(notes from May 2013 history walk with New Cross Commoners)
|1623 map of Deptford, with Thames on left note ‘The Common Greene’ (Deptford Green)|
(Peter Linebaugh, The London Hanged:Crime And Civil Society In The Eighteenth Century )
|Deptford Dockyard painted in the late-eighteenth/early-nineteenth century by Joseph Farington|
(Linebaugh and Rediker, The Many Headed Hydra: the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic)
|The 'St Albans' Floated out at Deptford, 1747 by John Cleveley the Elder|
(Peter Linebaugh, Magna Carta Manifesto)
|Skull and crossbones at gate of St Nicholas Church, Deptford -|
popularly, but probably erroneously believed to have inspired the Jolly Roger pirate flag
The Magna Carta limited the enclosure of the river banks as well as enclosure of woodland as 'forests': ‘All forests that have been created in our reign shall at once be disafforested. River-banks that have been enclosed in our reign shall be treated similarly. All evil customs relating to forests and warrens, foresters, warreners, sheriffs and their servants, or river-banks and their wardens, are at once to be investigated in every county by twelve sworn knights of the county, and within forty days of their enquiry the evil customs are to be abolished completely and irrevocably’ (Magna Carta, 1215, quoted in Linebaugh, Magna Carta Manifesto).
What would it be like to treat the river and its banks as commons? What would we do here? As part of the ‘Right to the City’ what would the ‘Right to the River’ look like?
(at this point on our walk we had a picnic and chat on the beach of the Thames next to Convoys Wharf)