On 21 March 1829 started the tradition of Duel Day when Wellington duelled with the Earl of Winchilsea at Battersea Fields over Wellington’s support of Catholics. The two drew their arms on the asparagus fields that would later become Battersea Park. Both took care not to hurt their opponent Winchilsea, deliberately firing a wide shot, perhaps with the sudden realisation that shooting the prime minister wouldn’t be a good move.
On 21 March 1853 Alfred Cops, zookeeper at the Tower of London, died at the Tower of London 18 years after his menagerie closed
Hanway Street (links Oxford St and Tottenham Court Road) – named after Jonas Hanway (1712-86), the first man in London to be arrested for carrying an umbrella
Spencer Street and Percival Street in Clerkenwell are named after Spencer Percival, the only British Prime Minister ever to be assassinated
In 1803, Chalk Farm: Lt-Col Montgomery and Capt Macnamara duelled because the dog of one snarled at the dog of the other Montgomery died Macnamara was severely injured
Now luxury flats, Tower House in Whitechapel, once a lodging house for homeless men, played host to Stalin and George Orwell
Announcements in Royal Court Theatre’s lifts are the voices of actors: Richard Wilson, Lindsay Duncan, Ray Winstone and Harriet Walter
The original plan for the Barbican’s cinema was to have the screen on the ceiling and the audience lying on their backs on the floor
Wisden were one of the original tenants above Leicester Square station – their bat, ball and wicket emblem are still there in the terracotta tiling
On 21 March 1922 Waterloo Station was formally opened by Queen Mary. The rebuilding had started in 1909, but World War I interrupted construction
St Bride’s Church steeple in Fleet Street was the inspiration for the bridal cake design by local baker Mr Rich, his design made him rich
London cabbies’ slang for Harley Street is ‘The Resistance’ because doctors opposed the creation of the NHS. Parliament is nicknamed ‘The Gasworks’
Trivial 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.