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Home > London > EC1 > Fortune Of War

Fortune Of War

Date of photo: c1910

Picture source: Charlie Goodwin

The Fortune Of War was situated on a corner originally known as Pie Corner, today at the junction of Giltspur Street and Cock Lane, the name deriving from the magpie represented on the sign of an adjoining tavern.
The Fortune of War on Pie Corner is allegedly the place where the Great Fire of London stopped, after destroying a large part of the City of London in 1666. The statue of a cherub, initially built in the front of the pub, commemorates the end of the fire.
In 1761, the tenant of the house Thomas Andrews was convicted of sodomy and sentenced to death, but was pardoned by King George III in one of the first cases of public debate about homosexuality in England.
Until the 19th century, the Fortune of War was the chief house of call north of the River Thames for resurrectionists, being officially appointed by the Royal Humane Society as a place "for the reception of drowned persons". The landlord used to show the room whereon benches round the walls were placed with the snatchers' names waiting till the surgeons at St Bartholomew's Hospital could run round and appraise them.

The pub was demolished in 1910. The office building in the photo below now stands on the site.


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Other Photos
Date of photo: 2015

Picture source: Colin Price