Final Drink for Condemned Convicts at St Giles in the Fields


Sorry if you’ve seen this already! I made it for The Londonist a while back but wanted to get it up on my own channel. New video next week!
The area around Seven Dials has always been connected with low life and bad luck. Indeed the church of ST Giles in the Fields is thus named in order to distinguish it from St Giles in Cripplegate because the area was once fields. This is why they decided to build a leper colony here. During the great plague some of the first burial pits for the victims were dug in the church yard of St Giles.
The pub next door used to be called the Resurrection Gate and was a stopping off point for condemned prisoners who were on their way from Newgate prison to Tyburn (along Oxford Street). The church would offer the condemned men a final drink as a good will gesture, but often the convicts’ friends would be lurking nearby to stage a rescue attempt and whisk off their friend into the Rookeries, a warren of forbidding passages frequented by prostitutes and criminals.

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