Click here for population of selected
districts, various years
9/1/1955, 400 Jamaicans arrived in London to seek
work. Much post-war reconstruction
needed to be done in Britain.
London, World War Two
statue of Eros returned to Piccadilly Circus.
5/6/1946, King George V took the salute at the Victory Parade in The
30/4/1945. The face
of Big Ben, London, was lit once more for the first time in 5 years 123 days,
an important sign that the War was nearly over.
28/3/1945,. Last air raid warning siren sounded in London.
27/3/1945. The last German V-2
rocket fell on Britain, at Orpington. (see
8/9/1944).� The Allies then overran the
last V-2 launching site. In all, 1,050 rockets fell on England, each carrying a
ton of explosive with a range of 200 miles.�
The V-2s were designed by Werner von Braun, who surrendered to the
Americans in 1945.� Von Braun was given US
citizenship and helped design the rockets for the US space programme, including
the Saturn rockets and the Apollo missions.
3/12/1944, The Home Guard was formally disbanded in London as King George VI witnessed its final parade.
Britons were jubilant that this symbolised imminent victory in the War. The
Black-Out was replaced by the Dim-Out as the
Luftwaffe was no longer a credible threat. However British strikes rose,
particularly in the coal mines. Coal miners pay was relatively low compared to
other occupations, and conditions were poor.
20/11/1944, After five years of black-out, the lights were switched on again in Piccadilly,
Strand, and Fleet Street.
8/9/1944, The first V-2 fell in on Chiswick in the London area, killing three
people. By the end of the war, 1,100
V-2s fell in England an a further 1,675 on the continent, mainly on
Antwerp.� V-2 stood for Vergeltungswaffe,
or �reprisal weapon�. The V-2 rocket weighed 12 tons and travelled at 3,600
mph, faster than sound, so there was no warning of its imminent arrival. It had
a range of 200 miles and carried a one ton bomb. The Germans fired them from
launchers in The Netherlands, but the explosions in London were attributed, by
the authorities, to gas explosions to mislead the German intelligence. The
earlier V-1 rocket was slower and had a shorter range; V-1 strikes on London
ceased as the Allies captured the launch sites in France.
3/7/1944, Evacuation of children from London because of the
15/5/1944. In St
Pauls School, London, the D-Day landings of 6/6/1944 were planned using a huge
map of the area. 8 divisions, 5 seaborne and 3 airborne, were to be landed in the first
48 hours. The Germans had 60 divisions defending the coast of the Netherlands,
Belgium and France. An elaborate deception was mounted to make Germany think
Calais was the landing point with fake radio traffic, misleading reports from
Nazi agents who had been �turned� to serve the Allies,� and a phantom army with wooden tanks
stationed in south-east England. In May 1944 Montgomery received a decode of a
message from Field Marshall Rommel to Hitler saying that Allied bombing of
railways in northern France was disrupting his efforts to defend the Calais
area from an Allied invasion.
German air raid on London, with 100 Luftwaffe bombers.
Luftwaffe resumed bombing raids on London, after a lull of over two years. 268
tons of bombs were dropped, followed by a similar raid a week later.
people were crushed to death whilst descending the stairs into Bethnal Green
tube station to shelter during an air raid. A woman at the top of the stairs,
carrying a child, slipped and fell on those immediately in front of her,
causing those below to lose their balance too.
Luftwaffe conducted the first night raid on London since May 1941.
See France/Germany for
main events of World War Two
House of Commons was almost
destroyed by incendiary bombs. It was rebuilt, and reopened by George VI
on 26/10/1950. This was the worst night
of the Blitz; 550 German bombers dropped 100,000 incendiaries, and over
1,400 people were killed. The House of Commons had to meet in the Lords.
The Luftwaffe resumed raids on London,
following its failure in the Battle of Britain.
11/1/1941, Bank Underground station, London, received a direct bomb
hit during the Blitz. 51 died.
5/1/1941. A bomb
hit Wormwood Scrubs prison, west
30/12/1940, 136 German
bombers dropped 22,000 incendiary bombs and 127 tons of high explosive on
London on one of the worst nights of the
Blitz. Eight Wren churches and Guildhall were destroyed, but St Paul�s
survived.. Overall one third of the City
of London was razed.
10/12/1940, In London,
two Germans were hanged after being convicted as spies.
