The World in One City: Migration and the making of modern London
The World in One City (c) Mark Rowland 2013
London was born an international City. Its first colonists were the men of the Roman legions drawn from all over the empire and it has, since that inception, been a global community making its living by global trade.
In 1904 when it was at the heart of the greatest empire the world had ever seen, Joseph Chamberlain called it “The clearing house of the world”. Fast forward to today’s London and over 270 different nationalities speaking more than 300 different languages call this great city home.
Whilst it has never been without its tensions – notably the 13th century persecution of the Jews and the enmity from the City trade guilds towards the huge 16th and 17th century influx of Huguenot craftsmen fleeing religious persecution in Europe – London has nevertheless always provided a home for those with ambition and a haven for those escaping persecution elsewhere no matter where their origin. And it wouldn’t be half the city it is without them.
On the walk you will hear about: the Jewish experience, from persecution and expulsion to re-settlement and integration and the longest continually operating synagogue in Europe; the Gloucester boy who came to London to make his fortune and ended up being Lord Mayor no less than four times; the Hansa traders and their Germanic “city within the City"; the halcyon days of the Pool of London as the greatest trading port in the world; the enterprising Italians who invented modern-day banking; the Roman forum that became a meat market (and featured in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone); the two organisations within a couple of hundred metres of each other that have the greatest influence on global merchant shipping; the world’s first global mega corporation founded in 1600; the street now a world-famous Sunday market where so many new arrivals’ ambitions started; and the rescue mission that saved 10,000 Jewish children from near-certain death in Hitler’s concentration camps.
The walk commences at St Paul's Underground station (meet outside the Caffe Nero directly outside the station - take St Paul's/Old Bailey exit) and finishes at Liverpool Street station, walk duration is about 2 hours.
Please check travel options at the Transport for London Journey Planner.
When & Where
Mark Rowland, Footprints of London
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IMPORTANT: Attendance on any walk can only be guaranteed through pre-booking. If you cannot pre-book here but wish to attend, you are welcome to do so, but you must please give me prior notice via my contact form on my website (please remember to provide a phone number) and I will confirm arrangements by return.
Please only make the journey to a meeting point if you have received a confirmation from me.
Many thanks, and I look forward to seeing you on one of my walks!