London Trivia: Fire most foul

On 17 June 1789 Her Majesty’s Theatre, Haymarket, known for opera, was burnt to the ground during evening rehearsals. The fire had been deliberately started on the roof. The owner Giovanni Gallini offered a reward of £300 for the capture of the culprit who was never traced. The name of the theatre changes with the sex of the monarch. It first became the King’s Theatre in 1714 on the accession of George I.

On 17 June 1497 King Henry VIII leading a 25,000 strong army decisively beat an army of Cornishmen at Deptford Bridge who were rebelling against a tax levy ironically for war

Appeal Court Judge, Lord Bowen introduced the phrase, “The man on the Clapham omnibus”, to describe the average man in the street

To reduce noise wooden cobbles replaced stone in Victorian London, one of the last timbered roads is Chequer Street in Islington

The phase ‘pea-souper’ for a London fog refers to the fact that Londoners made pea soup from yellow split peas the colour of thick fog

The House of Commons’ press gallery bar is named Moncrieff’s in honour of respected political journalist, Chris Moncrieff – a teetotaller

Artist J. M. W. Turner lived at 118 and 119 Cheyne Walk, Chelsea using the roof as a vantage point for his painting

Priced at 7s in June 1935 the world’s first video was sold by Major Radiovision, Wigmore Street using discs to record 12 minutes of images

Opened in 1852 Islington’s Agricultural Hall (now Business Design Centre) was London’s first multi-purpose indoor arena, in 1878 a six-day walking race was held watched in 20,000

The London Underground is thought to be the third largest metro system in the world, in terms of miles, after the Beijing Subway and the Shanghai Metro

The original Royal Exchange was Britain’s first specialist commercial building reflecting London as the country’s premier trading port

On 17 June 1959 rhinestoned pianist Liberace won £8,000 damages from the Daily Mirror who claimed, quite reasonably, that he might be gay

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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