London trivia — 07 April 2019

On 7 April 1903 a Polish barber, George Chapman was hanged at Wandsworth Prison for the murder, by poison, of his wife. His three other wives had died under suspicious circumstances. John Abberline, who headed up the Jack the Ripper investigation, thought Chapman was also The Ripper. He had closely interviewed his first ‘wife’, Lucie Badewski, and she had told him that her husband often used to go out during the night.

On 7 April 1908 Herbert Henry Asquith’s Liberal Party won the General Election. Edward VIII was abroad, the only time the elected Prime Minister had the official ‘Kissing of the Hands’ abroad

In Oliver Twist Charles Dickens sited Fagin’s Lair in the notorious area that existed around the current Saffron Hill

In the 11th century, Brixton was known as ‘Brixistane’ meaning ‘the stone of Brihtsige’. Locals used the stones as a meeting place

Behind the stalls of Islington’s Sadlers Wells Theatre is the well containing medicinal water which Thomas Sadler found in 1684

On 7 April 1968 after previously accompanying Princess Margaret and The Queen Mother King Freddie of Buganda was found living on the dole

George Orwell used Senate House in Bloomsbury as the inspiration for The Ministry of Truth in his book 1984

Birdcage Walk was the site of the 17th century Royal Aviary. Diarist John Evelyn spotted “many curious kinds of poultry” here

In 1922 in the rafters of Westminster Hall was found a tennis ball dating from before 1520 made of leather and stuffed with dog’s hair

In between Golders Green and Hampstead the tube slows down for the ghost station “Bull and Bush”, a station which was never built

In the early 80’s comic Jo Brand worked as a psychiatric nurse at the Maudsley Hospital, Denmark Hill, a fact of her life she will often talk about

Chains from Brunel’s Hungerford Bridge, demolished in 1864, were re-used as part of the Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol

CabbieBlog-cab.gifTrivial 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.

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