The military camp of Londinium was established by the Romans in 43AD, on the north bank of the Thames near the modern Tower of London. The actual Roman settlement was nearer to what is now Colchester.
In 60AD, the Iceni Britons rebelled and razed the military camp of Londonium and the settlements at Colchester and Verulamium to the ground. Led by Boudicca, the Queen of the Britons, who had suffered humiliation after the death of her husband, Prasutagus, the rebellion did not last, as the Romans were quick to retaliate. Boudicca was defeated, and took her own life by way of poisoned chalice soon afterwards. The town of London was established by the imperial procurator Classicianus, whose tombstone can be found in London today.
The town was enclosed by high, stone walls, the remains of which are still accessible from London Wall and beside Tower Hill tube station. The old wall is still evident from the namings of some of the Underground (tube) stations: Moorgate on the west of the perimeter and Aldgate on the east.
Londonium was governed from the Guildhall in the City centre and some of the buildings are still used for municipal purposes to this day. When building contractors were excavating foundations for the new Guildhall art gallery in 1999, remains of a Roman ampitheatre were discovered and the gallery's blueprints were amended so that the excavated site could be preserved. The ampitheatre, dating from around 4AD, is now housed on display in the gallery's basement.
The 20th Century
The Second World War (1939-45)
London suffered extensive damage during this period. Over 35,000 were killed and hundreds of thousands were made homeless following heavy bombing campaigns. The East End was one of the worst-affected areas, as the population density here was very high.
These were deployed in the many parks of London during that war. For details see http://markcarter81.users.btopenworld.com/Barrage/barrage_balloons1.htm
London hosted the Olympics in 1948 - the first Games since the war.
London in the 21st Century
On the morning of 7 July 2005, four bombs exploded across the city's transport network. They killed at least 50 people. See July 2005 London Bombings for more information.
London will host the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012.
There were a few farmsteaders in 1 AD. In 300 AD there could have been up to 20,000 inhabitants following the Roman invasion. After they left the population declined, but following the establishment of Lundenburgh, it began to increase again. Many were killed by the Black Death in the 14th century.
By 1700 London had nearly 10% of the entire population of England and Wales, and was the world's largest city in 1801 with 959,300 people (this was recorded in the first census). Growth continued and reached a record level in 1939: 8.6 million lived in London at this time.
Following the destruction caused by the Second World War, many left London to new towns that were set up around the city such as Harlow. 7.2 million lived in the Greater London area in 2001, and this is predicted to rise to 8.2 million by 2016.