London Trivia: A ghostly apparition

On 3 January 1804: When Francis Smith joined a group patrolling the Hammersmith Bridge in the wake of sightings of a ghostly figure and saw a figure dressed in white, naturally he assumed it was a deadly apparition. Shooting Thomas Millwood who was dressed in pale clothes after a day’s plastering. Smith was tried for wilful murder, found guilty the hanging sentence was commuted to a year’s hard labour.

On 3 January 1946 William Joyce, ‘Lord Haw-Haw’, an fascist who had broadcast German propaganda from Germany to Britain during WWII was hanged at Wandsworth

On 3 January 1911 The Siege of Sidney Street, popularly known as the ‘Battle of Stepney’ took place in the East End

No. 1 the Strand was the very first house in London to be numbered, although Apsley House at Hyde Park is now called No. 1 London

According to the burial register at St Leonard’s Church, Shoreditch Thomas Cam died in 1588 at the ripe old age of 207

Carter Lane was once a main thoroughfare through the City and where at the Hart’s Horn Tavern Guy Fawkes and his fellow conspirators met

When the allegorical novella Animal Farm was published in 1945 George Orwell was living at 27b Cannonbury Square, Islington

When the Can Can was performed at the Alhambra Leicester Square in 1870 the theatre’s dancing licence was suspended

Shergar won the 1981 Derby was so far ahead the short-sighted jockey in second place didn’t see him and thought that he had won the race

From 14th to the 18th century the area occupied by Trafalgar Square was the courtyard of the Great Mews stabling serving Whitehall Palace

As a boy Charles Dickens worked in a boot polish or blacking factory on Villiers Street the Strand. Embankment station now occupies the site

The streets named Savoy take their name from the Savoy Palace where in 1381 thirty-two men trapped in the cellar drank themselves to death

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.

4 thoughts on “London Trivia: A ghostly apparition”

  1. It is suggested that Maxwell Knight, who later became Uncle Mac, tipped off William Joyce that he was about to be arrested, allowing Joyce to escape to Berlin in 1939. Both Joyce and Knight had been in the British Fascist movement.


    1. There are other accusations about Uncle Mac that would ruin your childhood even more thoroughly and it is alleged actually did ruin children’s childhoods.


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