This day in London’s History
1542: Tower Hill. Kathryn Howard, or Cat Tudor to her friends, has an unfortunate encounter with an axe. After the execution, Henry VIII was heard to whisper unto Thomas Cranmer: ‘Well, that’ll save me a Guinea down at Thorntons. Christ’s beard, they don’t half mark-up their prices for Valentine’s Day’.
London fact of the week
If you walk down the long, musty passage between the Jubilee and Piccadilly Line platforms at Green Park tube station, take a closer look at the walls. The tiny mosaic tiles gradually change from Jubilee silver to Piccadilly blue as you approach the latter line.
London person of the week
Coenwulf, usurping king of Mercia, East Anglia and Kent. His august countenance gazes across the centuries from the British Museum’s latest acquisition. The 1200-year-old Anglo-Saxon coin, costing many, many thousands of pounds, bares the motto DE VICO LVNDONIAE (which, in case your early English isn’t that hot, translates as ‘from the trading place of London’ ).
One thing you must do in London this week
Head down to the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, where new galleries open on Wednesday. It’s, quite literally, about time.