Tag Archives: London trivia

London Trivia: McNaughton’s Rules

On 20 June 1843 Edward Drummond, Peel’s Private Secretary, was fatally shot in the back, in Parliament Street, by the deranged Daniel McNaughton, his institutionalisation for life led to the creation of McNaughton’s Rules.

On 20 June 1955 at the Old Bailey the trial began of Ruth Ellis, accused of the murder of David Blakely, found guilty and sentenced to be hanged

Marc Isambard Brunel got his idea on how to dig the Thames Tunnel whilst in debtors’ prison watching a shipworm bore through wood

18th century writer Samuel Johnson’s cat Hodge has a statue in Gough Square. Next to Hodge are oysters, his favourite food

Nell Gywnn, orange seller and mistress to Charles II was born in the Coal Yard, now Stukeley Street off Drury Lane in 1650

In June 1815 Major Henry Percy interrupted a ball at 16 St James Sq. to announce that 3 days earlier we had defeated the French at Waterloo

Starring Hugh Jackman, Ian McShane and Scarlett Johansson Woody Allen’s romantic comedy Scoop wasn’t given a London cinema release

In Regency times Bond Street was more popular with male shoppers such as royal fashion adviser Beau Brummell

The colour scheme at Boston Manor Tube station was inspired by local team Brentford FC’s nickname – ‘The Bees’

The longest journey without change is on the Central line from West Ruislip to Epping, and is a total of 34.1 miles

Hoare’s Bank, Fleet Street first operated from the Golden Bottle, Cheapside in 1672. Customers have included Pepys and John Dryden

Byward Street near the Tower of London takes its name from the word ‘byword’, meaning password, which was used at the Tower each evening

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.

London Trivia: Beanz means

On 13 June 1886 Henry J. Heinz, an American businessman, visited Fortnum & Mason of Piccadilly returning on the 16th, he later sold his consignment of baked beans, Britain’s first, and was to sell Fortnum & Mason his tomato soup in 1910.

On 13 June 1944 the first V1 Rocket, a pulse-jet powered unmanned aircraft, reached London early this morning and hit Grove Road in Mile End

Between 1196 and 1783 more than 50,000 people were hanged at Tyburn, the original was expanded in 1511 into the Tyburn Tree capable of hanging 24 at a time

The 2nd Duke of Westminster fell in love with Coco Chanel and allegedly put the linked Cs of Chanel on the lampposts of his Grosvenor Estates

John Thompson was Royal Foodtaster to four Monarchs: Charles II, James II, William III and Anne. He is buried at Morden College, Blackheath

The last private resident of 10 Downing Street was a Mr Chicken, nobody knows anything about him other than his name, he moved out in 1732

Between 1891-1894 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle lived at 12 Tennison Road, South Norwood his first work featuring Sherlock Holmes A Study in Scarlet was taken by Ward Lock & Co on 20 November 1886

In 1841 the Metropolitan Police reported there were 9,409 prostitutes and 3,325 brothels known to the police across the 17 police districts

Fulham’s first football ground, in 1879, was located on a patch of land known locally as Mud Pond, its location is not known, but the place was described as being in Lillie Road

Aldgate tube station is built on the site of a plague pit mentioned by Daniel Defoe in Journal of a Plague Year in which 1,000+ were buried

The 19th century classic writer Anthony Trollope who also worked for the Post Office helped create the red letter box

The City’s Square Mile is now an imperfect 1.16 square miles following 1990s boundary changes incorporating an area north of London Wall

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.

London Trivia: School for Thieves

On 6 June 1585 according to John Stow, a school for thieves was discovered in Billingsgate. A pocket and purse guarded by a bell would sound if touched by a clumsy thief. A pickpocket was called a ‘foyster’ and a cut-purse a ‘nypper’.

