A tiny strip of parchment dating back to 1067 is the star attraction in a series of events marking the 950th anniversary of the City of London's extensive archives.
The William Charter, the oldest item in the collection, will go on rare public display between January 7 and April 27 at the Guildhall Art Gallery.
The Charter was given to the City of London by William the Conqueror back in 1067 and the document, just six inches wide and one inch high and written in Old English, confirmed the legal rights of Londoners following the Norman conquest.
Little did William the Conqueror know that he was pioneering a certain 140 character form of messaging that lives on almost a thousand years later. What a guy.
During 2017, the City of London Corporation's London Metropolitan Archives will celebrate the anniversary of the Charter by putting some of its most impressive items on display to the public, charting the history of London and its people from the Norman invasion to the present day.
In February, a photography exhibition, ‘The Londoners’, features prints and photographs of working people over the last 500 years. On London History Day (May 31), young people will ‘take over’ LMA to welcome guests to a Norman-themed day. A 22-metre long, early nineteenth-century, hand-coloured copy of the Bayeux Tapestry – the longest item in the archives’ collections – will form the centrepiece of that event. In September, LMA will welcome visitors, as part of the annual Open House event and in December, ‘American letters’ from the War of Independence will go on display at the City of London Heritage Gallery.
That's a whole lot of history, but luckily you've got all year to get through it.
Photo: London Metropolitan Archives (City of London Corporation)
In other news, the Shoreditch Art Wall is under threat from developers.