Square London Underground Station received a direct bomb hit just as a train
was leaving in the evening. 35 people were known killed and 2 hospitalised(some
estimate a death toll of 79) with three missing. Train services were running
again 2 weeks after the event.
2/11/1940, The only
air-raid free night in London during the period 7 September to 13 November, due
to bad weather that night. Over this period, 27,500 high explosive bombs had
fallen on London, along with incendiaries, parachute mines and oil explosive
17/10/1940, A bomb
knocked out all the automatic railway signalling within two and half miles of
Waterloo Station, London.
London, a full Moon coincided with clear weather, leading to heavy German
bombing raids. 410 German aircraft dropped 538 tons of high explosive bombs,
killing 400 people.
14/10/1940, At 8.02pm,
a German World
War Two bomb made a direct hit on Balham underground station, where
hundreds of people were sheltering from the air raid. Water rushed in as water
mains and sewage pipes burst. 68 people were killed.
Green Underground station was hit by a German bomb; 17 died and 20 were injured.
9/10/1940. �St Paul�s
Cathedral was bombed as the Luftwaffe made heavy raids on London. A German bomb went through the dome of the cathedral,
destroying the high altar. An unexploded bomb had to be removed from the
cathedral roof. German air raids continued throughout the rest of 1940 but the
cathedral suffered little more damage. Surrounding buildings were destroyed, but the image of the dome standing intact
amidst smoke and rubble became a national image symbolising the fighting spirit
of Britain against Nazi Germany.
17/9/1940. Marble Arch became the first tube station to
be hit by German bombs. 20 died and over 40 were injured.
13/9/1940, Buckingham Palace hit by German bombs. The
King and Queen would have been seriously injured by flying glass had the
windows been closed. The incident was a PR blunder for the Germans, as now the
monarch could claim to have shared the privations of London�s east enders.
11/9/1940. The Lord Mayor of London launched the Mansion House
Fund to relieve the suffering of those made homeless by bombing.
8/9/1940, A heavy
German air raid on the London Docks
area; 400 died. The following day, 200 bombers came in the daytime and another
170 after darkness. A further 370 east enders died on 9/9/1940.
23/8/1940. The Blitz on London
began. Bombs initially fell on the
Docks and the East End, but then hit targets further west, including Buckingham
18/8/1940. The first
German plane was shot down over London.
16/8/1940, Wimbledon, south west London, was bombed.
aerodrome was bombed
12/6/1940, At a
by-election in Bow and Bromley, east London, the anti-War candidate won just 6%
of votes cast.
8/6/1940, The first
German bombs fell in the London area, in open country near Addington. The only
casualty was a goat.
20/11/1939, The first
German aircraft to approach London ventured up the Thames estuary. It was
repelled with heavy ant-aircraft fire and retreated without causing any damage.
treasures from London�s art galleries and museums were taken away for safety.
25/2/1939. The first
Anderson bomb shelter was erected in Britain, in a garden in Islington.
London, World War One
17/6/1918, The last German
air raid of World War One on London.
14/6/1917. Air raid
on London, the first by German fixed-wing aircraft. In a daylight raid, 162
Londoners died and 432 were injured. 16 children died in a Poplar school.
explosion at a munitions factory in Silvertown, east London, killed 73 and
injured over 400.
people were killed in a Zeppelin raid on London.
25/4/1916, Anzac Day was first celebrated in London.
23/1/1916, London�s Natural History Museum and British Museum were closed for the
duration of the War.
See France-Germany for
main events of World War One
airship bombing raid on London; Stoke Newington was badly damaged and 7
10/8/1914, Olympia was used as a detention centre for 300
German-born citizens under the wide
emergency powers of the Defence of the
German-owned businesses, shops and restaurants, in the London suburbs of Bethnal Green, Camden Town, Limehouse,
Poplar, Stepney and Walthamstow
were attacked, burnt and destroyed. Traders at Smithfield Market refused to trade with ethnic Germans, even if
they had been naturalised as Britons. An American trader at Smithfield who was
inclined to trade with the foreigners was also beaten up. The unrest was in
response to the sinking of the Lusitania
four days earlier.
9/4/1906, The Labour leader Hugh Gaitskell was born in
2/10/1903, A section of the old Roman
Wall of London was discovered during the demolition of other buildings.
2/7/1903, Sir Alec Douglas Home, Conservative Prime Minister, was born in London.
