Saturday, August 29, 2020

London Murder Map

First up, the Cambridge Independent:

University of Cambridge criminologist Manuel Eisner creates medieval murder map of London
It is as grisly a map as you will ever come across.
A University of Cambridge criminologist has plotted the murders recorded by coroners in medieval London from 1300-40.

The digital map is now available to view on the website of the Violence Research Centre, part of the Institute of Criminology, and tells the stories of the many violent ways Londoners met their deaths.
In Bishopsgate in August 1316, for example, we learn how tiler John of Heurne was grabbed by the throat by a woman, then attacked with a stone and a pick-axe by two men, in a dispute over the payment of rent. Shaken and beaten, his back, shoulders and sides were left mangled, and he died the next morning.

Some murders followed what now seem trivial disputes.
Priest Richard Henry, we learn, used to jump over a garden wall in Cripplegate to steal fruit, but around midnight one night in July 1316the property’s loyal gardener, Roger, was lying in wait and set after him with a stick. The priest produced a trenchour - a type of knife - and thrust it two inches into his heart, killing him.

Prof Manuel Eisner, who analysed 142 homicides in the city boundaries, said: “Following notification of a violent death, the coroner and sheriffs would summon a jury from the local area to investigate, then record all the findings....

Follow the link for the interactive version and click on a pin .
(How to Use the Medieval London Murder Map)

The first thing that attracts ones attention is just how geographically small the city was, although the Violence Research Centre points out:
By around 1300 London had become one of the largest cities in Europe. Its population is estimated to have been around 80,000. Most of the population lived within the City of London, north of the Thames, although Southwark had become a substantial urban settlement sprawling out from the south end of London Bridge.