Shooting the Bridge

Welcome to our Shooting the Bridge history section. You can skip to subsequent pages using the links below or simply continue reading to start at the beginning.

Shooting the Bridge

The narrowness of London Bridge's arches so contracted the channel of the river as to cause a rapid; and the act of passing through them was known as "shooting the bridge", a perillous activity which prompted a number of unfortunate people to exploit the bridge as a means of suicide.

In 1689, Sir William Temple's only son, who had recently been made Secretary at War, leaped into the river from a boat as it darted through an arch: he had filled his pockets with stones, and drowned, leaving in the boat the following note:

"My folly in undertaking what I could not perform, whereby some misfortunes have befallen the King's service, is the cause of my putting myself to this sudden end; I wish him success in all his undertakings, and a better servant."

Next page: Eustace Budgell