Greenwich foot tunnel under the Thames opened. It replaced a ferry that had
existed here since 1676.
first telephone service began operating.
10/2/1894, Harold Macmillan,
Lord Stockton, British Conservative Prime Minister, was born in London.
3/1/1888, Herbert Morison, Labour politician, was born in Lambeth, London.
3/1/1883. Clement Richard Attlee, Labour Prime Minister from 1945 to 1951, was born in Putney, London.
2/7/1850, Sir Robert Peel,
British Conservative Prime Minister and
founder of the police force in 1829, died in London due to a riding
22/7/1844, The Reverend William Spooner, educationalist and
originator of �spoonerisms�, was born in London.
27/4/1840, Edward Whymper, mountaineer and the first person to climb the Matterhorn,
was born in London.
8/7/1836. Joseph Chamberlain,
British Liberal politician, was born in London.
1816, Finchley Common, a large
uninhabited area just east of Finchley Village, crossed by the Great North Road
and an infamous haunt of highwaymen, was enclosed. A plan to create a feeder
reservoir for the Grand Union Canal here was dropped in 1820, the reservoir
being built at Brent instead.
21/2/1804. Benjamin Disraeli, British Tory Prime
Minister, was born at 22 Theobald�s Road, London.
2/3/1797, Horatio Walpole, British politician, died in
London.� He never married.
20/10/1784, Lord Palmerston
was born at 20, Queen Anne�s
Gate, Westminster as Henry John Temple.
11/5/1778, William Pitt
the Elder, British Prime Minister, Earl of Chatham, died at Hayes, Middlesex.
28/5/1759, William Pitt the Younger, British Tory Prime Minister, was born at Hayes,
near Bromley, Kent. He became Britain�s
youngest Prime Minister at age 24.
18/3/1745, Sir Robert Walpole,
Whig Prime Minister from 1721 to 1742 died in London. He had been created the
Earl of Orford.
17/10/1727, John Wilkes, British political reformist who
called for a free press, was born in Clerkenwell, London, the son of a
20/3/1727. Sir Isaac Newton,
born 5/1/1642, died in London aged 84. He was buried in Westminster Abbey.
24/9/1717, Horatio Walpole, British
politician, was born in London.
15/11/1708. Birth of William Pitt the Elder, at Westminster.
11/3/1682. King Charles II founded the Chelsea Hospital
for old soldiers (Chelsea Pensioners).It
was designed by Wren, and opened in 1692.
Several plans for the reconstruction of London were drawn up or in progress.
The first was by Christopher
Wren (11/9); John
Evelyn�s was complete on 13/9, and Robert Hooke�s was finished on 19/9.
Plans, according to a Royal proclamation of 13/9, must include wider streets,
replacement of wooden buildings by brick and stone, and a quayside along the
Thames. However questions of accurate compensation precluded many of the
concepts for wide boulevards. Instead, the Rebuilding Act of 1667 set standards
and heights for new buildings according to the width of the street they were
6/9/1666, The Great Fire of London ended
� see 2/9/1666.
2/9/1666. The Great Fire of London began on a Sunday
morning at the house and shop of Thomas Farynor (Farriner), baker to King Charles II,
in Pudding Lane. Farynor
allegedly forgot to put out the fire in his oven, which spread to nearby
stacked firewood. Farynor and his family escaped their burning
house by climbing out of a window and along roof tops. Their maid was too
scared to climb along the rooftops, and became the fire�s first victim. The
fire rapidly spread. It burns for 4 days. In all, 436 acres were burned,
destroying 87 churches and over 13,000 houses. However only nine lives were
lost. The fire also helped end the Great
1/12/1655, Samuel Pepys married Elizabeth St Michael in St
22/1/1561, Francis Bacon,
author, philosopher, and statesman, was born
at York House in The Strand, London.
842, London sacked by the
Vikings, many residents slaughtered.
125, Londinium destroyed by
60, Londinium was sacked by Boudicca.
It was rebuilt in 61.
43 AD, The Romans
and established London as a military garrison town. There was no local stone
available for the Romans to build the walls of London, so they imported stone
by barge from Kent.
400 BCE, The start of the settlement of London,
under the Celtic King Belin. Belin built a defensive earthwork surrounding
a few dozen wooden huts, also constructing a small harbour and landing place.
