Flying Fruits of Justice for the Bells of Old Bailey

1 Sep

One very old church + a London nursery rhyme about bells, fruit and debt collecting + some yarn + a handful of beady eyes + a hoard of crafty treasure bits + my brains = The Flying Fruits of Justice.

Knit the City took on the Oranges and Lemons Odyssey with a six-pronged attack. Six London Churches from an old nursery rhyme. Six graffiti knitters. One full day of yarnstorming fun.

For the Deadly Knitshade prong of it I was handed the holy stones of St Sepulchre-without-Newgate for the line:

“When will you pay me?” said the Bells of Old Bailey”

A question in wool and wire

A question in wool and wire

A soaring four-pointed church on the corner of Holborn Viaduct and Giltspur Street, St Sepulchre has been strutting its sacred stuff since 1450. It suffered a bit of scorching in the Great Fire of 1666 but has generally stood up to a whole lot of London history ever since.

It used to stand opposite the City’s nefarious Newgate Prison. From 1606 every night before an execution the bellman of the church would trudge through a dark tunnel between the prison and the church. At the prison he would ring on his handbell 12 times and recite:

“All you that in the condemned hold do lie,
Prepare you, for tomorrow you shall die;
Watch all and pray, the hour is drawing near
That you before the Almighty must appear;
Examine well yourselves, in time repent,
That you may not to eternal flames be sent:
And when St. Sepulchre’s bell tomorrow tolls,
The Lord above have mercy on your souls.
Past twelve o’clock!”

A journey of fruity justice was in order…

Bitter Burglar Lemon and Policeman Peeler Orange

Caught: Bitter Burglar Lemon and Policeman Peeler Orange

Condemned: Barrister Orange and Hangman Lemon

Considered: Beady-eyed Barrister Orange and Heartless Hangman Lemon

Condemned: All-is-Forgiven Angelic Orange and Dastardly Devilled Lemon

Condemned: All-is-Forgiven Angelic Orange and Dastardly Devilled Lemon

The Bells want their money back

The Plaintive: The Bells want their money back

Throw them all together and I formed an unlikely crew. The Flying Fruits of Justice we ready to take to the air. Stand back.

Witness the Flying Fruits of Justice

Witness the Flying Fruits of Justice

The citrus criminals and their chasers took the air in the shadow of St Sepulchre. They bobbed quietly in the London wind and reminded passing Londoners of a little bit of history.

Floating fruity fellows

Floating fruity fellows

A hanging history

A hanging history

Another fine knitblast in honour of my lovely London. I disappeared back into my stitching shadows imagining the ghosts of condemned Newgate prisoners gazing out of the windows of a phantom prison upon a church bedecked with dancing fancy-dress fruit. They probably would have killed for a bit of citrus fruit right then. Which is possibly what got them in there in the first place…

Confession is good for the soul

Confession is good for the soul

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5 Responses to “Flying Fruits of Justice for the Bells of Old Bailey”

  1. BNM September 1, 2009 at 14:02 #

    Very sweet. And a good joke at the end to round it all off.

  2. beebee February 28, 2010 at 19:10 #

    inspiring, and impossibly cute!

    • Deadly Knitshade March 4, 2010 at 22:38 #

      Thank you. Impossible cuteness is very hard to leave behind.

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  1. The footsore tale of the Oranges and Lemons Odyssey « Knit the City - September 6, 2009

    […] Comments Cat on Yarnstorm the Sixth: Oranges a…Flying Fruits of Jus… on Yarnstorm the Sixth: Oranges a…Deadly Knitshade on Where?Gil on Where?Deadly Knitshade on […]

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