Westminster Bridge with the Houses of Parliament, London by Louis Grimshaw

Louis H. Grimshaw (1870 – 1943) – The son of the artist John Atkinson Grimshaw (1836-1893), Louis Grimshaw was born in Leeds and brought up at the family home, Knostrop Hall, a subject often depicted by his father. Louis studied as a pupil of his father, collaborating with him on a number of works typically painting the figures while John Atkinson Grimshaw would execute the sky and backgrounds. Both father and son had an abiding interest in photography, the father using photographs of subjects in his early years in order to portray scenes with exact detail and precision, in later life, from 1890-93 both father and Louis were members of the Leeds Photographic Society.

Following the death of John Atkinson Grimshaw, Louis Grimshaw continued his career as an artist. He painted predominantly moonlit city views, amongst others Edinburgh, Hull, Leeds, Durham but above all London, many views of the latter being commissioned by the art dealer Jackson in the 1890’s. In 1902 he produced a series of views of the capital decorated for the coronation of King Edward VII.

The precarious nature of an artist’s life however, persuaded Louis to abandon his career; he joined the Manchester Guardian as a cartographer in 1905. He left a small corpus of high quality works comparable to those of his father. Another brother Arthur abandoned his burgeoning career as an artist for his first love music, becoming the organist for St. Anne’s Cathedral, Leeds.

6 breathtaking scenes from the state funeral of the Duke of Wellington, London 1852

Above: Fleet Street – The Civic Authorities in the procession

On 18 November 1852, The Duke of Wellington, was laid to rest in St Paul’s Cathedral. He died on 14 September, aged 83. Over a million lined the route of Wellington’s funeral cortege which ran through the City to St Paul’s.

The preparation of St Paul’s took six weeks. Scaffold-borne tiered seating increased its capacity to over 13,000 as the cathedral was festooned in black crepe. The service was delayed by an hour owing to the slow progress of the vast cortege through the streets of London. Eventually, the Duke’s coffin was lowered into the crypt of the cathedral where it remains to this day in a Cornish porphyry sarcophagus.

This image shows the incredible detail in the Illustrated London News illustrations.

The New Law Courts 1882 (The Royal Courts of Justice) and 2015

The Royal Courts of Justice, commonly called the Law Courts, is a court building in London which houses both the High Court and Court of Appeal of England and Wales. Designed by George Edmund Street, who died before it was completed, it is a large grey stone edifice in the Victorian Gothic style built in the 1870s and opened by Queen Victoria in 1882. It is one of the largest courts in Europe. It is located on the Strand within the City of Westminster, near the border with the City of London (Temple Bar). It is surrounded by the four Inns of Court, King’s College London and the London School of Economics.

Scanned from ‘Old and New London – Its History, its people and its places’, published by Cassell, Petter, Galpin & Co.

18th Century London Watchman

The streets in London were dark and had the shortage and poor quality of artificial light. It had been recognized for centuries that the coming of darkness to the unlit streets of a town brought a heightened threat of danger, and that the night provided cover to the disorderly and immoral, and to those bent on robbery or burglary or who in other ways threatened physical harm to people in the streets and in their houses.

The anxieties that darkness gave rise to had been met by the formation of a night watch in the 13th century, and by the rules about who could use the streets after dark. These rules had for long been underpinned in London and other towns by the curfew, the time (announced by the ringing of a bell) at which the gates closed and the streets were cleared. Only people with good reason to be abroad could then travel through the City. Anyone outside at night without reason or permission was suspicious and potentially criminal.

Allowances were usually made for people who had some social status on their side. Lord Fielding clearly expected to pass through London’s streets untroubled at 1 am one night in 1641, and he quickly became piqued when his coach was stopped by the watch, shouting huffily that it was a ‘disgrace’ to stop someone of such high standing as he, and telling the constable in charge of the watch that he would box him on the ears if he did not let his coach carry on back to his house. ‘It is impossible’ to ‘distinguish a lord from another man by the outside of a coach’, the constable said later in his defence, ‘especially at unreasonable times’.

Illustration of Sadler’s Wells Theatre

The image shown here depicts the theatre in the early 19th century, at a time when the theatrical business was booming. In the 1780s German tourist Sophie Van La Roche described a visit to Sadler’s Wells in colourful detail. Over an astonishing three-hour performance she witnessed nine different acts , including ballet, comedy, a pantomime, rope-walking and even a strong man, while the audience around her partook of drinks, pasties and sandwiches while noisily enjoying the performance.