Sir John Falstaff, the Notorious Highwayman – Here Begynneth A Lytell Geste of Robin Hood…

So committed to historical accuracy were Alexander Smith and Charles Johnson that in their respective History of the Lives and Robberies of the Most Noted Highwaymen (1714) and Lives and Exploits of the Most Noted Highwaymen (1734) they give us the life of Sir John Falstaff.

Falstaff lived, we are told by Smith and Johnson, during the reigns of Henry IV and Henry V. Being born of no great or distinguished parentage, they tell us that Falstaff took to the road with three accomplices to support his extravagant lifestyle. He was a very fat man, and his nicknames were:

– Ton of Man (a pun on the Biblical term ‘Son of Man’)
– Chops
– Sack and Sugar
– Fat-Kidneyed Rascal
– Bombast

Apparently Henry IV, who Smith tells us took to life upon the road for a short while, said to him:

You are so fat-witted with drinking of old sack, and unbuttoning thee after supper, and sleeping upon benches in the afternoon.

He was also a womaniser, and could often be found in the lowest bawdy houses of London, according to Capt. Charles Johnson.

Then came the wars of the roses, we are told by Smith and Johnson, and as a consequence of his acquaintance and friendship with King Henry, Falstaff received a commission to serve as a…

Source: Sir John Falstaff, the Notorious Highwayman – Here Begynneth A Lytell Geste of Robin Hood…

REVIEW- The Cheapside Hoard: London’s Lost Jewels

Sadly, this exhibition at the Museum of London was last year but the post is well worth reading for a description of the incredible Elizabethan and Jacobean jewels discovered in the cellar of two Cheapside houses in 1912.

the Exhibitionologist

On a hot summer’s day in 1912, a team of builders were busy demolishing a building in the City of London. Numbers 30 and 32 Cheapside were houses that had been constructed in the years following the great fire, and were set to be replaced by a new building. It was whilst excavating a cellar beneath the houses with pickaxes that these ‘navvies’ made a truly astonishing discovery: a box containing over four hundred items of jewellery, dating from the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century. The Cheapside Hoard – by far the largest and most comprehensive collection of Elizabethan and Jacobean jewellery in existence – is now being displayed in its entirety for the first time in 100 years, at the Museum of London.

Cheapside1910 Postcard from the early 20th century showing Cheapside in the City of London, looking east. Numbers 30 & 32 Cheapside are on the right hand…

View original post 1,767 more words