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London is the capital and largest city of England and the United Kingdom. The city stands on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea. London has been a major settlement for two millennia, and was originally called Londinium, which was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core and financial centre—an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile—retains boundaries that closely follow its medieval limits. The adjacent City of Westminster has for centuries been the location of much of the national government. Thirty-one additional boroughs north and south of the river also comprise modern London. The London region is governed by the mayor of London and the London Assembly.

London is one of the world's most important global cities. It exerts a considerable impact upon the arts, commerce, education, entertainment, fashion, finance, healthcare, media, professional services, research and development, tourism and transportation. It is one of the largest financial centres in the world and in 2019, London had the second highest number of ultra high-net-worth individuals in Europe, after Paris. And in 2020, London had the second-highest number of billionaires of any city in Europe, after Moscow. London's universities form the largest concentration of higher education institutes in Europe, and London is home to highly ranked institutions such as Imperial College London in natural and applied sciences, the London School of Economics and social sciences, as well as the comprehensive University College London. In 2012, London became the first city to have hosted three modern Summer Olympic Games.

London has a diverse range of people and cultures, and more than 300 languages are spoken in the region. Its estimated mid-2018 municipal population (corresponding to Greater London) was roughly 9 million, which made it the third-most populous city in Europe. London accounts for 13.4% of the U.K. population. Greater London Built-up Area is the fourth-most populous in Europe, after Istanbul, Moscow, and Paris, with 9,787,426 inhabitants at the 2011 census. The London metropolitan area is the third-most populous in Europe, after Istanbul and the Moscow Metropolitan Area, with 14,040,163 inhabitants in 2016. (Full article...)

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The Marshalsea (1373–1842) was a notorious prison in Southwark, just south of the River Thames. Although it housed a variety of prisoners, including men accused of crimes at sea and political figures charged with sedition, it became known, in particular, for its incarceration of the poorest of London's debtors. Over half the population of England's prisoners in the 18th century were in jail because of debt.

Run privately for profit, as were all English prisons until the 19th century, the Marshalsea looked like an Oxbridge college and functioned as an extortion racket. Debtors in the 18th century who could afford the prison fees had access to a bar, shop and restaurant, and retained the crucial privilege of being allowed out during the day, which gave them a chance to earn money for their creditors. Everyone else was crammed into one of nine small rooms with dozens of others, possibly for years for the most modest of debts, which increased as unpaid prison fees accumulated. The poorest faced starvation and, if they crossed the jailers, torture with skullcaps and thumbscrews. A parliamentary committee reported in 1729 that 300 inmates had starved to death within a three-month period, and that eight to ten were dying every 24 hours in the warmer weather. (Full article...)

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Photo credit: David Iliff

The platform at Clapham Common, a station on London Underground's Northern line. With tracks on either side serving trains moving in opposite directions, this is an example of an island platform.

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Chalk and pencil sketch of Jack Sheppard in Newgate Prison, attributed to Sir James Thornhill, circa 1723
Chalk and pencil sketch of Jack Sheppard in Newgate Prison, attributed to Sir James Thornhill, circa 1723

Jack Sheppard (4 March 1702 – 16 November 1724), or "Honest Jack", was a notorious English thief and prison escapee of early 18th-century London. Born into a poor family, he was apprenticed as a carpenter but took to theft and burglary in 1723, with little more than a year of his training to complete. He was arrested and imprisoned five times in 1724 but escaped four times from prison, making him a notorious public figure, and wildly popular with the poorer classes. Ultimately, he was caught, convicted, and hanged at Tyburn, ending his brief criminal career after less than two years. The inability of the notorious "Thief-Taker General" Jonathan Wild to control Sheppard, and injuries suffered by Wild at the hands of Sheppard's colleague Joseph "Blueskin" Blake led to Wild's downfall.

Sheppard was as renowned for his attempts to escape from prison as he was for his crimes. An autobiographical "Narrative", thought to have been ghostwritten by Daniel Defoe, was sold at his execution, quickly followed by popular plays. The character of Macheath in John Gay's The Beggar's Opera (1728) was based in part on Sheppard, keeping him in the limelight for over 100 years. He returned to the public consciousness around 1840, when William Harrison Ainsworth wrote a novel entitled Jack Sheppard, with illustrations by George Cruikshank. The popularity of his tale, and the fear that others would be drawn to emulate his behaviour, led the authorities to refuse to license any plays in London with "Jack Sheppard" in the title for forty years. (Full article...)

Selected quotation

William Dunbar (1460?–1520?), London

Did you know...

  • ... that the Peacock Theatre is believed to be haunted by the ghost of a dolphin called "Flipper"?

