On 24 February 1857 Buckingham Palace announced that 62 veterans of the Crimean War would be the first-ever recipients of the Victoria Cross, the highest award of the honours system. Crafted from Russian guns seized at Sebastopol. Awarded for gallantry ‘in the face of the enemy’ the medal has been awarded 1,358 times to 1,355 individual recipients. Only 15 medals have been awarded since World War II.
On 24 February 1601 Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, was beheaded at the Tower of London for leading a rebellion against Queen Elizabeth I
Architect Harry Newton in 1861 suggested building a pair of massive mid-stream islands on the Thames to house the Central Criminal Courts
Next to Barclays on Fleet Street is a half-timbered house over the gateway to the Temple, it survived the Great Fire and dates back to 1600
London is the greenest city of its size in the world, literally – 40 per cent of Greater London is made up of green, open spaces
On 24 February 1920 Nancy Astor, the first woman MP made her maiden speech, becoming the first woman to speak in Parliament
John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote I want to hold your hand and Eleanor Rigby at 57 Wimpole Street (McCartney’s attic flat)
On being shown Louis XIV’s embalmed heart the Dean of Westminster eat it claiming “I’ve eaten most things, but never the heart of a king”
Only two MPs have run the London Marathon under 3 hours, best Matthew Parris at 2:32.57 in 1985 and Doug Henderson achieved 2:52.24 in 1989
Only 45 per cent of the Underground is actually in tunnels and the deepest station is Hampstead on the Northern line, which runs down to 58.5 metres
Cockfosters is a very old area, previously known as ‘Cock Fosters’ and is believed to have originally meant the residence of the cock, or chief forester
The $100bn International Space Station controlled from Korolyov, Moscow, and Houston, Texas is operated using Greenwich Mean Time
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.