London Trivia: Boswell meets Johnson

On 16 May 1763 diarist James Boswell met Samuel Johnson in a chance encounter in Davies Bookshop in Covent Garden. Their resulting friendship resulted in Boswell writing The Life of Samuel Johnson, published in 1791, because of the frankness of the writing, incorporating conversations that he had noted down in his diary, it is acknowledge to be one of the greatest biographical work in the English language.

On 16 May 1968 a gas explosion on the 18th floor of Ronan Point kiled 4 and injured 7, the tragedy temporarily stalled the building of high-rise flats

On 16 May 1983 a Mercedes in Sloane Street became the first car in central London to be clamped – the release fee was £19.50

Upstairs at the Gatehouse in Highgate High Street, at 446 feet above sea level, is officially London’s highest theatre

Aldgate Station, on the Circle and Metropolitan Lines, is built on a massive plague pit, where more than 1,000 bodies are buried

The Penderel’s Oak public house, High Holborn is named after yeoman farmer, Richard Penderel, who helped King Charles I escape by hiding him in a wood

The Grade II listed Serpentine Sackler Gallery, in Kensington Gardens, which opened in 2013, was in 1805 originally a gunpowder store

A ‘tolerable Cockney imitation of the seaside’, was how one paper described the artificial beach near Tower Bridge which closed in 1971

London has 13 gold post boxes, commemorating the gold medals awarded in the 2012 Olympics, and 2 celebrating the London Olympics

The busiest station is Oxford Circus at 98 million passengers the Tube’s total carried in 2013/14 was 1.265 billion the world’s 11th highest

The historic Angel Tavern, (now a Co-op Bank), is mentioned in Dickens’ Oliver Twist, was where Thomas Paine began writing The Rights of Man

Whittington Stone on Highgate Hill is a memorial to the famous mayor, a sculpture of his cat is patted by Knowledge students for good luck

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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