After breakfast at the Turk’s Head ( see this post ) I went down to the river. The tide was out. I sat on the Thames foreshore and sketched The Captain Kidd.
The Captain Kidd is the building at the front. It’s a pub and restaurant. The larger building behind is “St John’s Wharf”, a warehouse now converted into flats.
The “Captain Kidd” is named after a “seventeenth century pirate William Kidd who was executed [in 1701] at the nearby Execution Dock” according to various websites e.g. The Londonist.
However there is no “nearby Execution Dock”. The carefully researched article on “London Inheritance” concludes that “King Henry’s Stairs” were formerly “Execution Dock” (see note 2). The name was changed in the early 19th century to be better in line with the burgeoning use of the area for trade. The London Inheritance author cannot discover a specific “King Henry” connection. He includes a list of some of the people who were executed here, for crimes at sea including piracy, fighting on board ship, murdering shipmates, and treason.
I note with interest that, these days, the headquarters of the Marine Police are just a few hundred yards upstream. This is a very ancient establishment, which started with a one-year trial in 1798 (note 1).
Here is work in progress on the drawing. See the wonderfully clean Thames foreshore.
I drew my picture in the shade under Wapping pier. Here is a map:
Walking back to the ladder, I collected a handful of porcelain pieces, blue and white. It was as though, years ago, someone threw a china bowl onto the foreshore, and the pieces somehow stayed in the same vicinity, through many tides. Or perhaps it is several bowls.
Note 1: There is a Wikipedia article on the River police: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thames_River_Police
Note 2. The London Inheritance article is here: