"Cripplegate cobbler boots city messenger into eternity"
"Goldsmith bleeds to death after his hand is struck off"
"A young man kills a bystander at the urinal in Cheapside"
Three typical headlines from a new, interactive map of 'Homicide Hotspots in Medieval London'.
The maps shows 142 crime locations from late-medieval London — all in or near what we now call the Square Mile. It is the work of Prof Manuel Eisner of the Violence Research Centre, University of Cambridge.
The map makes use of a remarkable collection of coroner's rolls from the early 14th century (just after Chaucer's time) to piece together the bleak visualisation. Each of the pins contains further details.
Many sad tales emerge. A child of five died near Newgate in 1324 after stealing a small piece of wool and receiving a fatal clip around the ear. In 1300, Cristina Morel was kicked to death on Watling Street while intervening in a dispute about a coat. And so it continues.
The map offers a remarkable if melancholy insight into the perils of medieval life. You can narrow down the view by selecting the victim's sex, location, year or method — a drop-down that includes such options as 'short knife' and 'quarterstaff'.
Browse Homicide Hotspots in Medieval London here.