On 20 February 1702 William of Orange was riding Sorrel, in Hampton Court Park, the horse stumbled on a molehill and fell throwing the King who broke his collarbone, with fatal consequences. This incident was to give rise to a new Jacobite toast, ‘To the little gentleman in black velvet’. An equestrian statue of William III in St. James’s Square has His Majesty upon Sorrel with the little molehill near the horse’s hooves.
On 20 February 1547 the Coronation of Edward VI took place at Westminster Abbey, he was just nine years old
On 20 February 1965 the crimson backed hardwood ‘Ghost Chair’ at Brompton Oratory Roman Catholic Church was stolen, it would resurface years later in a ruined South American church
César Ritz founded the Carlton Hotel now replaced by New Zealand House in the Haymarket after being sacked from the Savoy
One advantage of motor vehicles replacing the horse was a decrease in typhoid as the great piles of dung disappeared from London’s streets
Winston Churchill, exiled leaders Charles de Gaulle and Jan Masaryk used the Savoy Hotel and Grill as their London home during World War II
Theatre Royal Drury Lane London’s oldest theatre originally a playhouse on the site in 1662 Charles II made them part of the Royal Household
The National Army Museum has the bloodied saw used to remove the Marquess of Anglesey’s leg after being shattered by cannon fire at Waterloo
Wimbledon is now the only Grand Slam tournament still played on natural grass, maintained by 16 ground staff plus 12 during Championships
London’s first mechanically driven taxi was battery powered but slower than their horse-drawn predecessors as a result went bust in 5 years
Willliam Blake’s ‘dark satanic mills’ mentioned in his poem Jerusalem were the Albion Mills near his Lambeth home
When RAC Club’s President, the Duke of Sutherland, had one of his four Rolls-Royces outside the Club its engine was kept running for immediate departure
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.
2 thoughts on “London Trivia: Little gentleman in velvet”
Always fun to read, even though I knew quite a few. 🙂
I’m posting more about the first electric cab later this year.
LikeLiked by 1 person