London Bridge | A History of the People of Southwark Talk by Margaret Willes

Talk Heritage
  • Venue


  • Time

    6:45 PM

  • Price

    £6.00 plus booking fee

  • Book Tickets

Join us for an engaging talk by Margaret Willes as she takes us on a fascinating journey through the history of the people of Southwark

The first complete history of Southwark, London’s stubbornly independent community over the Thames.

Southwark’s fortunes have always been tied to those of the City of London across the river. But from its founding in Roman times through to flourishing in the medieval era, the Borough has always fiercely asserted its independence. A place of licence, largely free of the City’s jurisdiction, Southwark became a constant thorn in London’s side: an administrative anachronism, a commercial rival, and an asylum for undesirable industries and residents.

In this remarkable history of London’s liberty beyond the bridge, Margaret Willes narrates the life and times of the people of Southwark, capturing the Borough’s anarchic spirit of revelry. Populated by a potent mix of talented immigrants, religious dissenters, theatrical folk, brewers, and sex workers, Southwark often escaped urban jurisdiction—giving it an atmosphere of danger, misrule, and artistic freedom. Tracing Southwark’s history from its Roman foundation to its present popularity as a place to visit, through Chaucer, to Shakespeare, and on to Dickens, Willes offers an indispensable exploration of the City’s unacknowledged mirror image.

Margaret will be discussing six individuals who has shaped the history of Southwark.

Margaret Willes, formerly publisher at the National Trust, is author of several books, including In the Shadow of St Paul's Cathedral : The Churchyard that Shaped London, The Curious World of Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn, Reading Matters, and The Gardens of the British Working Class.

This event will take place in the Cathedral nave and will be in-person only. Copies of London Bridge: A History of the People of Southwark will be available to purchase on the evening.