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Parkinson of the disease

Horwood's 1799 map of London

Part of Horwood’s Map showing Hoxton SquarePart of Horwood’s map showing Hoxton SquareThe map from which these images are reproduced was published in individual sheets between 1792 and 1799. It was one of the first maps to show every building individually.

A total of 32 sheets cover the areas from Hyde Park to Limehouse (from west to east) and from Islington to Kennington (from north to south). The map represents an area of 18 square miles. Given the expense of such an enterprise, it is not surprising that it was financed by subscription.

The sheets for Shoreditch and Whitechapel include Hoxton Square, which had been built at the end of the 17th century. On the image to the left here, it is shown at the right end of Old Street, on the north side. The Parkinson family home was at number 1 Hoxton Square, where in 1755 James Parkinson was born and from where he practised as a surgeon-apothecary all his life.

Part of Horwood’s map showing Pleasant PlacePart of Horwood’s map showing Pleasant PlaceThe family residence is only a stone’s throw from St. Leonard’s Church, a medieval foundation which had been rebuilt in 1740. Here James was baptised, married, acted as churchwarden, and, in 1824, was buried. His gravestone has since disappeared.

Parkinson was involved with one of the several madhouses in the area. His duties as an officer of the parish vestry also made him especially acquainted with the many almshouses in the area, the largest of which, shown here, was the Haberdashers.

Part of Horwood’s map showing the London HospitalPart of Horwood’s map showing the London HospitalOn the image shown to the right, at the top of Kingsland Road, Pleasant Place can be seen.

This location was just south of Pleasant Row (just off the map), and was where Parkinson moved to when he retired.

In the final reproduction from the map, to the left, the London Hospital can be seen on the south side of Whitechapel Road. Parkinson spent six months as a pupil dresser during the period of his apprenticeship in this newly built hospital.

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