"Murder Map" Reveals Some Of Medieval London's Grisliest Homicides

Violence Research Centre

Some of the more dangerous places to tread include Cheapside (a street in the City of London leading up to St Paul’s Cathedral) and Cornhill (the stretch from Bank station to Leadenhall market, the latter of which dates back to the 14th century). Eisner called these two locations "homicide hotspots". 

Also of note, the perpetrators were overwhelmingly male. Just 8 percent were female and there were only four incidents where women were the only suspects. Daggers and swords were the weapons of choice, involved in 68 percent of cases. 

Considering that the population of 14th century London was somewhere between 40,000 and 100,000 people (today's is closer to 8 million), the map shows that the Capital is significantly less violent today than it was back in the Medieval period. In fact, Eisner predicts murder rates were 15 to 20 times higher than we would expect in a similar size town in 21st century Britain. 

“The trend in London is in line with the long-term decline of homicide found across cities in Western Europe, a decline that led to the pacified spaces that were essential for the rise of urban life and civility in Europe,” explained Eisner. But saying that, comparisons with modern society can be problematic. "We have firearms, but we also have emergency services. It’s easier to kill but easier to save lives."

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