General images

The following are images from various London-related articles on Wikipedia.
  • Firefighters putting out flames after an air raid during The Blitz, 1941.
    Firefighters putting out flames after an air raid during The Blitz, 1941.
  • Young people in Carnaby Street in the 1960s
    Young people in Carnaby Street in the 1960s
  • A detailed copy of John Rocque's Map of London, 1741–5.
    A detailed copy of John Rocque's Map of London, 1741–5.
  • A tourist stall selling various London and United Kingdom related souvenirs on the edge of Trafalgar Square on the Strand.
    A tourist stall selling various London and United Kingdom related souvenirs on the edge of Trafalgar Square on the Strand.
  • Tourists at Buckingham Palace.
    Tourists at Buckingham Palace.
  • In spite of heavy traffic, several companies operate tour buses in London.
    In spite of heavy traffic, several companies operate tour buses in London.
  • Tourists consulting a map near St Paul's Cathedral.
    Tourists consulting a map near St Paul's Cathedral.
  • Statue of Alfred the Great at Winchester, erected 1899
    Statue of Alfred the Great at Winchester, erected 1899
  • Section 2
    Section 2
  • Richard Blome's map of London (1673). The development of the West End had recently begun to accelerate.
    Richard Blome's map of London (1673). The development of the West End had recently begun to accelerate.
  • Buckingham Palace as it appeared in the 17th century
    Buckingham Palace as it appeared in the 17th century
  • Amy Winehouse was a singer-songwriter from Southgate, north London.
    Amy Winehouse was a singer-songwriter from Southgate, north London.
  • The Shard, an icon of 21st century London
    The Shard, an icon of 21st century London
  • Samuel Pepys, chronicler of Stuart London
    Samuel Pepys, chronicler of Stuart London
  • Tourism in London 2013
    Tourism in London 2013
  • A signpost on Parliament Square with directions for nearby attractions
    A signpost on Parliament Square with directions for nearby attractions
  • The "Woodcut" map of London, formally titled Civitas Londinum (c. 1561)
    The "Woodcut" map of London, formally titled Civitas Londinum (c. 1561)
  • London as engraved by J. & C. Walker in 1845 from a map by R Creighton. Many districts in the West End were fully developed, and the East End also extended well beyond the eastern fringe of the City of London. There were now several bridges over the Thames, allowing the rapid development of South London.
    London as engraved by J. & C. Walker in 1845 from a map by R Creighton. Many districts in the West End were fully developed, and the East End also extended well beyond the eastern fringe of the City of London. There were now several bridges over the Thames, allowing the rapid development of South London.
  • John Norden's map of London in 1593. There is only one bridge across the Thames, but parts of Southwark on the south bank of the river have been developed.
    John Norden's map of London in 1593. There is only one bridge across the Thames, but parts of Southwark on the south bank of the river have been developed.
  • Cheapside pictured in 1909, with the church of St Mary-le-Bow in the background.
    Cheapside pictured in 1909, with the church of St Mary-le-Bow in the background.
  • London c. 1300
    London c. 1300
  • Outline of the London region
    Outline of the London region
  • Medal of Constantius I capturing London (inscribed as .mw-parser-output span.smallcaps{font-variant:small-caps}.mw-parser-output span.smallcaps-smaller{font-size:85%}lon) in 296 after defeating Allectus. Beaurains hoard.
    Medal of Constantius I capturing London (inscribed as lon) in 296 after defeating Allectus. Beaurains hoard.
  • The Houses of Parliament from Westminster Bridge in the early 1890s
    The Houses of Parliament from Westminster Bridge in the early 1890s
  • Three cultural icons of London: a K2 red telephone box, Big Ben and a red double-decker bus
    Three cultural icons of London: a K2 red telephone box, Big Ben and a red double-decker bus
  • A view of London from the east in 1751
    A view of London from the east in 1751
  • Section 1
    Section 1
  • Ogilby & Morgan's map of the City of London (1673). "A Large and Accurate Map of the City of London. Ichnographically describing all the Streets, Lanes, Alleys, Courts, Yards, Churches, Halls, & Houses &c. Actually Surveyed and Delineated by John Ogilby, His Majesties Cosmographer.".
    Ogilby & Morgan's map of the City of London (1673). "A Large and Accurate Map of the City of London. Ichnographically describing all the Streets, Lanes, Alleys, Courts, Yards, Churches, Halls, & Houses &c. Actually Surveyed and Delineated by John Ogilby, His Majesties Cosmographer.".
  • Silver coin of Alfred, with the legend ÆLFRED REX
    Silver coin of Alfred, with the legend ÆLFRED REX
  • A depiction of the imprisonment of Charles, Duke of Orléans, in the Tower of London from a 15th-century manuscript.
    A depiction of the imprisonment of Charles, Duke of Orléans, in the Tower of London from a 15th-century manuscript.
  • Buckingham Palace in 1837, enlarged by John Nash
    Buckingham Palace in 1837, enlarged by John Nash
  • Carausius coin from Londinium mint.
    Carausius coin from Londinium mint.
  • Satellite image by Sentinel-2 satellite
    Satellite image by Sentinel-2 satellite
  • Plaque in the City of London noting the re-establishment of the Roman walled city
    Plaque in the City of London noting the re-establishment of the Roman walled city
  • The Clock Tower of Wren's St Paul's Cathedral
    The Clock Tower of Wren's St Paul's Cathedral
  • Shaftesbury Avenue, c. 1949
    Shaftesbury Avenue, c. 1949
  • John Evelyn's plan for the rebuilding of London after the Great Fire
    John Evelyn's plan for the rebuilding of London after the Great Fire
  • Section 3
    Section 3

