Other Visual Sources
There are few surviving medieval images of London; one of the few is the manuscript illumination of the Tower of London on the Thames, with London Bridge in the background, which is on the Mediveal Londoners logo and home page. This miniature on folio 73 was part of a manuscript (BL Royal 16 F II) containing the poems of Charles, Duke of Orléans, who is himself pictured through the window of the White Tower writing his poem. The French duke was captured by the English at the battle of Agincourt (1415) and spent the next 25 years as a prisoner of war in England, including time in the Tower of London where he composed poetry. The manuscript was likely made c. 1475-83 and there is speculation that a Dtuch artist working in London may have made this image.
In Fall 2020 we will be constructing a curated digital guide to visual sources for medieval London, including early modern engravings of medieval buildings before the Great Fire, modern drawings that reconstruct medieval buildings and street scenes, and medieval manuscript and sculptural depictions of work, clothing, and households typical of medieval London.
Individual portraits of London aldermen, 1446-47. These pen, ink, and watercolor drawings of the 25 aldermen during the mayoralty of Sir Thomas Olney (1446-47) were probably not accurate portraits since the faces and clothing change little and the focus is on the alderman’s heraldic arms, as displayed on the shield he holds in his right hand. A scroll floating above his head identifies each alderman, who also rests his left hand on a large board that displays the names of previous aldermen of his ward. The portraits have been attributed to Roger Leigh, Clarenceux King of Arms (d. 1460), and were perhaps made to hang in the newly constructed London Guildhall. They have had several past owners, but are now held in the London Metropolitan Archives.