The THE ANNALS OF LONDON: A Year By Year Record Of A Thousand Years Of History by John Richardson
The Annals of London chronicles the events which have changed the face of London and engaged, diverted or outraged its inhabitants in the years since the settlement of Londinium was first established shortly after the second Roman invasion of Britain in AD 43. After an introductory essay on Roman London and the city's fortunes under the Saxons, Danes and others who took over after the Romans left, year-by-year entries range consecutively when there is a story to tell, from the building of the first Westminster Abbey in 1065 to the Millennium celebrations in 1999. Along the way we watch the city grow from the centre out to the suburbs and observe businesses and buildings, sacred and secular, being started, ruined, rebuilt and metamorphosed into the forms familiar to us today - four versions of the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, for example, and also of the Whitehall Banqueting House, where in 1649 we see Charles I lose his head with a universal grone among the thousands of people who were in sight of it . Londoners liked executions - not to mention theatres, gardens, music halls, ceremonies, oddities, shops, sports and the occasional riot. They helped take their minds off the plagues, fires, wars and freakish weather. Richardson records all this, with judicious quotes from contemporary writers.