The latest edition of Ancestors magazine from The National Archives is a special edition focusing on the city of London. As the editor Simon Fowler says "Many of our ancestors were drawn to the capital for work, education and pleasure – even if they just passed through the city. No other place in Britain had the same irresistible attraction."
There is a great selection of articles in this issue, covering a wide variety of subjects including features on resources at the Society of Genealogists and the Bishopsgate Institute.
It would be hard to pick out my favourite article from this issue, there really are so many fascinating articles. The interview with novelist Lee Jackson has introduced me to a wonderful resource, the Dictionary of Victorian London which was a result of the background research for his historical novels.
My favourite article (and it was a tough choice) has to be the one by the editor Simon Fowler entitled Drunk and Disorderly, which describes the life of Jane Cakebread who "over a 15 year period, received nearly 300 sentences" for being found drunk and disorderly.
Although she became a well-known figure through the media of the time and despite the best efforts of one or two individuals, she ended her time in a pauper asylum, with only one person attending her funeral.
The most helpful article is probably Peter Christian’s Mapping the Metropolis which is an excellent summary of the maps of London which are available online. It is going to take some time to explore all the sources mentioned, although one worth highlighting is the Crace Collection of Maps of London at the British Library.
This has to be one of the best issues of the magazine I have seen for a long time, it is packed with interesting and informative articles concerning the city that plays a key part in so many of our ancestor’s lives.