London Trivia: Apprentice hangman

On 11 October 1870, Margaret Waters was hanged at Horsemonger Lane Gaol, close to present-day Newington Causeway, for the crime of what became known as baby farming. She had taken at least 19 children into her care for money, then she would murder or starve to death her charges. As might befit a person of her character, the hangman, William Calcroft, was just learning his craft on the job, but he managed his task.

On 11 October 1919 on a flight from London to Paris passengers enjoyed the first in-flight meals – lunch boxes a three shillings (15p) each

HMP Pentonville built in 1842 at a cost £84,186 12s 2d was intended to be a holding prison for convicts awaiting transportation

Cowcross Street is so named after the cows crossing on their journey to the slaughterhouses and butchers at Smithfield Market

Idol Lane, off Great Tower Street was formerly Idle Lane denoting an area of the city where loiterers would congregate

Christ Church Lambeth’s spire is decorated with stars and stripes commemorating the abolition of slavery, half the cost was borne by America

The album cover for David Bowie’s The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars was shot outside 23 Heddon Street

Tossing the pie which apprentice boys tossed a coin to win a pie, if the pieman won he kept the 1d and the pie, losing he gave the pie away

On 11 October 1940 Centre Court at Wimbledon was hit by five 500lb German bombs, 16 bombs hit the club during the war

Transport for London Byelaw 10(2): No person shall enter through any train door until any person leaving by that door has passed through it!

Friday Street (Fridei Strete in 12th Century) was named after the Friday market of fishmongers selling fish in memory of Good Friday

Covering in total 620 sq miles London is the biggest city in Europe and with 4,699 people per sq kilometre has Britain’s highest density

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.

2 thoughts on “London Trivia: Apprentice hangman”

  1. In 1870 William CalcrAft was 70 years old and had been a hangman since 1829. He officiated at every execution outside (and after 1868 inside) Newgate prison, as well as other prisons around the country. He retired in 1874 and died at his home in Hoxton in 1879.

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