I’m currently reading The London Book of Days by Peter de Loriol. For my TT this week, I thought I’d give you a quick rundown of some of the things that happened this week in London history.
Thirteen Events from London History
1. Nov 24 1434 – There was a severe frost. The cold snap continued until Feb 1435 and the river Thames froze over. Frost fair alert!
2. Nov 24 1740 – A man called William Duell was hanged at Tyburn. His body was prepared for dissection by surgeons, but they found he was still breathing! They ended up deporting him instead.
3. Nov 25 1944 – World War two is in full swing. By this date 251 V2 bombs had been dropped on London. The first V2 bomb was dropped on 8 Sep 1944.
4. Nov 25 1952 – A murder mystery play called The Mousetrap, written by Agatha Christie, opened at the New Ambassadors Theatre. This show is still running in London at St Martin’s Theatre. I’ve seen the show twice and loved it both times.
5. Nov 26 1703 – A hurricane struck London. It ripped off roofs, destroyed spires and turrets and forced ships from their moorings.
6. Nov 26 1962 – The Beatles recorded their single Please Please Me at the Abbey Road Studios.
7. Nov 26 1969 – Margaret Thatcher said in an interview, “No woman in my time will be Prime Minister…Anyway, I would not want to be Prime Minister, you have to give yourself 100 percent.”
8. Nov 26 1983 – Gold bars worth 26 million pounds were stolen from Brink’s-Mat security warehouse at Heathrow Airport. The resulting investigation took almost 10 years and most of the gold was never found.
9. Nov 29 1814 – The Times newspaper was printed by steam instead of manual power. The steam printing press could print 1100 sheets an hour.
10. Nov 29 1855 – A public meeting was held at Willis’s Rooms to raise funds for what became the Nightingale School of Nursing.
11. Nov 29 1934 – Prince George, Duke of Kent married Princess Marina of Greece at Westminster Abbey.
12. Nov 30 1016 – King Edmund II of England was reputedly stabbed in the bowels whilst in the outhouse. He died on the same day.
13. Nov 30 1936 – A small fire at Crystal Palace, Sydenham raged out of control and destroyed the entire building. 88 fire engines were deployed to fight the fire. Melted glass was everywhere.
The London Book of Days is a really interesting book full of snippets about London history. If you enjoy history, you’ll love flicking through this book.
London had been through a lot.
I don’t even want to know how #12 was carried out.