On 29 January 1842 the body of PC Nicholls, ‘his face much bruised and disfigured as if from severe violence’, was found on South Lambeth Road. At the time his demise was attributed ‘death by the visitation of God’. 140 years later a Kennington policeman re-investigated this death by visitation and concluded the culprit as a fellow police officer moreover the relevant page in a police register of the time was missing.
On 29 January twelve bombs explosed in the West End, one person a taxi driver, was hurt. A 13th device was discovered later in an HMV record store
The Blind Beggar was the scene of a murder when thief Bulldog Wallis stabbed a man through the eye with an umbrella later Ronnie Kray killed George Cornell by shooting him through the eye in the same pub
Shoe Lane, EC4 is named after the ancient Sho well that was situated at the north of the street. In 13th century it was Showell Lane
On 29 January 1820 Britain’s King George III died insane at Windsor Castle, ending a reign that saw both the American and French revolutions
On 29 January 1857 Queen Victoria introduced the Victoria Cross with its inscription For Valour, two thirds of all awards have been personally presented by the British monarch
On 29 January 1942 the BBC first broadcast Desert Island Discs its presenter Roy Plomley went on to host the programme 1,791 times
Tradition has it that Pimlico is named after Ben Pimlico, a 17th Century Hoxton brewer who supplied London with a popular Nut Brown ale
In 1577 John Northbrooke’s Treatise deplored blasphemous swinge-bucklers, tossepots, loitering idle persons and the governing of football
The Underground’s longest continuous tunnel is on the Northern line and runs from East Finchley to Morden (via Bank), a total of 17.3 miles
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed his first symphony in 1764 as he and his family lived at 180 Ebury Street, Belgravia
On 29 January 1959 dense fog brought road, rail and air transport in London to a standstill-chemists reported a boom in the sale of smog masks
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.
Kensington & Chelsea is London's smallest borough by area, at 4.7 square miles (12.2 sq km) #LDNTrivia
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London A-Z Street Atlas - Historical Edition by Phyllis Pearsall When the Geographers' A-Z Map Company realised that the first edition of their iconic A-Z was passing hands for thousands of pounds they decided to reproduce it for those with less deep pockets. This is a fascinating exploration of pre-war London. Essential reading for any aspiring cabbie.