Listed on Etsy an Original Watercolour named 'Jim Crow', who was the oldest recorded Ravens at The Tower of London, at the age of 44yrs. Pictured in one of his favourite Chapel Haunts.London’s Tower RavensIt had been thought that there have been at least six ravens in residence at the Tower for centuries. It was said that Charles II ordered their removal following complaints from John Flamsteed, the Royal Astronomer. However, they were not removed because Charles was then told of the legend that if the ravens ever leave the Tower of London, the White Tower, the Monarchy, and the entire Kingdom would fall. Charles, following the time of the English Civil War, superstition or not, was not prepared to take the chance, and instead had the observatory moved to Greenwich.This and scattered subsequent references to the Tower ravens, both literary and visual, which appear in the late nineteenth to early twentieth century place them near the monument commemorating those beheaded at the Tower, popularly known as the “scaffold.” This strongly suggests that the ravens, which are notorious for gathering at gallows, were originally used to dramatize tales of imprisonment and execution at the Tower told by the Yeoman Warders to tourists. There is evidence that the original ravens were donated to the Tower by the Earls of Dunraven, perhaps because of their association with the Celtic raven-god Bran. However wild ravens, which were once abundant in London, and often seen around meat markets (such as nearby Eastcheap) feasting for scraps, could have roosted at the Tower in earlier times.The legend that Britain will fall if the ravens leave the Tower appears to date from fall of 1944, and to come from the Stag Brewery in London, where ravens were used as mascots and perhaps unofficial spotters for enemy bombers.No one can remember the Tower without ravens, though during the Second World War most of them perished through shock during bombing raids – the sole survivor being a bird called 'Grip'.] However, before the Tower reopened to the public on 1 January 1946, care was taken to ensure that a new set of ravens was in place. There are eight raven, whose wings are now clipped to prevent them from flying away, and they are cared for by the Ravenmaster, a duty given to one of the Yeomen Warders.
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