The name of this landing place was gradually corrupted from Belin�s Gate to
Galleries see also Arts
The Queen opened the new Sainsbury wing at the National Gallery.
4/5/1889, The National
Portrait Gallery, London, was presented to the nation.
1897, London�s Tate Gallery opened.
1838, The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, opened.
1814, Dulwich Art Gallery opened; the first public art gallery.
Cinemas and Halls
31/12/2000. The Dome in
Greenwich closed after a year of financial problems, insufficient
visitor numbers, and general ridicule.
Tony Blair praised the
�758 million London Millennium Dome, erected
on a former gasworks site, as a �symbol of Britain�s creativity.
29/8/1997, In London, work began on the Millennium Dome.
gave a free concert in Hyde Park.
105 year old Grand Exhibition Hall at Alexandra
Palace, north London, was destroyed by a fire.
25/10/1976, Queen Elizabeth II officially
opened the National Theatre on London�s South Bank.
heir to the British throne, laid the foundation stone of the National Theatre, on London�s South
20/5/1867, The foundation stone of the
Royal Albert Hall was laid by Queen Victoria.
It opened in 1871, with seating for 6,036.
4/1/1698, The Palace of
Whitehall, London, was destroyed by fire.
Festival of Britain 1951
30/9/1951, The Festival of Britain closed, see
3/5/1951. King George
V opened the Festival of Britain, on
11 hectares (27 acres) of a former bombsite near London�s Waterloo Station. The
Festival closed on 30/9/1951. The
Festival was intended to make people optimistic about the future after years of
wartime gloom and rationing. In December 1947 Labour Minister Herbert Morrison told Parliament
that the centenary of the Great Exhibition 1851 would be marked by a �World
Fair�. Economic constraints led it to be rebranded as a national event,
financed by a grant of over �11,300,000.�
There were regional exhibits across the UK but the main venue was on a
huge bomb site on London�s South Bank, including the Festival Hall.
Development of Wembley 1924 - 2007
2007, The new Wembley Stadium
2003, The old Wembley Stadium
(built from 1923) was demolished. The new Stadium opened in 2007.
1/11/1924, The British Empire Exhibition at Wembley, London,
closed (opened 23/4/1924). The Empire Pool (now Wembley Arena) was added in
1934. Later, the 1948 Olympic Games were held there. Wembley Conference Centre
opened in 1977.
23/4/1924. King George V opened the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley Stadium, London. It closed on
20/5/1913. The first Chelsea Flower Show opened in London.
London now had around 400 cinemas, up from 90- in 1909.
of White City 1908
27/7/1908, The 4th Olympic Games
opened in London, see 14/5/1908.
14/5/1908, The Franco-British
exhibition opened on 200 acres of land at Wood Lane, north of Shepherd�s Bush,
London. The site, called White City,
was served by an extension of the Central Line from Shepherds Bush. The Prince of Wales
opened the exhibition, which was also used for the 1908 Olympic Games, see 27/7/1908. Greyhound racing was held there
from 1927. White City was demolished in the 1980s.
1900, A large music hall, called
The Grand, opened in Battersea, which could seat 3,000. It was iften full.
Although the West End remained the prime theatre locaton in London, other
suburbs were also keen to capture some of the entertainment industry too.
Development of Olympia 1884 - 86
27/12/1886, The Olympia
Exhibition Hall in west London opened.
7/1885, Construction work on the Olympia exhibition hall began.
1884, The National Agricultural
Company was established to construct a hall capable of hosting agricultural
shows in London. This hall is now known as Olympia.
Victoria opened the Royal
Albert Hall in London; named in memory of Prince Albert. The Hall was
intended as a cultural centre following on from the success of the Great
Exhibition of 1851. The original plan was to have an auditorium seating 30,000
but due to financial difficulties they ended up with an oval hall with a glass
and iron dome with 7,000 seats. The foundation stone was laid on 20/5/1867.
The foundation stone of the Albert Hall, London,
was laid by Queen Victoria.
Exhibition � Crystal Palace 1850 -1936
30/11/1936. Crystal Palace, south London, was destroyed by fire.
The blaze was seen as far away as Brighton. Wooden floorboards had been dried
to tinder by the heating system, and 20,000 wooden chairs were stored under the
(wooden) orchestra pit. Flames reached 500 feet, and drove swarms of rats out
of the building. 438 firemen from all over London could do nothing to put out
18/12/1913, Lord Plymouth gave money to enable the Crystal
Palace to be bought for the nation.
