By Liza Picard
Last updated 2011-02-17
13th October 1660 'I went out to Charing Cross to see Major-Generall Harrison hanged, drawn, and quartered - which was done there - he looking as cheerfully as any man could do in that condition. He was presently cut down and his head and his heart shown to the people, at which there was great shouts of joy.'
There was nothing a 17th century crowd liked better than a good execution. If there was nothing happening at Tyburn it might be fun to go and see the lunatics in Bedlam. There would certainly be blood and guts enjoyably spilt at the bear-baiting or bull-baiting on the south bank.
But for the faint-hearted, the animals in the royal menagerie in the Tower of London were worth seeing. Men could patronise the new coffee-houses, or the floating brothel thinly disguised as a restaurant, opposite Somerset House. Both sexes could enjoy walking in the royal parks, or taking a boat trip up the river, or going to the newly-opened theatres and watching actresses for the first time.
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