On 27 May 1679 Habeas Corpus Act received its Royal Assent. Instigated by the First Earl of Shaftsbury, the ancient prerogative writ of habeas corpus, with later amendments, is a procedural device to force the courts to examine the lawfulness of a prisoner’s detention in order to safeguard individual liberty and thus to prevent unlawful or arbitrary imprisonment. It was subsequently incorporated into the American Constitution.
On 27 May 1541 Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury one of the last Plantagenets was beheaded at the Tower of London for her son’s criticism of Henry VIII’s divorce
In 1517 ‘Evil May Day’ saw riots against traders from Flanders, Italy and France led by John Lincoln he and other ringleaders were later hanged
Christopher Wren had originally wanted a stone pineapple on the dome of St Paul’s he saw them as a symbol of peace and hospitality
The first baby to be born on the underground was born at Elephant and Castle in 1924, she was named Marie Cordery
Harold Wilson lived at 5 Lord North Street, during his last term serving as Prime Minister spurning the official residence in Downing Street
With over 45 million visitors since it opened in May 2000 Tate Modern has become the most visited modern art gallery in the world
Waterstone’s Piccadilly London’s largest bookshop claims to be Europe’s biggest, 6 floors, over 8 miles of shelves, with over 200,000 titles
On 27 May 1851 German Adolf Anderssen won the first International Chess Master Tournament which was held in London winning £335
As Princess Elizabeth, the Queen travelled on the Underground for the first time in May 1939, when she was 13 years old, with her governess Marion Crawford and Princess Margaret
One of the Crossrail tunnelling machines is named Phyllis, in honour of Phyllis Pearsall who invented London’s A to Z map
London’s Camden Square has twice returned Britain’s highest recorded temperatures May 1949 – 29.4C and in June 1957 – 35.6C
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.