12/5/1911. The Festival of Empire opened at Crystal
re-erection of the Crystal Palace at Sydenham, south London.
Great Exhibition at Hyde Park, London, closed.� It had opened on 1/5/1851. A total of 6
million visitors had attended. The Exhibition made a profit of �186,000 which
was used to buy land in South Kensington where the Victoria and Albert Museum
The Great Exhibition at the Crystal Palace was opened by Queen Victoria, in Hyde Park, London. There
were 13,000 exhibits from around the world in an 1,840 foot long, 408 foot
wide, 108 foot high steel and glass hall, designed by Joseph Paxton
in only 10 days and prefabricated before being brought to Hyde Park by rail.
The hall took 17 weeks to erect. 6 million people, 17% of the UK population,
visited, also mainly on the new railways across the nation. The exhibition
ended on 15/10/1851. After the Great Exhibition, the Crystal palace was
re-erected at Sydenham where it stood till destroyed by fire in 1936.
conceived the idea of the Great Exhibition to promote trade between nations and
worldwide peace. The Exhibition was open for 6 months and in that time Queen Victoria
visited 41 times. Profits from the event funded the opening of the Royal Albert
Hall, the Science Museum, the Natural History Museum, and the Victoria and
began in Hyde Park on erecting the venue of the Great Exhibition (see 1/5/1851). 2,000 workmen erected the �giant
greenhouse�, and fears that �mobs of slum dwellers� would invade the park and
pillage the homes of the wealthy nearby proved unfounded.
3/1/1850, Work began in Hyde Park,
London, on the glass and iron Crystal Palace, built for the Great Exhibition.
first flower show in Britain was held by the Royal Horticultural Society, in
Chiswick, West London.
16/2/1824, The Athenaeum Club, London, was founded.
24/6/1717. The Grand Lodge of the English Freemasons, London�s
first Freemason Lodge, was formed.
buildings (see below for Hotels, Museums, Theatres)
5/7/2012, The Shard in London was opened. The
tallest building in Europe, it is 309.6 metres, 1,016 feet, high.
The London Eye was erected.
22/3/1992. The developers of Canary Wharf, London Docklands,
Olympia and York, were on the verge on bankruptcy. The UK recession, and poor transport links to Docklands,
meant 40% of its offices stood empty. However a rescue package was put
in place by the Government and by 1995 75% of the office space was let. The
cost to the taxpayer, in development grants and tax breaks, was estimated at �3
billion. Canary Wharf had been completed in 1991,
were unveiled by Canadian
developers for an 888-foot tower block, costing �3 billion, at Canary Wharf,
London Docklands, to be completed by 1992.
27/10/1986. It was the �Big Bang� day on the London Stock Exchange, the day the money
market was deregulated. But a computer
failed and a shambles ensued.
16/2/1986, Clashes between police and
5,000 pickets at Rupert Murdoch�s Wapping newspaper plant. Murdoch
had moved production of The Sunday Times
and News of the World to Wapping to
outflank striking print workers; the papers were being produced by managers and
3/3/1982, The Queen formally opened the Barbican Centre, London.
1979, The National
Westminister Tower, City of London was complk,eted, at a cost of �72
million. At 183 metres high, with 49 storeys, it was London�s tallest building.
14/9/1979, The UK Government announced plans to
redevelop London Docklands.
Conference Centre opened by the Duke of Kent.
1/3/1967, The Queen
Elizabeth Hall, London (conference centre) opened.
16/5/1966. Post Office Tower, London, opened to the
The new Hornsey Central Library, London, was opened by Princess Alexandra.
29/6/1960, The new BBC Television
Centre at White City opened.
1937, Battersea Power Station
Building, Leadenhall Street, London, was opened by King George V.
1922, County Hall,
London (LCC), was completed.
8/3/1912, The foundation stone of London�s County Hall was laid.
4/1/1919, Major fire at Bethnal Green, London, food
warehouses; �1,000,000 damage done.
11/2/1907, Explosion at the chemical research
department, Woolwich Arsenal, caused much damage.
1882, The London Hydraulic
Power Company began operations. Hydraulic lifts became commonplace in
London office buildings, meaning they could be erected with more floors. See
also Built Environment.
