Long Meg of Westminster

Margaret Barnes, known in history under her sobriquet Long Meg of Westminster (fl. 1553), was an English innkeeper. She is an historic person, but the subject of a number of legends and fictional or unconfirmed stories and anecdotes.[1]

Margaret Barnes was born in Lancashire but settled in London early on. She was a camp follower laundress in the English army during Henry VIII's campaign to Boulogne 1543–44, during which she is claimed to have shown great courage. Upon her return to London, she married a soldier and opened a successful tavern frequented by soldiers on the London Borough of Islington. She is described as a tall and muscular woman, who threatened anyone who caused fights in her tavern by fighting with her outside.


  1. ^ Carole Levin, Anna Riehl Bertolet, Jo Eldridge Carney, A Biographical Encyclopedia of Early Modern Englishwomen

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