During the late 16th and 17th centuries, London became a key center of international trade and banking. The city’s population increased to more than six million by the end of the nineteenth century. After World War I, London’s population began to fall. In 1950, the population stood at just over three and a half million. It is now estimated that the city’s population is around 6.5 million.
The history of London stretches back to the Romans who founded the city. In the fifth century, it was a small town, but it declined after repeated invasions by Anglo-Saxons. In the eighth century, Londinium was the capital of the Kingdom of Essex. In the ninth century, it was a thriving medieval port. In the fourteenth century, the port’s development led to the growth of London as a European hub for the distribution of goods. This contributed to its emergence as the capital of England. Click for more information
In the fifteenth century, London’s textile industry helped to drive the city’s rapid growth. Its central location facilitated the expansion of its maritime trade, which continued with the Stuarts. It became the world’s leading insurance market, and its financial services centered on its Royal Exchange. In 1734, the Bank of England moved its headquarters to a site on the south side of the Royal Exchange. The area was subsequently renovated to its historic form.
In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, the boundaries of the City of London expanded, and by the sixteenth century, they extended beyond the old walled city. The Great Fire of 1666 destroyed much of the medieval core, but there are still remnants of the older historic fabric. A major rebuilding program occurred in the decades after the war. Some areas retained the older character of smaller buildings, but in others, street patterns and the size of buildings were changed.
In the mid-seventeenth century, London’s population had reached more than 500,000. In 1130, King Henry I granted the people of London control over the county of Middlesex. The county was then divided into 29 electoral units, which were governed by a London County Council. In 1888, the county was regarded as part of the City of London.
The modern City of London is made up of twenty-five wards, each represented by an alderman. These wards choose the Lord Mayor, who is in turn chosen by the Common Hall, the council’s administrative body. The Corporation also has responsibilities for land outside the city’s boundaries. The City of London is also a police authority. The Metropolitan Police Service is based in New Scotland Yard, while the Hampstead Heath Constabulary is also run by the City of London.
The current Lord Mayor is Vincent Keaveny. The city has a rich heritage and many fine Victorian and Edwardian buildings. A landmark is the Mansion House, which is the official residence of the Lord Mayor. The city’s oldest church, St Paul’s Cathedral, dominates the skyline. In the sixteenth century, the city was governed by a council of sheriffs, which is now replaced by a Commission of Lieutenancy. A fantastic read
Point of Interest #1 Princess Louise, 208 High Holborn, London WC1V 7EP
Point of Interest #2 London Graphic Centre, 16-18 Shelton St, London WC2H 9JL
Point of Interest #3 Prince Edward Theatre, Old Compton St, London W1D 4HS
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