London Trivia: World’s first clown

On 18 December 1778, Joseph Grimaldi was born in Clare Market, an area between Strand and Drury Lane, he was to become ‘Joey the Clown’ with the white face. To this day every February, a memorial service is held for Grimaldi, the world’s first modern clown.

On 18 December 1934 infamous Lord Lucan, Richard John Bingham, 7th Earl of Lucan, was born in Marylebone

Jack Ketch’s Kitchen was a room at Newgate Prison named after the bungling executioner, here parts of those hung drawn and quartered were kept

The world’s first underground public lavatory opened in 1855 under the pavement next to the Bank of England

London’s smogs came in a variety of colours: black, brown, grey, orange, dark chocolate or bottle green – hence ‘pea soupers’

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels’s Communist Manifesto was first published (in German) in London’s Liverpool Street by the German printer J.E. Burghard in 1848

Next door to the George Inn, Southwark once stood The Tabard which was the pub from which Chaucer’s pilgrims started their walk to Kent in The Canterbury Tales

Between 1879-80 the man who originated the custom of sending Christmas cards, Sir Henry Cole, lived at 3 Elm Row, Hampstead

In the 1908 London Olympic Games marathon Charles Hefferon, with one-and-a-half miles remaining, accepted a victory glass of champagne, the bubbly caused him to vomit, and Hefferon was overtaken

Busking has been licensed on the Tube since 2003, Sting and Paul McCartney are both rumoured to have busked on the Underground in disguise

Established in 1902, Ealing Studios in West London are the oldest continuously working film studios in the world

The word ‘Strand’ is an old English word for ‘shore’. It makes reference to when the Thames was more shallow and more wide, and would have flowed along the side of the Strand

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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