London Trivia: Little gentleman in velvet

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

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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