Meet your guide – Kevin on his Financial City Walk

Meet your guide. In this podcast Kevin, quondam Museum of London archaeologist, talks about his From Slavery to Hedge Fund – the Financial City walk.

Fascinating the way Kevin marshals the archaeological evidence that proves that “London the financial centre” goes right back to the days when it was Londinium, the city the Romans founded 2,000 years ago. And indeed that even then it was extremely cosmopolitan (cf the letter Kevin cites that brings together a Roman name, a Greek name and a Celtic name).

Lots of eye-opening stuff about slavery in Londinium (“make sure you turn the girl into money”). “London had slavery for the first thousand years of its existence. Then there’s a hiatus of approximately half a millennium. And then, in the 16th and 17th century slavery makes a comeback – there were slave markets and slave sales in London in the early modern period.”

So: Part I of the tour (and the podcast) is about the Roman origins of London as a financial centre. Part II, which is longer, takes us through the “modern period” – 1600 to the present day. Kevin traces for us, on the very streets, the explosive development of London as a great world financial centre.

Here’s the “blurb” for the walk:

This walk looks at the development of the City of London as a financial centre. Its origins were among the money lenders of the Jewish and Italian quarters of Old Jewry and Lombard Street. We continue the story with the introduction of the first commercial companies and the Merchant Adventurers of Elizabethan London, alongside the revival of that unforgivable abomination, the cruel trade in slaves. We walk through the alleyways of the City where innovation went side by side with the introduction of coffee in the coffee houses of Stuart London.

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