London Trivia: Dying for a drink

On 18 February 1478 George Duke of Clarence was drowned in a butt of Malmsey wine at the Tower of London. Convicted of treason against his brother, Edward IV, and was executed by this dubious method. It was said to have been instigated by his brother Richard Duke of Gloucester. It was Dick, the last Plantagenet who on 22 August 1485 would die on Bosworth Field, presumably more sober than his late brother did.

On 18 February 1901 Winston Churchill made his maiden speech in The House of Commons, justifying the burning of Boer farms

In the 16th century, a London law forbade wife beating after 9:00pm, but only because the noise disturbed people’s sleep

The settled road surface of Charterhouse Square, laid down in the 1860s has been given Grade II listed status by English Heritage

Playwright Ben Jonson couldn’t afford normal burial in Westminster Abbey determined by plot size was buried upright standing for an eternity

During the outbreak of World War II London Zoo killed all their venomous animals in case the zoo was bombed and the animals escaped

The Travellers Club in Pall Mall is the fictional start to Jules Verne’s book Around The World In Eighty Days later made into a film

London has the oldest bicycle shop in the world (Pearsons of Sutton, established as a blacksmiths in 1860), and the second oldest cycle track in the world, Herne Hill, opened in 1891

Twickenham and Harlequins home Twickenham Stoop are a mere 700 yards apart, nowhere in London are two such high profile stadiums in such close proximity

The first crash on the Tube occurred in 1938 when two trains collided between Waterloo and Charing Cross, injuring 12 passengers

Gropecunt Lane once ran north from Cheapside so called as it was a famous haunt of prostitutes it was renamed by kllljoys in the Reformation

On 18 February 1888 the very first Salvation Army hostel was opened by General William Booth at 21 West India Dock Road

CabbieBlog-cab.gifTrivial Matter: London in 140 characters is taken from the daily Twitter feed @cabbieblog.
A guide to the symbols used here and source material can be found on the Trivial Matter page.

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