A Fish Auction in Columbia Market
In 1869 Baroness Burdett-Coutts paid for the building of the great Columbia Market (for fish) between Hackney and Bethnal Green Roads on the site of Nova Scotia Gardens, a squalid area of tenements and hovels and dust heaps. The cost of building the market was estimated at 200, 000. It was a philanthropic enterprise to make a clearance of the slum dwellings which clustered so thickly in the area but also to help the local people to have supplies of cheap fresh produce. Lack of support from wholesalers and small traders who preferred the open streets ensured its failure and it closed in 1885 and eventually became a bit of a white elephant and was demolished between 1958 and 1966"
© Illustrated London News Ltd/Mary Evans
Cartoon, Oscar Wilde and William Wilde
Cartoon, Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), poet and playwright, comforted by his brother William Wilde (1852-1899) in the face of American criticism of his play, Vera, which lasted only a week in New York before being withdrawn. William says to Oscar: "Never mind, Oscar; other great men have had their dramatic failures!"
© Mary Evans Picture Library
King Cnut the Great fails to halt the incoming tide
Cnut the Great (circa 985 or 9951035), (or Canute), King of Denmark, England, Norway, and parts of Sweden. Henry of Huntingdon, the 12th-century chronicler, wrote (the apocryphal story) of how Cnut set his throne by the sea shore and commanded the tide to halt and not wet his feet and robes. Yet "continuing to rise as usual (the tide) dashed over his feet and legs without respect to his royal person. Then the king leapt backwards, saying: "Let all men know how empty and worthless is the power of kings, for there is none worthy of the name, but He whom heaven, earth, and sea obey by eternal laws." Date: circa 1025
© The Russell Butcher Collection / Mary Evans Picture Library