22/6/1861, The largest
fire in London since 1666. Five wharves and 12 warehouses burnt down in Tooley
Street, destroying property worth �2 million. This event precipitated the
formation of the London Fire Brigade.
London�s third Royal Exchange Building opened.
17/10/1814, Nine people died in the Great London beer flood. A huge rooftop
vat of beer on top of the Meaux Brewery, Tottenham Court Road, containing
135,000 gallons of beer, ruptured, taking out neighbouring vats also.� In all, 300,000 gallons of beer flooded out,
drowning people in nearby cellars.
House, London, was founded.
28/9/1669, London�s Royal Exchange
Building was completed.
23/10/1667, The foundation stone of London�s Royal Exchange was laid by King Charles II.
23/1/1571. The Royal Exchange, founded by financier Sir Thomas Gresham, was
opened by Queen Elizabeth I as a bankers meeting house. Its foundation stone was
laid on 7/6/1566.
1937, Earls Court Exhibition Hall opened. It stood on the site of an
entertainment ground going back to 1887.
Thames, see also Harbours, docks. For docklands
office development see commercial buiuldings above
Thames pleasure cruiser Marchioness
was hit by a dredger; 51 young persons attending a party on board were killed.
She was hit by the sand dredger Bowbelle
under Southwark Bridge in the early hours of the morning. Survivors said the
dredger loomed up in the night without lights.
31/10/1982. The Thames Flood Barrier was raised for the first
14/3/1960, Plans were
announced for a Thames Flood Barrier at
22/7/1949, The London
docks strike ended.
29/6/1949, A docks strike began in London.
21/8/1923, In London,
a 7-week dockworkers strike ended.
2/7/1923, London dock workers went on strike (until 21/8/1923).
first meeting of the Port of London Authority.
21/12/1908, The Port of London Authority was constituted.
16/9/1889, The Great London Docks Strike ended (began 15/8/1889).
15/11/1875, In London the
River Thames rose 28 feet (8.5 metres) above normal, causing severe flooding.
Victoria Embankment, London, constructed by Sir J W Bazalgette,
was opened by the Prince
of Wales, later King
5/1847, Chelsea Embankment
23/7/1794, The village of Ratcliff, just east of
London, was badly damaged by a fire. 455 of the 1,150 houses were burnt, along
with 36 warehouses, when a pitch kettle at a boat builders boiled over. Ships
were also burnt; they could not be moved as the tide was out; saltpetre in
a� barge blew up, raining fire on other
23/5/1701, William Kidd, pirate, was hanged, aged 56, see
William Kidd went on trial at the Old Bailey for piracy. He was
hanged on 23/5/1701, at Execution Dock, London. He had to be hanged three times
because the rope broke twice.
949, Earliest mention by name of Billingsgate Wharf.
Environment & Health see
also Environment, Hygiene, Medical
tornado lasting under a minute ripped through Kensal Green, NW London, damaging
150 homes and injuring 6 people.
27/7/1955, The Clean Air Bill was presented to Parliament, to prevent the
reappearance of the 1952� Smog that killed 4,000, see 4/12/1952.
4/12/1952. Smog enveloped London and killed
over 4,000 people in less than a week.
smog in London caused bus conductors to have to walk in front of their buses,
carrying lighted newspapers.
27/1/1906. The River Thames caught fire as oil on the
Southern Outfall Sewer, at Plumstead Marshes, was opened by King Edward VII
(as Prince of Wales).
10/12/1631, Sir Hugh Myddelton,� contractor for London�s New River
29/9/1613, The New River water supply
for London opened.
problems began to appear in London as soft
coal was being burnt for heating and cooking. In 1306 a Londoner was
executed for buring coal in the city.
Festivals (outdoor) and Statues
1/11/1973. The new bronze statue of Sir Winston
Churchill was unveiled in Parliament Square by the Queen, the Queen
Mother, and five Prime Ministers. These were Heath, Wilson, Douglas � Home, MacMillan,
Notting Hill Carnival was inaugurated,
in reponse to the poor state of race relations in London at the time. It was
first held indoors in St Pancras Town Hall. In 1966 it was shifted to August
and now held outdoors. Then, attendance was around 1,000 but this had grown to
one million by 2000 and the event now spanned 3 days.
12/4/1948. The Roosevelt Memorial
was unveiled in Grosvenor Square, London.
