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5.  STOP! STOP!

King Canute ordered the sea waves to stop their flow. King James commanded that London should stop growing. Both were equally unsuccessful.

During his reign (1603-1625) there were 8 proclamations banning anymore building in London.

One even forbade rebuilding and threatened offending landlords with imprisonment. Unauthorised houses could be demolished within 7 years of their erection.

6.  GROWTH AND DEATH

Despite these royal efforts, London's population jumped from 250,000 in 1603 to 320,000 in 1625.

So Londoners lived in dirty, increasingly overcrowded houses. Increasingly they died in them.

The Plague was once more making its regular, dreaded visitations. Scarcely a year passed without a serious epidemic outbreak. 30,000 Londoners died from the Plague in 1603 and another 35,000 in 1625.

7.  WATER, WATER

There was one man who made a positive contibution to London life.

He was Hugh Myddelton. In 1609 he got a 10ft. wide canal built 40 miles from Amwell in Hertfordshire to Islington.

With only picks and shovels for the work this was a tremendous effort. The achievement was splendid - for the first time Londoners had a supply of clean water.

The posthumous fame and profit were spectacular. A statue of Hugh Myddelton still stands in Islington Green. The grateful community are still paying for his work - via their water rates.

The Thames Water Authority will continue to pay royalties to the shareholders of this venture until 2082.

8. ACROSS THE SEA

Across the North Sea England faced a formidable trading rival - Holland, a busy, thrusting nation of merchants, seamen and farmers.

In their growing towns they had similar problems to the English. Even with their industry and shrewdness they could not overcome some of these.

The lack of housing for the poor resulted in slums and profiteering.

9. SOME ACHIEVEMENT

But the Dutch did achieve something in their cities.

By 1600 most of the main streets were paved and they kept them clean.

The Dutch were fanatically houseproud. They used 30-40 buckets of water a day to clean a house. As a result the houses were permanently damp. No wonder the Dutch diseases were rheumatism and melancholia.

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