For my first feature, I've decided to take a trip back to London, my former home for seven years, and have a look at the Black Nun of Bank...
When Sarah died in 1840, she was buried in St Christopher-le-Stocks' churchyard, which later became part of the Bank's gardens. She was once seen pounding the gravestones with her fist in the churchyard, while she has also been sighted down in Bank underground station. One worker believed he'd spotted an old lady in the station, and given the early hours of the morning thought she'd been locked in, only for her to disappear down a corridor with no exit. Knocking has also been heard inside empty lifts after the station has been closed. Whenever Sarah is seen, she is still dressed in black, and still seeking her brother.
Now, Sarah has occasionally been referred to as the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street, but this in itself is actually incorrect - the title does in fact apply to the Bank itself.
The Bank of England has been located on Threadneedle Street since 1734. The street itself has been so named since 1598 - previously, it was part of Broad Street. The Bank was founded in 1694, during the reign of William III, making the Bank the first private national bank in the world.. War with France was draining William's coffers, and two merchants agreed to found a national bank that could lend money to the Government. This money was to be used to finance the war, while the interest on the loan would be paid using taxes on alcohol and shipping.
But how did the Bank get its unusual nickname?
|Political Ravishment, or the Old |
Lady of Threadneedle
Street in Danger! Cartoon
by James Gillray
Personally, I prefer to refer to Sarah as the Old Lady. I've never seen her myself but if you ever find yourself in the area, and a woman in a black veil stops you to ask after her brother, at least now you know who she is!