London Trivia: Gentleman in velvet

On 21 February 1702 while horse riding at Hampton Court Park, William III’s horse stumbled on a molehill, throwing the King from his mount. The King broke his collarbone, his health, which had never been strong, deteriorated rapidly and he died 15 days later on 8 March. The Jacobites, supporters of James II who had died in exile, still raise a toast to ‘The Little Gentleman in the Black Velvet Waistcoat’, who made that little hill.

On 21 February 1934 the German ambassador’s dog Giro was accidentally electrocuted, given a full Nazi burial, Giro now lies at 9 Carlton House Terrace

In 1836 a sewer worker penetrated the Bank of England’s bullion room and was given a reward for showing how he breached the bank’s security

Adelaide House completed in 1925 was the first building in the City to employ the steel frame technique at 141ft the tallest block in London

Christopher Wren’s tomb in the crypt of St Pauls Cathedral is inscribed “Reader, if you seek his monument, look about you”. How very true

In 1940 from Room 36 at Brown’s Hotel the Dutch exiled government declared war on Japan since it wasn’t broadcast Japan was hardly terrified

The Beatles A Day in the Life immortalises Tara Brown, Lord Oranmore’s son who in Redcliffe Gardens “blew his mind out in a car . . .”

On the London Eye capsules travel at a leisurely pace of 26cm per second, which is twice as fast as a tortoise sprinting

Only seven Wimbledon Championships since 1922 have not been affected by rain delays promoting Centre Court’s retractable roof

Cabbies are still required to carry sufficient foodstuffs for their horse, so our luggage compartments can still accommodate a bale of hay

World’s first fire insurance company was started in London after The Great Fire, it employed firemen to protect only policyholder’s property

The Mayflower pub is licensed to sell American postage stamps for allowing the Pilgrim Fathers to leave for America from its landing stage

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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