National Geographic : 1961 Jun
strew herbs on the bench and the prisoner's dock, as. at Guildhall elections, and the judge carries a nosegay of flowers. The prisoner, when not in the witness box, sits in a dock in the courtroom's center. Be wigged counsel gather at benches, the jury sits along a wall, and the crimson-gowned judge, on a dais, faces the accused. The Old Bailey takes its name from the street on which it stands. In turn, this street probably was named for the ballium, an area way or wall in the City's defenses. Dread Newgate Prison, mentioned several times in Dickens's works, occupied the site until 1902. Executions used to be held outside its walls, and a rapt audience always attended. Smithfield, too, was once a place for pub- lic executions. The name is a corruption of "Smoothfield," and old records describe the area as an open, grassy plain. At a spot in front of the present-day meat markets, many religious martyrs died in flames. Queen Mary I, best known as Bloody Mary, ordered 200 persons burned there at the stake during a four-year period ending in 1558. A clerk to Archbishop Thomas a Becket, one William Fitzstephen, wrote in 1174 that Smithfield was "a celebrated rendezvous" for the sale of livestock. By 1400 the City had established tolls, or customs, for the market. No livestock is sold there today. London Central Markets, known throughout Eng land as Smithfield, deal only in dressed meat, more than 400,000 tons each year. 771 KODACHROME(BELOW) AND HS EKTACHROMEBY W. D. VAUGHN © N.G.S.