On 13 May 1986 Leo Abse, MP and solicitor made legal history exercising his Right of Audience in the High Court. He was the first solicitor able to break through the glass ceiling ending the centuries-old tradition of the barristers’ monopoly representing clients in the High Court. No MP ever claimed a more ancient lineage, unlike the Ashkenazi Jews his name was not shared by any other family of Jews in Europe and was Phoenician in origin.
On 13 May 1842 Arthur Sullivan was born in Lambeth, with his partner Gilbert they wrote 14 comic operas between 1871 and 1896, of which The Pirates of Penzance, and The Mikado are among the best known
The Clink a small prison whose name entered the English language as slang term for gaol, the prison was for those who ran amok in Bankside’s brothels
Strand was the first road in London to have a numbered address Charles II’s Secretary of State residence was No 1 near Northumberland Avenue
Florence Nightingale’s statue outside St Thomas’s Hospital is a glass-fibre copy as the original was stolen in 1970
Near The Houses of Parliament the Silver Cross public house is a licensed brothel as the privilege granted by Charles I hasn’t been revoked
Both Samuel Pepys and Rudyard Kipling both once lived at 47 Villiers Street, Strand now it is Gordon’s Wine Bar
Harrods installed its first escalator in 1898 and dispensed brandy to gentlemen and Epsom Salts for ladies to help the shock of its movement
London’s oldest sporting-related pavilion is at Syon House, built in 1803 by the Duke of Northumberland so his wife could watch regattas in comfort
The River Westbourne was funnelled above a platform on Sloane Square in a large iron pipe suspended from girders. It remains in place today
The original Brown’s Hotel in Mayfair was founded by Lord Byron’s butler, James Brown recently refurbished and is now owned by Rocco Forte
The largest clock in London is not situated on St Stephens Tower (Big Ben) but on the Shell Mex House which is on the Strand
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.