made me think about myself. Not only the dreams and aspirations I had as a 15 year old but also now. To think that at the same age, Anne’s family forced her to marry Thomas Kyme, a local Catholic landowner, after the death of her sister who was engaged to him. All I had to overcome at that age was my GCSEs.

Would someone describe me as willing to take risks, confident and courageous like Edith Cavell, Fanny Burney or Anne Askew? Or, more importantly, would I?

You can learn more about Anne Askew amongst others on my Murderers and Martyrs London walk.



Written by Hazel at London Guided Walks Email: blog@londonguidedwalks.co.uk


 
Hazel's London blog

"Simply put... I love London; its architecture, its history and its people. After 15 years I still enjoy what this amazing city has to offer.

I am active Londoner, a keen theatre-goer and foodie.

I am available for event, restaurant, afternoon tea and book reviews, plus radio and TV interviews. Get in touch."

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