Bought two postcards of the principal Turner watercolour of the fire today from the Tate. One for home, one for work.
The 1834 Fire
I’m on leave now for over a week, and so therefore have a really good opportunity to crack on with the book. The wide-ranging snippets written up in this stint include: thefts and pickpocketing among the crowd; the marble mantelpieces of the Speaker’s House and damage thereto; cottaging in St Margaret’s Churchyard; and beer rations given out to the soldiers.
Transcribed a hilarious verse broadsheet today on the fire, which includes the deathless couplet: Oh dear, oh dear, what a consternation / This affair will cause throughout the nation. Must work the pome into the book somehow…
Popped into the St Stephen’s cloisters by Westminster Hall today, which were half destroyed by the fire in 1834 (then again by the Blitz) but half survive. They were built just over a decade before the dissolution of the monasteries, so weren’t used as intended for very long. They are marvellous, and an incredible survival right in the middle […]
Tallies were responsible for the fire of 1834 at Parliament. Or rather: the idiocy of people disposing of them was responsible. One of the tallies on display at work had split into pieces, so our collection care manager took on the task of repairing a seven-hundred year old stick of hazel-wood. But before she did that, she needed […]
I’ve been researching this book seriously for three or four years now, but it’s only in the last six months that I’ve really got down to doing some serious writing. That’s been aided by finding a range of new sources, and by setting up a permanent writing station in the cellar (otherwise our dining room). […]