Historical references to London's sounds

A database of several hundred historical descriptions and references to London's sounds. They're drawn mainly from primary sources such as autobiographies, diaries and statutes, as well as novels written around the times they depict.

11th to
16th to
18th Early
 Coronations 1 1 3   1   1  
 Ritual openings of public events     1   1      
 Victory parades and celebrations   1            
 Regular rituals of court and state     1 1   1    

Period referred to: Mid-16th century

Sound category: Ceremonial > Coronations

Title of work: A London Chronicle

Type of publication: Chronicle/diary

Author: John Stow

Year of publication: 1553

Page/volume number: A London Chronicle: Mary

Celebrations at the coronation of Queen Mary in 1553

Neuerthelesse, thankes be to God, the Wednysday, beynge ye of Jully, at v. of ye clocke in ye afternone ye hole body of ye counsel, wh. were lefte behynd in ye Tower, assembled at Baynardes castell, & ther communed wt ye erle of Penbroke, & ymedyatly came into Chepesyde wt ye kynge of heraudes, wher they proclaymed ye vertuous lady Mary, doughter of quene Kateryn, quene of England, ffraunce &c., in earth ye supreme heade: ye Joye wherof wonderfull, for some caste money abrod, & some made bonfyars thorowe ye whole cyte: ye prayses were geuen to God in ye churches wt te deum & orgaynes, belles ryngynge & euery wher ye tables spredd in ye stretes, meate & drynke plentye, wyne geuen ffrely of many men, and a greate peale of ordynaunce was shote of at ye Tower.

Period referred to: 1550s

Sound category: Ceremonial > Coronations

Title of work: The Diary of Henry Machyn

Type of publication: Diary

Author: Henry Machyn

Year of publication: 1553

Page/volume number: Not known

Queen Mary takes the crown in 1553

The x day of July was reseyvyd in to the Towre with a grett compeny of lords and nobulls of . . . after the qwen, and the duches pf Suffoke her mother, bering her trayn, with mony lades, and ther was a shott of gunnes and chamburs has nott be sene oft be-tweyn iiii and v; by vi of the cloke be-gane the proclamasyon the same non qwen Jane with ii harold and a trompet blohyng, that my lade Mare was unlafully be-gotton, and so chepe to Fletstrett, proclamyng qwen Jane [. . .]

The xix day of July was qwene Mare proclamyd qwene of England, France and Yrland, and alle domynons [. . .] and thys was done at the crosse in Chepe, and from that plasse thay whent unto Powlls and ther was Te Deum Laudamus, wyth song, and the organes playhyng, and all the belles ryngyng thrugh London [. . .]

Period referred to: 1660s

Sound category: Ceremony > Coronations

Title of work: The Diary of Samuel Pepys

Type of publication: Diary

Author: Samuel Pepys

Year of publication: 1661

Page/volume number: April 1661

Pepys at the coronation of Charles II

And after all had placed themselves, there was a sermon and the service; and then in the Quire at the high altar, the King passed through all the ceremonies of the Coronacon, which to my great grief I and most in the Abbey could not see. The crown being put upon his head, a great shout begun, and he came forth to the throne, and there passed more ceremonies: as taking the oath, and having things read to him by the Bishop; and his lords (who put on their caps as soon as the King put on his crown) and bishops come, and kneeled before him. And three times the King at Arms went to the three open places on the scaffold, and proclaimed, that if any one could show any reason why Charles Stewart should not be King of England, that now he should come and speak. And a Generall Pardon also was read by the Lord Chancellor, and meddalls flung up and down by my Lord Cornwallis, of silver, but I could not come by any. But so great a noise that I could make but little of the musique; and indeed, it was lost to every body.

[. . .]

And a Herald proclaims "That if any dare deny Charles Stewart to be lawful King of England, here was a Champion that would fight with him;" and with these words, the Champion flings down his gauntlet, and all this he do three times in his going up towards the King's table.

[. . .]

I took a great deal of pleasure to go up and down, and look upon the ladies, and to hear the musique of all sorts, but above all, the 24 violins.