16/5/1911, The Victoria Memorial in
London was unveiled.
The statue of Eros in Picadilly Circus, London�s first aluminium statue, was
23/4/1893, Billy Smart, British circus
proprietor, was born in London, the son of a fairground owner.
1888, Temple Bar, designed by Sir Christopher Wren and originally erected at
the junction of Fleet Street and Strand at a cost of �1,398 in 1669-70, was
re-erected at Theobalds Park, Cheshunt
Needle, an ancient red granite Egyptian obelisk 68.5 feet high, originally
made for Thothmes
III in 1460 BC, was presented to Britain and re-erected on the
people died when ice gave way in a lake in Regents Park, London. The depth of
the lake was subsequently reduced to four feet.
25/12/1864, The tradition
of a Christmas Day swim in the
Serpentine, Hyde Park, London, began.
1/7/1872, The Albert Memorial in Hyde Park, London, was unveiled by Queen Victoria.
Marble Arch, London, was moved from Buckingham Palace to its present position
on Oxford Street.
3/11/1843, The 17-foot,
16 ton, statue of Lord Nelson was hauled in two pieces to the
top of the column in Trafalgar Square.�
The second piece was hauled up on 4/11/1843. The column was 184 foot
high, and the statue a further 17 feet. The cost was �50,000, half met by
Parliament, the other half raised by public subscription.
30/9/1840. The foundation stone of Nelson�s Column
was laid in London�s Trafalgar Square. The area had formerly been occupied by squalid slums and
cheap cookshops, known as �Porrige Island�
Ken Livingstone was
elected Mayor of London.
Greater London Council was abolished, along with other Metropolitan Councils in large UK
cities; municipal responsibilities passed to the individual Boroughs. Mrs Thatcher saw the GLC, led by Ken Livingstone, as too Left wing. Mrs
Thatcher especially objected to the GLC�s Fares Fare policy, involving subsidy
of transport fares.
7/10/1983, Plans to abolish the Greater London Council were
London was created, from the City of London and 32 boroughs.
26/10/1950. The rebuilt chamber of the House of Commons
was opened by George
VI, it having been destroyed
by bombing on 10/5/1941.
13/7/1920, The LCC banned
the employment of foreigners in council jobs.
1899, London Borough Councils were
1888, The London Council Council was established, incorporating poarts of
Kent, Sussex and Middlesex into London. From 1964 it was supplanted by the
Greater London Coucil (lasted until 1986).
Town Hall, South London, officially opened. It was replaced by a new building
Ben, Westminster, first starting chiming the hours.
31/5/1859. Big Ben
on the Houses of Parliament started telling the time.
Ben, the bell inside the famous Westminster clock, was cast in Whitechapel, London. The bell, weighing 13 � tons, was
named after Sir
Benjamin Hall, Commissioner
for Works, who was a large tall man nicknamed �Big Ben�.
4/11/1852, The building of the new House of Commons,
following the fire of 1834, was completed, to the designs of Sir Charles Barry
15/4/1845, The new House of Lords buildings were completed, after a fire in 1834, to
the designs of Sir Charles
Barry and Augustus
16/10/1834. Houses of Parliament almost totally
destroyed by fire. Firemen managed to save Westminster Hall and St Stephens
22/9/1735. Sir Robert Walpole became the first Prime Minister to move
into 10 Downing Street. The office
of �Prime Minister� was not officially recognised, and some considered it
unconstitutional. However Walpole had widespread support of both the King
and Parliament. Walpole was educated at Eton and Cambridge, and at age 24
inherited a country estate, which gave him the means of self-sufficiency to
enter politics. In 1701 he became the Whig member for castle rising in Norfolk.
An excellent speaker, he rose rapidly within the party. In 1717 he resigned
amid in-party fighting, returning as Paymaster General in 1720.
25/1/1733, Sir Gilbert
Heathcote, Lord Mayor of London, died.
13/11/1295, King Edward I
of England summoned the Model Parliament
to Westminster, the composition of which serves as a model for later
6/8/1889 The Savoy
Hotel in London was opened.
5/5/1873, The Midland
Hotel, adjacent to St Pancras Station, London, opened. It closed in 1935
due to lack of custom and became railway offices.
