On 26 February 1995 Barings Bank, Britain’s oldest investment banking firm, and the world’s second oldest merchant bank (after Berenberg Bank), founded in 1762 was forced into bankruptcy after an employee in Singapore, 28 year old Nicholas William Leeson, speculated in derivatives on Tokyo stock prices that resulted in losses exceeding $1.4 billion. A trading jacket thought to have been worn by Leeson while trading was subsequently sold for £21,000.
On 26 February 1797 the Bank of England issued the first £1 banknote it remained in circulation until 1983 when the £1 coin was introduced
Pentonville Prison held a week long training course for trainee executioners who learned how carry out an execution with speed and efficiency
The first Palladian building built in Britain was Queen’s House, Greenwich commissioned by Anne of Denmark, wife of James I
The name ‘Bunhill Fields’ as in the Burial Ground is thought to be derived from ‘Bone Hill’ an area used as a burial ground for centuries
Henry VIII’s Chelsea Manor, which he gifted to Catherine Parr as a wedding present, stood where 19-26 Cheyne Walk now stand
William Hogarth’s Harlot’s Progress was inspired by the life history of the infamous Sally Salisbury who worked Covent Garden’s brothels
French Ordinary Court EC3 takes its name from a fixed price menu or as Samuel Pepys called it a French Ordinary
Arsenal tube station was originally Gillespie Road renamed when the club moved North. It is the only station named after a football team
In 1860 Sir Edward Watkins, Chairman of the East London Railway developed plans to build a ‘channel tunnel’ linking Britain with Europe
From his Wapping soap factory John Knight produced the famous Knight’s Castile soap, which won a medal at the Great Exhibition of 1851
On 26 February 2010 The Barbican hosted an ongoing concert given by 40 zebra finches with guitars as perches and cymbals as feeders
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.
1772 The first goat known to have twice circumnavigated the world died in Mile End, The lords of the Admiralty had, just previous to her death, signed a warrant, admitting her to the privileges of an in-pensioner of Greenwich Hospital, a boon she did not live to enjoy.
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Regular bloggery from a Black London Licensed Cabbie. If you want to know more just click on my mug shot. The number of people who have entered my cab:
King's Cross St Pancras tube station is served by more Underground lines than any other station on the network #LDNTrivia
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What I’m Reading
The Tunnel Through Time: A New Route for an Old London Journey by Gillian Tindall As Phyllis, Ada, Victoria and Elizabeth, the 1,000-tonne tunnel-boring machines, remove four-and-a-half million tonnes of London soil, this is the potted histories on what social and architectural history lies in CrossRail's path, from Bedlam to Bleak House by one of the greatest London historians.