Surveying the scene
Conflicting perspectives on the modern city
in The birth of modern London
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London in the seventeenth century was one of the most important and rapidly expanding capitals in Europe. From the 1660s onwards it was transformed from an essentially medieval town of wooden buildings located within the City walls to a modern metropolis of brick and stone which broke its traditional bounds and spilled out in all directions. John Strype in his 1720 updating of Stow's Survey of London provided a commentary on the social standing of the different areas he described, through his use of the terms 'well', 'good' and 'poor'. From the late sixteenth century onwards building was prohibited in London by legislation and Royal decree, leading to proclamations against the practice in 1580 and 1602 and an Act of Parliament in 1593.

The birth of modern London

The development and design of the city 1660–1720

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