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am neglected

The Angel, Islington

The Angel was originally an inn near a toll gate on the Great North Road (at what is now the corner of Islington High Street and Pentonville Road), but now informally refers to this part of Islington in London. The corner itself is actually in Finsbury which was a separate borough until 1965 when the Metropolitan Borough of Finsbury merged with the Metropolitan Borough of Islington to form the London Borough of Islington.

Thomas Paine may have stayed at the inn after he returned from France in 1790 and it is believed that he wrote passages of the Rights of Man whilst staying at the nearby Red Lion, now Old Red Lion, in St. John Street. The original building was rebuilt in 1819 and became a coaching inn; the first staging post outside of City of London. It became a local landmark and was mentioned in Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens "The coach rattled away and, turning when it reached the Angel at Islington, stopped at length before a neat house in Pentonville". A new building in pale terracotta stone with a corner cupola replaced the old building in 1899. From 1921 to 1959 the building was used as a Lyons Corner House and is now a Co-operative Bank. A pub operated by JD Wetherspoon situated near the junction of Pentonville Road and Islington High Street (just next door to the original building: it is visible in the image above) goes by the name The Angel.

In his book "The Inns and Taverns of Old London" published in 1909 Henry C. Shelley has the following to say of the inn:

"The Angel dates back to before 1665, for in that year of plague in London a citizen broke out of his house in the city and sought refuge here. He was refused admission, but was taken in at another inn and found dead in the morning. In the seventeenth century and later, as old pictures testify, the inn presented the usual features of a large old country hostelry. As such the courtyard is depicted by Hogarth in his print of the "Stage Coach." Its career has been uneventful in the main, though in 1767 one of its guests ended his life by poison, leaving behind this message: "I have for fifteen years past suffered more indigence than ever gentleman before submitted to, I am neglected by my acquaintance, traduced by my enemies, and insulted by the vulgar."

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