On 14 May 1856 the Old Bailey heard that Dr. William Palmer had poisoned with strychnine his friend John Cook. Heavily in debt to the tune of £4,000 due to his love of gambling on the horses he had taken out insurance policies one many of his victims. His mother-in-law, wife, four of his children, his creditor, brother and housekeeper had all met with premature deaths. Convicted he was hanged at Stafford prison on 14 June 1856. Stepping out on the gallows he asked “Are you sure it’s safe?”.
On 14 May 1932 the BBC made their last transmission from their Savoy Hill headquarters transferring to the new Langham Place Broadcasting House
Serial killer Dennis Nilsen once lived at 195 Melrose Avenue, Cricklewood the scene of 13 murders. Nilsen was sentenced to 6 life sentences
The GDP of London is significantly larger than that of several European countries, including Belgium and Sweden
Swedish mystic Emanuel Swedenborg who lived off Farringdon Road predicted there would be a special part in heaven reserved for the English
A white spike at the south end of London Bridge commemorates a practice of displaying traitors heads dipped in pitch on the original bridge
Kenneth Grahame author of The Wind in The Willows and Secretary of the Bank of England was shot at at the bank by a deranged George Robinson
6ft 5in circus strongman Carl Dane in 1926 was the first to pull a London bus with 12 passengers inside using only his teeth
When he was Prime Minister the Duke of Wellington held indoor races along Downing Street corridors with men pulling women seated on rugs
In 2014, not a single 07.29am Brighton–London Victoria train reached its destination on time after failing to roll in at its scheduled time of 8.35am on a single occasion
When Selfridges opened in 1909 their information bureau answered queries on subjects from crossword clues to government stats
The City’s Square Mile is now an imperfect 1.16 square miles following 1990s boundary changes incorporating an area north of London Wall
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.