On 6 June 1922 Child Whispers, Enid Blyton’s first book, was published, it was written whilst she was governess to the four children 207 Hook Road, Chessington

The last man in Britain to be hanged for killing a police officer was Guenther Podola at Wandsworth Prison in 1959

The Savoy Hotel has a permanently lit gas lamp near the river entrance powered by methane gas from the sewers

John Keats trained as an apothecary/surgeon at Guy’s hospital but he gave up surgery for a precarious existence as a poet

Number Ten Downing Street has two front doors, rotated to allow maintenance. The zero is at a slight angle to mimic an earlier one that slipped

In 1905 millionaire George Kessler flooded the Savoy’s courtyard to float a gondola, a birthday cake on an elephant’s back and Caruso singing

A stone in the beer garden wall at the Prospect of Whitby, Wapping identifies the wall as the boundary between Wapping and Limehouse

The ‘Ashes’ are displayed at Lords but the cricket match that led to the ashes being presented is played at the Oval

The first commercial flight from Heathrow was made on 1 January 1946 by South American Airways bound for Buenos Aires in a civilian Lancaster

1757 saw publication of Harris’ List of Covent Garden Ladies a directory of prostitutes and their special skills, it was very popular!

In January 2005, in an attempt to alleviate a problem with loitering young people, the London Underground announced it would play classical music at problem stations

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.

London Trivia: Christopher Marlowe murdered

On 30 May 1593 Shakespeare’s contemporary, playwright Christopher Marlowe died at just twenty-nine in a tavern owned by the widow Eleanor Bull in Deptford in a brawl over a bar tab. After exchanging ‘malicious words’ with Ingram Frizer the two struggled over a dagger, and Marlowe was stabbed over the right eye, killing him instantly. Shakespeare born in the same year had only written 8 plays at the time.

On 30 May 1842, John Francis tried to assassinate Queen Victoria as she sat in her carriage going along Constitution Hill

Until the 1960s Marble Arch contained a fully functional police station, the arch, with views over Buckingham Palace’s garden, is open to the public

St. John’s Way N19 has adjacent Shakespearean named streets: Miranda and Prospero Roads; Lysander Grove; Cressida Road

The London Underground trains were originally steam powered, with predictable health implications. The first deep-level electric railway line opened in 1890

During World War II, Down Street station was used by Churchill and the War Cabinet before they moved to the Cabinet War Rooms in Whitehall. Churchill’s bath is still in place on one of the platforms

Cinematic horror legends Boris Karloff and Christopher Lee curiously were neighbours in Cadogan Square

Watkins Folly, London’s Eiffel Tower opened in 1894, half built, one-quarter the height, and on marshy foundations it was unstable demolished 1903

Men’s tailor, Burtons once rented out their upper floors as billiard halls as a place for customers to wait whilst their suits were adjusted

The London Underground is the third busiest metro system in Europe, every week, Underground escalators travel the equivalent distance of going twice around the world

The future President of North Vietnam worked as a cook at the Carlton Hotel in 1914, Churchill may well have eater vegetables prepared by the man who later founded the Vietnamese Communist Party

The Bank of England has so many rooms underground their combined volume is more than the whole of Tower 42 once London’s second tallest building

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.

London Trivia: It’s, it’s Monty Python

On 23 May 1969, the BBC commissioned an initial series of 6 episodes of Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Its members unusually had complete creative control, allowing them to experiment wildly, disregarding the conventional rules of television comedy. Two of its trademark images are a large foot taken from a 16th-century Italian painting squashing the title and everything around it, and a naked man playing the piano.

On 23 May 1701 the Scottish pirate Captain Kidd was executed at Wapping despite having been promised a Royal Pardon if he gave himself up

In 1415 following the Battle of Agincourt the Duke of Orleans, prisoner in the Tower of London, sent his wife the first ever valentine card

Baker Street is named after Sir Edward Baker of Dorset who was responsible for building a number of streets and squares in 18th century London

Approximately 50 passengers a year kill themselves on the Underground, the worst-affected station is King’s Cross St. Pancras

St. Stephen’s Chapel in the old Palace of Westminster was the chamber of the House of Commons from late 18th century to 1834

At 58,000 sq ft Bermondsey Street’s White Cube Gallery is Europe’s largest commercial art space displaying Damien Hirst, Antony Gormley etc

The Apple Store on Regent Street near Oxford Circus, makes more profit per square foot than any shop in the world

The first purpose-built ‘model baths’ were on Old Castle Street opening in 1847, a year late after the foundations sank into an old cesspool

The Underground’s deepest station is Hampstead which runs down to 58.5 metres. In Central London, it’s the DLR at Bank at 41.4 metres below

Coming 4th on the global list for the number of billionaires London generates 20 per cent of the UK’s gross domestic product

In the 19th century Windsor Castle could be seen from the Windsor Castle public house on Campden Hill Road, hence its name

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.