On 11 April 1633 Thomas Johnson is known as ‘the father of British field botany’ after his 2,0000-page tome listing plants, put on sale at his apothecary business a strange fruit, a banana. The first consignment came from Bermuda and Johnson described it thus: . . . ‘Each of the fruits was not ripe, being green, each of them the bignesse of a large beane, some five inches long . . . the stalk is short and like one’s little finger.’
On 11 April 1855 the first six pillar postboxes appeared in London and they were green, not red and were rectangular in shape
Mansion House, home to the City’s chief magistrate, contains a number of prison cells, one notable person interned was Emmeline Pankhurst
Two columns from the original 19th century Waterloo Bridge can be seen below its modern replacement on Victoria Embankment
On 11 April 1890 Joseph Carey (John) Merrick (aka The Elephant Man) died at the London Hospital. Modern diagnosis is Proteus Syndrome
In the 1930s Liverpool Street Station was where the Kindertransport arrived a rescue effort that saved many Jewish children from the Nazis
On Poultry is a statue of a boy huggy ‘Old Tom’, a goose who escaped slaughter at nearby Leadenhall Market and was adopted by the traders, living until 37 years old
The Elephant Man was put on show and lived at 123 Whitechapel Road (now renumbered 259) the premises are now UKAY International Saree Centre
In 1314 Nicholas de Farndone London’s mayor acting for Edward II banned football “which many evils perchance may arise which may God forbid”
Underground stations named after taverns: Swiss Cottage; Angel; Elephant and Castle; Manor House; Royal Oak
On 11 April 1882 Thomas Edison opened the world’s first public power station at 57 Holborn Viaduct its steam-driven generators called Jumbos
“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance; It is the illusion of knowledge.”,Stephen Hawking 1943-2018 theoretical physicist
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.