London from Royal Palaces to the City

londons-royal-placesLondon’s Royal Palaces

London’s royal palaces have played a variety of roles from providing homes for royal households to seats of parliament and government. This talk explores ten of the most famous from William the Conqueror’s stronghold at the Tower to the rural retreats of Richmond, Eltham and Greenwich. It explains how Henry VIII used the wealth of the monasteries to develop Hampton Court, Whitehall and St James. It then moves from the execution of Charles I at the Banqueting Hall to the later creations of Kensington, Kew and Buckingham Palace.

londons-and-the-cityLondon and the City

A second talk looks at the way in which the City of London has influenced the political and economic life of the capital. It describes the early importance of the wool trade and the role of liveried companies in providing regulation, apprenticeships and charity. It tells the story of some of the most colourful characters in the City from John Spencer, the mayor whose daughter ran off with an aristocrat in a bread-basket, to the entrepreneurs who moved from the coffee houses of London to create the stock market and the Bank of England. The talk also explains how companies have responded to the risks and opportunities of new technology from the South Sea Bubble to Black Friday.

Related Talks:
In addition I offer talks about the ‘The Great Fire of London’, ‘The Rebuilding of London by Sir Christopher Wren’ and ‘Victorian London: Doctors, Lawyers and Engineers’.