By Jonathan Oates
Generations of Londoners from Roman instances to the current day have faced usual and man-made threats to their urban. mess ups, rebellions, riots, acts of terror and conflict have marked the lengthy historical past of the capital - and feature formed the nature of its humans. during this evocative account Jonathan Oates remembers in brilliant aspect the perils Londoners have confronted and describes how they coped with them. Jack Cade's uprising and the Gordon Riots, the good Plague and the good hearth, Zeppelin raids, the Blitz, terrorist bombings - those are only some of the striking risks that experience torn the cloth of town and wrecked the lives of such a lot of of its population. This gripping narrative supplies a desirable perception into the tragic historical past of town and it finds a lot in regards to the altering attitudes of Londoners over the centuries.
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Extra info for ATTACK ON LONDON: Disaster, Riot and War
Suspected Royalists were arrested. 13 From the autumn of 1642 to the spring of 1643, defensive works were constructed around London. It is uncertain how enthusiastic Londoners were about these, as they cost both time and money. Even so, William Lithgow thought that 100,000 civilians worked on them — an incredible number if true, as that would account for a third of all Londoners, young and old, rich and poor, men and women. ) with great alacrities, carrying on their shoulders iron mattocks, and wooden shovels, with roaring drummers, flying colours and swords; most companies also including ladies, women and girls: two and two carrying baskets for to advance the labour, where several wrought until they fell sick in their pains.
Yet his Lancastrian successors had variable success. By the reign of Henry VI (1422—1471), matters at home and abroad were in a sorry state. The war in France was coming to a disastrous close and Henry’s government was seen as inept and corrupt. In May 1450 the men of Kent marched on London once more, this time led by Jack Cade, who went by the alias of ‘Mortimer’. As before, the rebels gathered on Blackheath. By 11 June the mutineers had massed a force several thousand strong. Henry VI told them to disperse, which they did on 18 June and the danger seemed to be over.
But this book is not meant as a propaganda tract along the lines of Churchill’s sentiment of ‘London can take it’. Rather, it is an investigation into how Londoners have coped with traumas past. It is not about, in the main, how governments and others had acted, but about the man in the street or in the Clapham omnibus. This book begins with a brief survey of why London is so vulnerable to attack and why it has often attracted the attention of evildoers, followed by a discussion of London’s defences.