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Selina Pascale

Selina Pascale


Total Article : 213

About Me:I'm a graduate student studying International Criminal Law and first started writing for King's News almost 4 years ago! My hobbies include reading, travelling and charity work. I cover many categories but my favourite articles to write are about mysteries of the ancient world, interesting places to visit, the Italian language and animals!

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A Brief History of London Part 2

A Brief History of London Part 2

The 17th Century proved to bring a period of unrest with London being particularly anarchic due to a series of unfortunate events and political turmoil. Shakespeare's Globe was built then burnt down in 1613. After being rebuilt and quickly closed by the Puritans in 1642 a new version, as close to the original globe as possible, was constructed in the 90s and remains open for the public to immerse themselves in Shakespeare's world today.


The Gunpowder Plot took place in 1605 as a failed assassination attempt on the King carried out by provincial English Catholics - the most infamous being Guy Fawkes. The plan of blowing up the House of Lords was revealed to the authorities and was stopped in time, with the surviving perpetrators being sentenced to death. This Century also marks the first time an English King was killed in what truly became a revolutionary event. In the 1640s civil war spread throughout England, as Charles I and his army battled against Parliament, which at the time was led by Oliver Cromwell and based in London. The King failed to secure a victory and was beheaded in London in 1649.


Just a decade later, in 1655, rats onboard of navy fleets brought the fatal plague to England. Due to poor hygiene and close living areas the plagues spread extremely rapidly, causing around 100,000 deaths in the year. If someone in the house had caught the plague their changes of survival were extremely thin and the owners had to draw the sign of a red cross on the doors and everyone who lived in the house would stay isolated inside for 40 days. Dead bodies would flood the town and the rich fled to the countryside. The famous rhyme "Ring a ring-o-roses, A pocket full of posies, Ah-tishoo, ah-tishoo, We all fall down." was about the plague. In fact the first line, 'ring a ring of roses' referred to the rashes shaped as rings that the plague's victims tended to have. 'A pocket full of posies' describes the bunches of herbs and flowers Londoners carried with them in an attempt to protect themselves from the plague and sneezing was one of the initial symptoms of getting the plague.


1666 brought London more hardship as a fire - initially a small fire - started in Pudding Lane in the City of London. The fire spread quickly and lasted four days, wiping out around 80% of London. Considering the sheer power of the fire fewer lives than expected were lost. After this tragic event, London was rebuilt using stone and brick.


19th Century Britain was very powerful and had set up a formidable trading system. This period of exploration via the harsh seas led to British colonialism. Queen Victoria reigned during this period and her influence was felt across the colonies. In fact, when I visited Kolkata in 2017 I visited the famous Victoria Memorial glorifying the Queen despite Victoria never actually visited India. Many houses in London have kept their beautiful Victorian designs todate and the tube, which is perhaps the most iconic means of transport in London, was also created in 1862!


The 20th Century featured a drastic growth in the population living in London and shopping excelled with the opening of Harrods and Selfridges, the first shops of their kind which are still a large shopping spot for Londoners and tourists today! The World Wars brought a lot of damage to London, particularly during the Blitz in WW2. Walking around London today you can spot areas near St Paul's Cathedral which has been subject to the bombings as you'll find Victorian style buildings next to modern ones.


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