Extracts from Daniel Defoe’s Account of London

Selected by Pat Rogers
Introduction and Contents

Summary of the City

In a word; To sum up my description of London, take the following heads; There are in this great mass of buildings thus called London,

Two cathedrals.

Four choirs for musick-
One hundred and thirty
   five parish churches.

Nine new churches
   unfinished, being part
   of fifty appointed
   to be built.

Sixty nine chapels
   where the Church of
   England service is

Two churches at Deptford,
   taken into the
   limits now describ’d.

Twenty eight foreign

Besides Dissenters meetings
   of all persuasions;

Popish chapels; and

One Jews synagogue.

There are also, thirteen
   hospitals, besides
   lesser charities, call’d
   Alms-houses, of which
   they reckon above a
   hundred, many of which
   have chapels
   for divine service.

One Custom-house.

Three Artillery Grounds.

Four Pest-houses.

Three colleges.

Twenty-seven publick

Eight publick schools,
   called Free Schools.

Eighty three Charity

Fourteen markets for

Two for live cattle,
   besides two herb-

Twenty three other
   markets, as describ’d.

Fifteen Inns of Court.

Four fairs.

Twenty seven squares,
   besides those within
   any single building,
   as the Temple,
   Somerset House, &c.

Five publick bridges.

One town-house, or

One Royal Exchange.

Two other Exchanges
   only for shops.

Two bishops palaces;

Three royal palaces.