London Trivia: The Tower’s last prisoner

On 17 May 1941, Rudolf Hess was interned for 4 days at the Tower of London where he signed autographs for the warders – one of which is still in the warders bar. Hitler’s deputy had parachuted into Scotland asserting that he wanted to open peace negotiations. He would be the final state prisoner to be held at the castle. Hess would only remain for a few days, he was later tried at Nuremberg and given a life sentence.

On 17 May 1993 at the cost of £345 million, the Limehouse Link opened, becoming the most expensive road per foot to be constructed in Britain

The Seamens’ and Soldiers’ False Characters Act 1906 makes it an offence to walk London’s streets in military fancy dress – fine £20

Affixed to a wall of the Charterhouse is London’s oldest surviving sundial dated 1611 marking the year Thomas Sutton established the school

Postman’s Park near the site of the old General Post Office has a memorial to those dying – many of them children – trying to save others

Incarcerated in the Tower of London King John II of France while awaiting for his ransom to be paid had his own court jester to cheer him up

Named after London’s famous comic, Joseph Grimaldi Park in Islington plays host to an annual ceremony populated by clowns

The Savoy Hotel which reopened at 10.10 on 10.10.2010 was built 1889 and was London’s first luxury hotel and the first with electric light

Abe Sapperstein, a Jewish businessman, born in Flower and Dean Street in 1900 was the founder of the Harlem Globetrotters, he was neither black nor American

The longest distance between Underground stations is the Metropolitan line from Chesham to Chalfont & Latimer: a total of only 3.89 miles

London and Westminster Gas Light and Coke Company founded the world’s first gas works in 1812 to supply gas to Westminster

Rare before, Sysimbrium irio a native plant of the Mediterranean prolificated in the City which had been devastated after the Great Fire

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.

5 thoughts on “London Trivia: The Tower’s last prisoner”

  1. The last person executed at the Tower of London, was a German spy, Josef Jakobs. Shot by firing squad August 15th 1941. As he had a broken ankle, an injury sustained whilst landing in Huntingdonshire and couldn’t stand he was shot whilst sitting in a chair. The Tower still have the chair I believe.

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    1. I knew about the man because my wife’s grandfather was I believe a member of the local home guard that captured him. He was the first person to tell me about it. Most of the other captured spies were turned and acted as double agents but he wouldn’t.

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