Then and now

Westminster Hall on the first day of the legal year circa 1750, when the hall was still a courtroom:

AN01082748_001_l

The same view yesterday, the day after Parliament rose for the Christmas break:

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First image is an engraving sold by the printsellers Robert Laurie and James Whittle of the Golden Buck at 53 Fleet Street in 1797, based on an earlier state dating back to c. 1750 or so. AN1082748001, © the Trustees of the British Museum.

Second image taken by me on my way through to the Commons gift shop to finish my Christmas shopping.

6 Comments to “Then and now”

  1. Thanks Nick for sharing your knowledge and enabling me to to go on my grand journey of virtual discovery into the environment of my ancestors(click me!). My 10 years of formative education in the 70′s didn’t mention them at all! Love the pics – my first trip to London was in 2010 and sitting in this hall waiting to be escorted into the Commons and Lords was a favourite of ours. Considering all the ghosts of Christmas past, it’s a place with a good vibe Ho Ho Ho Merry Festivitiesx

  2. You know you’re a proper history nerd when you’re doing your Christmas shopping at the HoC gift shop!

    • I have wandered past the giftshop most days over the past few months, but it’s always shut as the Bill I’m working on has generally finished in the Lords late at night. But it’s very good for alcohol (Commons port, Speaker Bercow’s vodka, etc) and a good source of presents for those difficult-to-buy-for relatives!

      • Ahh, I didn’t realise you were a denizen of the Westminster ‘village’.

        It doesn’t surprise me at all the the shop is good for alcohol … I may need to pick some up next time I’m in the area.

  3. Check out the picture in vol. 1 of Diary of Thomas Burton, Esq., ed. Rutt (4 vols., London, 1828) [Parliamentary diary, 1653-59] showing Parliament in session ca. 1656. I haven’t researched the image’s origin, but it looks like something from the newsbooks, not a 19th c. imagining.

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