Transport

London has one of the oldest and largest public transport systems in the world. Many components of its transport system, such as the double-decker bus, the Hackney Carriage black taxi and the Tube, are internationally recognised symbols of London.

The majority of transport services in the capital are provided by Transport for London (TfL), an executive agency of the Mayor of London. The Oyster card is accepted as payment across most TfL-controlled transport modes. In the past ten years TfL has invested heavily in walking and cycling to promote more sustainable travel choices in London, including a Velib-style bike hire scheme which opened in Summer 2010.

London has a comprehensive rail network with several major railway stations. London has two international train stations, at St. Pancras railway station and Stratford International, which connect London to mainland Europe through the Eurostar service. London also has six international airports.

In addition to public transport, London is the start point for a number of motorway routes. The M25 is an orbital motorway which enables vehicles to avoid travelling through central London and is one of the busiest motorways in Europe.

Wikipedia Recognised content on London

Featured (148)

1908 Summer Olympics medal table · 1910 London to Manchester air race · 1948 Summer Olympics medal table · 1993 Boat Race · 2003 Boat Race · 2012 Boat Race · Albert Bridge · Aldwych tube station · Anne of Denmark · Harriet Arbuthnot · Arsenal F.C. · History of Arsenal F.C. (1886–1966) · Albert Stanley, 1st Baron Ashfield · Alice Ayres · Baden-Powell House · BAE Systems · Baker Street and Waterloo Railway · Enid Blyton · Battersea Bridge · Battle of Barnet · Horatio Bottomley · David Bowie · Boydell Shakespeare Gallery · Brown Dog affair · Bruce Castle · Buckingham Palace · William Henry Bury · Kate Bush · Elizabeth Canning · Caroline of Ansbach · Central London Railway · Charing Cross, Euston and Hampstead Railway · Charles II of England · Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office · Chelsea Bridge · Chelsea F.C. · Christopher Smart's asylum confinement · Churches preserved by the Churches Conservation Trust in Southeast England · City and South London Railway · Cleveland Street scandal · Cock Lane ghost · Covent Garden · Noël Coward · Charles Darwin · East End of London · Edward III of England · Edward VI of England · Elizabeth I of England · English National Opera · Edmund Evans · An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump · Gilbert Foliot · Former and unopened London Underground stations · Robin Friday · Prince George of Denmark · George IV of the United Kingdom · John Gielgud · Gray's Inn · Great Fire of London · Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway · Great Stink · Stanley Green · Joseph Grimaldi · Gropecunt Lane · Richard Hakluyt · Harris's List of Covent Garden Ladies · Death of Jimi Hendrix · Her Majesty's Theatre · Herne Hill railway station · Georgette Heyer · Henry III of England · Charles Holden · Hoxne Hoard · Len Hutton · Iranian Embassy siege · Jack the Ripper · Jack the Ripper: The Final Solution · Hattie Jacques · James VI and I · Samuel Johnson · Early life of Samuel Johnson · The Kinks · Cosmo Gordon Lang · George Lansbury · Dan Leno · Marie Lloyd · Local nature reserves in Greater London · London Necropolis Company · London Underground stations · John Bingham, 7th Earl of Lucan · The Magdalen Reading · Marshalsea · Mary II of England · Mellitus · Memorial to Heroic Self-Sacrifice · Metropolitan Railway · Henry Moore · Motörhead · Noel Park · Laurence Olivier · Emmeline Pankhurst · Peep Show episodes · Frank Pick · Peasants' Revolt · Pig-faced women · Harold Pinter · Postman's Park · Queens Park Rangers F.C. players · RAF Northolt · RAF Uxbridge · Talbot Baines Reed · Restoration spectacular · Richard II of England · Ralph Richardson · Richmond Bridge · Robert of Jumièges · Rokeby Venus · Rosetta Stone · Royal Gold Cup · Royal National College for the Blind · The Royal Opera · Sex Pistols · William Shakespeare · Jack Sheppard · Sites of Special Scientific Interest in Greater London · Edgar Speyer · Streatham portrait · Tallest buildings and structures in London · Terry-Thomas · Theatre Royal, Drury Lane · Murder of Julia Martha Thomas · Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion · Timeline of the London Underground · Death of Ian Tomlinson · Tower of London · Turner Prize winners and nominees · Dick Turpin · Underground Electric Railways Company of London · Vauxhall Bridge · Venues of the 1948 Summer Olympics · Wandsworth Bridge · Whitechapel Murders · William Wilberforce · William III of England · William the Conqueror · Winners of the London Marathon · Mary Wollstonecraft · Timeline of Mary Wollstonecraft · Henry Wood

