This Week In London’s History
- Monday – 24 June 1509: A lavish double coronation takes place in Westminster Abbey, as Henry VIII and his new wife, Catherine of Aragon, are crowned.
- Tuesday – 25 June 1953: John Christie is sentenced to death for the murder of his wife, whose body was found with several others hidden beneath the floorboards of his house in Notting Hill, West London. His conviction casts serious doubts on a previous murder trial that resulted in the conviction and execution of his tenant Timothy Evans, who would be posthumously pardoned in 1966. The resulting controversy would contribute to the abolition of the death penalty in the UK.
- Wednesday – 26 June 1857: The first Victoria Cross medals are awarded by Queen Victoria, to 62 soldiers of the Crimean War, in a ceremony in Hyde Park.
- Thursday – 27 June 1967: The world’s first electronic automated teller machine (ATM) is installed by Barclays Bank in Enfield, North London. Reg Varney (of ‘On The Buses’ fame) becomes the first person to make a withdrawal.
- Friday – 28 June 1461: Edward IV is crowned King of England at Westminster Abbey. Queen Victoria is crowned on the same date, 377 years later.
Random London Quote Of The Week
I have passed all my days in London, until I have formed as many and intense local attachments as any of you mountaineers can have done with dead nature. The lighted shops of the Strand and Fleet Street; the innumerable trades, tradesmen, and customers, coaches, wagons, playhouses; all the bustle and wickedness round about Covent Garden; the watchmen, drunken scenes, rattles; — life awake, if you awake, at all hours of the night; the impossibility of being dull in Fleet Street; the crowds, the very dirt and mud; the sun shining upon houses and pavements; the print-shops, the old book-stalls, parsons cheapening books, coffeehouses, steams of soups from kitchens; the pantomimes — London itself a pantomime and a masquerade — all these things work themselves into my mind, and feed me without a power of satiating me. The wonder of these sights impels me into night-walks about her crowded streets, and I often shed tears in the motley Strand, from fullness of joy at so much life.
Charles Lamb, from a letter to William Wordsworth