LGBTQ+ people have always been part of London’s history, but their lives are only partially reflected in the historical record. Some groups of people are almost entirely absent, and others only appear when they transgress the laws or norms of their time. Starting with a curios case of 14th century prostitution this talk will chart the presence and absence of LGBTQ+ lives in the archive. Along the way we will meet judges, moralists and medics as well as lovers, swashbucklers and celebrities.
During the Middle Ages, many monasteries had an infirmary and a hospital where they treated the sick. This was also the case for the Augustinian Priory of St Mary Overie, later known as the Priory of St Thomas Beckett that was located where Southwark Cathedral now stands. This Priory was destroyed by a fire in 1212, and soon afterwards the monastic community obtained a new site on the east side of what is now Borough High Street. St Thomas' then provided shelter for the sick, the needy and the dying in its hospital for the next 650 years.