This day in London’s history
April 3rd was a typically busy day at the Old Bailey in 1695 and by the end of proceedings, six Londoners had been sentenced to death, 12 were due to be 'burnt in the hand' and just one was to be 'whipt'. The hand of justice moved a little swifter in those days didn't it? Not everyone came a cropper though, James Hambleton was accused of marrying two wives but was let off through lack of evidence and Joane Lane was acquitted of pickpocketing one Gilbert Mackauggel in Long Acre, after convincing the court that she was that she was 'a poor WasherWoman, and work'd hard for her Living, and was but an old Woman, not likely to make a Whore on; and that the Prosecutor was drunk'. Apparently Mackauggel dropped the money and it's fair to say that there have been times when we've all been a bit careless with our cash whilst on the sauce.
London fact of the week
Running through the centre of Covent Garden, Long Acre has a long and distinguished history since first being recorded during the reign of King John (1199-1256) as the northern boundary of the convent garden of the monks of St Peter’s Abbey. Over the years, the thoroughfare has variously been associated with coachmaking (Pepys describes purchasing a coach for £53 which he then watched for five hours as the craftsman painted it yellow. Lazy bastard. If he was around today he'd be watching Richard & judy), the automobile industry, publishing (Vanity Fair, Ideal Home, Sporting Life, Good Housekeeping and the Herald - which became the UK’s best selling publication; The Sun newspaper, were all once based there) and market traders. In 1929, John Logie-Baird projected the first ever television broadcast from the site of number 132. FACT.
Londoner of the week
'World Tour Webcaster' Sandi Thom, originally of Scotland but now of Tooting, has this very evening signed a record deal with RCA/Sony BMG after performing 21 online gigs on consecutive nights to an audience of more than 100,000 people.
One thing you must do in London this week
Head to London Wall for the 'Satirical London: 300 years of irreverent images' exhibition at the Museum of London...
Over 350 social and political satires from the last three centuries go on show from April Fools' Day. Satirical London spares no-one, with images often shocking and always spiced with the popular prejudices which reveal the absurdity and stupidity of the London scene.
Absurdity and stupidity? Oh no, we're back onto the bloody Boat Race again.