Jane Austen, Oliver Cromwell, and a notorious pickpocket

16 December in London’s history: Jane Austen was born on this day in 1775. One of the most widely-read authors in English history, Austen spent her early life in Hampshire, moving to Bath and later Southampton with her family.

Austen did, however, visit London on occasion to visit her brother Henry, who was also her literary agent. One of the places she would have stayed was Henry’s residence in Hans Place, Knightsbridge. Hans Place was named after Hans Sloane, who founded the British Museum and also brought cocoa to England.

Also on this day in London’s history, Oliver Cromwell was appointed as appointed as Lord Protector of England, Scotland and Ireland. There are many London associations with Cromwell, including Whitehall and Long Acre, where he lived; Cripplegate, where he was married; Tyburn, where his body underwent a mock execution on the 12th anniversary of the beheading of Charles I; and Red Lion Square, where his remains were reputed have been interred briefly before that mock execution.

Other Cromwell connections include Horseferry Road, where he is supposed to have taken the ferry; and Fleet Street, where the pickpocket Moll Cutpurse targeted Cromwell supporters.

4 thoughts on “Jane Austen, Oliver Cromwell, and a notorious pickpocket

  1. beetleypete December 16, 2014 / 11:06 am

    Great to see you back!
    And with Cromwell too…As a member of the Cromwell Association, and great advocate of Republicanism, I feel that I should point out that Cromwell was not executed. He died from a combination of illnesses in a house in Whitehall, London, and received an elaborate funeral, worthy of his position at the time.
    Almost three years later, his body was dug up and it hung from chains at Tyburn, before being unceremoniously thrown into a pit. The severed head was displayed outside Westminster Hall for some years after.
    Moll Cutpurse is a great name, and so descriptive of her occupation too.
    Best wishes as always, Pete.

    • thestreetnames December 16, 2014 / 11:17 am

      Thanks, Pete! And thanks for the Cromwell info – I’ll make sure to update my text.

    • beetleypete December 16, 2014 / 11:26 am

      Sorry to be one of those ‘blog nigglers’, but I was sure that you would want to know.

      • thestreetnames December 16, 2014 / 11:28 am

        Indeed! All nighling welcome.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s