Featured pictures (122)

Good (319)

1836 Boat Race · 1839 Boat Race · 1840 Boat Race · 1841 Boat Race · 1842 Boat Race · 1845 Boat Race · 1846 Boat Race · 1849 (March) Boat Race · 1849 (December) Boat Race · 1852 Boat Race · 1854 Boat Race · 1856 Boat Race · 1857 Boat Race · 1860 Boat Race · 1861 Boat Race · 1866 Boat Race · 1867 Boat Race · 1868 Boat Race · 1869 Boat Race · 1870 Boat Race · 1871 Boat Race · 1873 Boat Race · 1875 Boat Race · 1876 Boat Race · 1878 Boat Race · 1880 Boat Race · 1881 Boat Race · 1882 Boat Race · 1883 Boat Race · 1884 Boat Race · 1888 Boat Race · 1889 Boat Race · 1890 Boat Race · 1891 Boat Race · 1892 Boat Race · 1893 Boat Race · 1894 Boat Race · 1897 Boat Race · 1898 Boat Race · 1899 Boat Race · 1901 Boat Race · 1903 Boat Race · 1904 Boat Race · 1905 Boat Race · 1906 Boat Race · 1907 Boat Race · 1908 Boat Race · 1909 Boat Race · 1911 Boat Race · 1920 Boat Race · 1921 Boat Race · 1922 Boat Race · 1923 Boat Race · 1924 Boat Race · 1925 Boat Race · 1927 Boat Race · 1928 Boat Race · 1929 Boat Race · 1930 Boat Race · 1932 Boat Race · 1948 Summer Olympics torch relay · 1950 Boat Race · 1951 Boat Race · 1952 Boat Race · 1953 Boat Race · 1954 Boat Race · 1955 Boat Race · 1956 Boat Race · 1957 Boat Race · 1958 Boat Race · 1961 Boat Race · 1963 Boat Race · 1964 Boat Race · 1965 Boat Race · 1966 Boat Race · 1967 Football League Cup Final · 1968 Boat Race · 1970 Boat Race · 1971 Boat Race · 1973 Boat Race · 1974 Boat Race · 1975 Boat Race · 1976 Boat Race · 1977 Boat Race · 1978 Boat Race · 1979 Boat Race · 1980 Boat Race · 1981 Boat Race · 1982 Boat Race · 1983 Boat Race · 1984 Boat Race · 1985 Boat Race · 1986 Boat Race · 1987 Boat Race · 1988 Boat Race · 1989 Boat Race · 1990 Boat Race · 1991 Boat Race · 1992 Boat Race · 1993 Bishopsgate bombing · 1994 Boat Race · 1995 Boat Race · 1996 Boat Race · 1997 Boat Race · 1997–98 Arsenal F.C. season · 1998 Boat Race · 1999 Boat Race · 1999 FA Charity Shield · 2000 Boat Race · 2001 Boat Race · 2002 Boat Race · 2003 Boat Race · 2004 Boat Race · 2005 Boat Race · 2006 Boat Race · 2007 Boat Race · 2008 Boat Race · 2009 Boat Race · 2010 Boat Race · 2011 Boat Race · 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony · 2012 Summer Paralympics · 2013 Boat Race · 2014 Boat Race · 34 Montagu Square, Marylebone · A1 road in London · A215 road · Abbey Mills Mosque · Henry Allingham · Murder of Tom ap Rhys Pryce · Arsenal Stadium · Cicely Mary Barker · Joey Barton · Battersea Power Station · Baynard's Castle · BBC Symphony Orchestra · Kate Beckinsale · Belgian government in exile · Tony Benn · The Bill · Blackadder II · Blackwall Tunnel · Bloc Party · BOAC Flight 712 · Ernest Radcliffe Bond · James Bond · Boosey & Hawkes · Bow Back Rivers · John Boydell · British Airways · History of British Airways · British Asian Cup · British Library · Burney Relief · Cad and the Dandy · Cannons (house) · Casino Royale (1967 film) · Chiswick Bridge · Anjem Choudray · Churchill War Rooms · City of London School · The Clash · Murder of Victoria Climbié · Coldplay · College of Arms · Cranham · Elizabeth Cresswell · Charles Cruft · Crystal Palace · Crystal Palace Dinosaurs · Crystal Palace F.C. · History of Crystal Palace F.C. · Cyrus Cylinder · Daniel Day-Lewis · Death of Keith Blakelock · Denmark Street · Deptford · Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge · Dinner by Heston Blumenthal · District Railway · Doctor Who Prom (2008) · Doomsday(film) · The Dorchester · Down Street tube station · Dubstep · Dunstan · Eastcote House Gardens · Edward I of England · Embankment tube station · Emirates Stadium · Leo Fortune-West · Garrick's Temple to Shakespeare · Girlschool · Gloucester Road tube station · Mauricio González-Gordon y Díez · Gordon Ramsay Plane Food · Great Plague of London · Hugh Grant · Great Reality TV Swindle · Green Wing · George Grossmith · Gulf Oil · HMS Belfast (C35) · Hammerton's Ferry · Harmondsworth Great Barn · Hibiscus (restaurant) · Highgrove House, Eastcote · Hillingdon House · Holborn tube station · Edward Hollamby · Hot Fuzz · Anne Hyde · Ickenham · Imperial War Museum · Inns of Chancery · Iron Maiden · Jewel Tower · Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham... · Kingstonian F.C. · Knife Edge Two Piece 1962–65 · Nigella Lawson · Lemmons · Bernard Levin · Ken Livingstone · London · London Necropolis Railway · London Necropolis railway station · London Philharmonic Orchestra · London Symphony Orchestra · M11 link road protest · Madness (band) · Manor Farm, Ruislip · George Martin · Karl Marx · Mary I of England · Match Point · Freddie Mercury · Middlesex · Ed Miliband · Millwall F.C. · Millwall F.C.–West Ham United F.C. rivalry · Mongrels (TV series) · Morden tube station · William Morris · Carey Mulligan · National Gallery · National Police Memorial · NatWest · Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson · Isaac Newton · Notting Hill · Old St Paul's Cathedral · One Direction · Paper War of 1752–1753 · Charles Pearson · Pétrus (restaurant) · Prince Rupert of the Rhine · Quatermass and the Pit (film) · Queen's Hall · Question Time British National Party controversy · Daniel Radcliffe · RAF Eastcote · RAF West Ruislip · Relocation of Wimbledon F.C. to Milton Keynes · Richard Coeur de Lion (statue) · Richmond Park · Rock and Chips · Helen Rollason · Romford · Rose Tyler · Royal Artillery Memorial · Royal Philharmonic Orchestra · Royal Society · Ruislip · Ruislip-Northwood Urban District · Ruislip Woods · The Sarah Jane Adventures · Saturday (novel) · Savile Row · Senate House (University of London) · Serpentine (lake) · George Bernard Shaw · Smithfield, London · Smooth Radio (2010) · South Kensington tube station · Howard Staunton · Jamie Stuart · Jessie Stephen · The Stones in the Park · Arthur Sullivan · Swakeleys House · Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007 film) · Tipping the Velvet · Tipu's Tiger · The Tower House · Margaret Thatcher · Hugh Trenchard, 1st Viscount Trenchard · Alan Turing · Up All Night Tour · Upminster · Upminster Bridge tube station · Uxbridge · V for Vendetta (film) · Vauxhall Gardens · Vindolanda tablets · Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps · Wanderers F.C. · Rachel Weisz · West Ham United F.C. · Westminster tube station · The Who · Oscar Wilde · Amy Winehouse · White Lies (band) · Wimbledon and Sutton Railway · Anna Wintour · Woolwich Ferry · Wulfstan · The Young Victoria

London Topics

Tasks

WikiProject London

Simplified aims - (read more here):

Current major tasks:

  • Tag all relevant articles with the {{WPLondon}} template on their talk page.
  • Improve main article London to featured status.

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