skip to primary navigationskip to content
 

The Maps and Geocoding

We plotted the homicide cases on two different maps:

1. The Braun and Hogenberg Map

You can view the cases projected on the Braun and Hogenberg map of London. This map was initially published in 1572 in the first volume of Civitates Orbis Terrarum ("the cities of the world"), an atlas of cities that would eventually comprise 546 prospects. It shows a bird-eye view of London in around 1550, before the onset of fast population growth in the late 16th century. For ease of orientation we have added labels for the gates of the City of London, as well as for landmarks such as St Paul's Cathedral and The Tower. The map was made over 200 years after the coroners’ records were written. However, the size of the built-over area, the shape of the streets, the walls and the location of the parish churches were still very much the same as in the early 14th century.

2. The City of London c.1270 Map by the Historic Towns Trust

Alternatively you can view the cases on the map of the City of London in the late 13th century, published by the Historic Towns Trust in 1989. The map shows the names and locations of parish churches, streets, and landmark buildings that may have been mentioned in the inquests.

 

How were the cases geocoded?

We geocoded all cases where the text allowed us to determine the approximate location of the crime. The coding refers to the place where the lethal attack happened rather than where the person died. The coroners generally recorded the place, date and hour of the lethal violent event. Sometimes the location is highly specific: For example, the murder of Christina de Mestre in “the churchyard of St Mary de Wolcherchehawe in the Ward of Walebrok” in 1300 can be located very precisely outside the parish church St Mary Woolchurch Haw.

In contrast, in 1339 Ralph Sarasyn of Twycors was stabbed “in the High Street near the gate of the hostel of Sir William Trussel, Knt., in the parish of All Hallows de Stanyngcherche in the Ward of Algate”.  This allows us to locate the event in the part of Fenchurch Street that belongs to the parish of All Hallows Staining. However, we were unable to determine exactly where on Fenchurch Street the hostel owned Sir William Trussel - an influential politician and diplomat of the time - as located. 

Back to map