“By the 18th century, Hackney had grown into a bourgeois paradise. ‘The greatest ambition of the London shopkeeper’, according to Dr Johnson, was ‘to retire to Stratford or Hackney’. Festooned with coffeehouses, bowling greens, assembly rooms and taverns, and with a population of several thousand, Hackney was home to the middle-class elite – including East India Company directors, former mayors of London and Sir Gilbert Heathcote, reputedly the wealthiest commoner in the land. With the Tudor mansions of old crumbling into oblivion, Hackney’s new population housed themselves in elegant, neo-classical townhouses and, from the later 18th century, terraces.”
Things you learn.