Extracts from Daniel Defoe’s Account of London

Selected by Pat Rogers
Introduction and Contents

Possible Future Projects

Three projects have been thought of, for the better regulating the form of this mighty building, which tho’ not yet brought to perfection, may, perhaps, in time, be brought forwards, and if it should, would greatly add to the beauty.

Making another bridge over the Thames.

Making an Act of Parliament, abrogating the names as well as the jurisdictions of all the petty privileged places, and joyning or uniting the whole body, Southwark and all, into one city, and calling it by one name, London.

Forbidding the extent of the buildings in some particular places, where they too much run it out of shape, and letting the more indented parts swell out on the north and south side a little, to balance the length, and bring the form of the whole more near to that of a circle, as particularly stopping the running out of the buildings at the east and west ends, as at Ratcliff and Deptford, east, and at Tyburn and Kensington roads, west, and encouraging the building out at Moor-fields, Bunhil-fields, the west side of Shoreditch, and such places, and the north part of Gray’s-Inn, and other adjacent parts, where the buildings are not equally filled out, as in other places, and the like in St. George’s Fields and behind Redriff on the other side of the water.

But these are speculations only, and must be left to the wisdom of future ages.