On 21 January 1670 Claude Duval the ‘Gallant Highwayman’ was hanged. Caught drunk at Mother Maberley’s Tavern in Chandos Street. When passing judgement Sir William Morton refused to commute the death sentence, and threatened to resign rather than sparing the highwayman despite mercy pleas from Ladies’ of the Court and even King Charles II himself. Duval was buried in St. Paul’s Church, Covent Garden.
On 21 January 2006 a juvenile botlenose whale was spotted swimming up the Thames, she beached near Albert Bridge, watched by thousands efforts were made to return her back to the sea – it died
For writing ‘this Adonis in loveliness is a corpulent man of 50’ Leigh Hunt was imprisoned for 2 years in 1813 for libelling the Prince Regent
The last wolf in the City of London is commemorated at the spot it was killed, where a wolf’s head forms the waterspout of the Aldgate pump
On 21 January 1950 George Orwell, author of 1984 who penned the idea of Big Brother, died at University College Hospital aged 46
Henry I decreed that a street could not be named a Street unless it was paved and wide enough for 16 knights to ride abreast
The 1949 Ealing comedy Passport to Pimlico was shot in Lambeth starring Stanley Holloway documents revealed Pimlico an independent nation
The Lamb in Lamb’s Conduit Street had etched glass partitions preventing wealthy drinkers having to watch common men drinking in next bar
When Billy (the police horse who controlled spectators at the 1923 FA Cup final) died, his rider was given one of his hooves as an inkwell
On 21 January 1976 the first two Concordes entered service. BA’s from Heathrow to Bahrain while Air France’s from Paris to Rio de Janeiro
Jack Dee once worked in the Ritz’s kitchen. One night he cooked a doorman’s dinner, got a 50p tip. Made him realise his life was in a mess
London’s shortest street name is Hide, not Hide Street or Hide Lane, just Hide. At 150ft in length the street’s not so terribly long either
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.