London Trivia: The law’s an Ass

On 27 January 1854 a proposal to re-site the Law Courts from Westminster to a new building on the Strand was greeted with opprobrium claiming it to be a waste of public money and be liken to the Tower of Babel . . A Nero’s Palace . . . A labyrinth of Crete. The first brick was laid on 30 April 1874, 20 years later, at the junction of Bell Yard and Carey Street; the complete buildings were opened by Her Majesty on 4 December 1882.

On 27 January 1796 Gentleman’s Magazine reported that Lady Caroline Campbell ‘displayed in Hyde Park the other day a feather four feet higher than her bonnet’.

In 1517 ‘Evil May Day’ saw riots against traders from Flanders, Italy and France led by John Lincoln he and other ringleaders were later hanged

The City of London’s smallest church St. Ethelburga-the-Virgin in Bishopsgate dates from at least the 13th century measures 56ft by 30ft

Dr Johnson (or dictionary fame) was known to drink up to 25 cups of tea in one sitting, despite his prodigious consumption he lived until 74 his final words were “I who am about to die”

For years Chelsea Bridge, originally named Victoria Bridge, was only lit on those nights when the Queen was sleeping London

Derelict Beckton gas works provided locations for Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket (he refused to leave Britain) and Spielberg’s Empire of the Sun

In preparation for the 1980 Christmas Office Party Nilson brought in a huge cooking pot it was later used to boil his victims’ heads

Only since the 1700s has Chelsea been known as that, before it was Chelsey, Chelceth & Chelchith. Doomsday Book lists Cercehede & Chelched

The greatest elevation above the ground level is on the Northern line at Dollis Brook viaduct over Dollis road, Mill Hill: it rises a total of 60ft

Howard House, 14 Fournier Street, Spitalfields is where the silk for Queen Victoria’s coronation gown was woven

The 1950’s ‘Teddy Boys’ (originally ‘Cosh Boys’) were first seen in London, mainly Elephant & Castle, and became Britain’s first youth cult

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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