1855, Claridges Hotel, London, was opened by William
Claridge, a former butler for the nobility. It was bought by the
Savoy Company in 1895 and rebuilt.
residential vsee also Built Environment
14/6/2017, Grenfell Tower, a 24-storey, 120 flat,
residential tower block in the deprived north of Kensington and Chelsea
Borough, caught fire just after midnight. The block could have housed as many
as 600 people. Around 100 were believed to have been killed, with 64 taken to hospital,
20 in critical care. The cladding panels that had been added to the outside of
the block caught fire, setting the entire tower ablaze; cheaper flammable
cladding had been used instead of fire-retardant panels.
1/3/1991. Wandsworth set the lowest Poll Tax in Britain, �136. Other councils were �400 or more.
1968, The first homes were
completed in the new Thames-side development of Thamesmead, SE London.
16,5/1968, The Ronan
Point block of flats collapsed in London�s East End.� Three died when the 22-storey flats in
Butcher�s Road, Plaistow, were brought down by a gas explosion in a flat on the
18th floor. The
pre-fabricated �system building� technique used to construct the flats meant
that every flat on that corner then collapsed.
1935, The development of New Addington began, with houses to be
let �at reasonable rents�.
1934, The Becontree
housing development, east London, was completed; construction had begun in
1921. It covered 2,770 acres (4 square miles), with over 25,000 dwellings
accommodating 112,000 people.
1932, Click Here for image of 1932
newbuild 3-bed house, Harrow area, �850, also map of NW London 1928.
6/9/1921, Five female councillors in
Poplar faced jail for refusing to set a domestic rate (property tax).
Labour-controlled Poplar, led by George
Lansbury, objected to a central rate equalisation scheme
which, it said, meant poor areas like Poplar paid more than wealthier areas.
1907, Hampstead Garden Suburb was founded by Dame Henrietta Barnett.
29/2/1864, The Peabody
Trust opened the Commercial Street flats in Spitalfields. It boasted previously
unheard-of luxuries such as separate laundry rooms and a play area for
29/1/1850, Sir Ebenezer Howard, who started the Garden City movement, was born in
1845, Harley Street, formerly an upmarket
residential road, became a centre for medical practitioners.
1826, Cumberland Terrace, overlooking Regents Park, was completed by John Nash.
1825, Buckingham Palace was cteated out of former Buckingham House by
Nash. It became the residence of the British Royal Family from 1837.
1825, Belgrave Square, London, was laid out.
1812, Captain Henry Penton died in
Italy. He developed the land east of
Kings Cross, London, known as Pentonville; built 1780-1820. It was then a
green hillside location offering views of St Pauls and the Surrey Hills beyomd.
1800, Russell Square was laid
1720, Development of Mayfair
began, and was completed by the 1770s. Belgravia was developed in the 1820s, followed
by Pimlico in the 1850s.
London, see also UK history, military technology
12/10/1982,, A Falklands Victory Parade was held in the
City of London.
20/9/1959, The last fly-past of Hurricane aircraft
over London to commemorate the Battle of Britain.
17/10/1953, Queen Elizabeth II unveiled a monument to
members of the Commonwealth air forces who lost their lives in WW2 and had no
known grave, at Coopers Hill, Runnymede.
2/4/1946. The Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst was
founded.� The Woolwich Academy was merged
20/11/1935, Lord Jellicoe, Admiral of the Fleet in WW I
and naval commander at the Battle of Jutland, died in London.� Created an Earl in 1925, he was buried in St
Paul�s Cathedral, next to Lord Nelson.
19/8/1928, Lord Haldane, who founded the Territorial Army in 1908, died in
The 35-foot Cenotaph war memorial (Greek
cenos taphos = empty tomb) in Whitehall, London, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens,
was unveiled by King George V. Londoners doffed their hats when passing it.
10/11/1920, The body of
an unknown British soldier was brought to London for burial at Westminster
18/7/1919, The first
Cenotaph, a temporary structure of
wood and plaster, was erected in Whitehall, London, for a parade celebrating
the Treaty of Versailles. It was so popular the Government decided to erect a
29/10/1900, In London, huge crowds greeted returning Boer War soldiers.
17/11/1887, Viscount Montgomery, World War Two army
commander who defeated Rommel in
Africa in World War Two, was born in
Kensington, London, the son of a vicar.
25/11/1859, The London Irish Volunteer Rifles was
first investiture ceremony of Victoria Crosses took place, in Hyde Park. 67 servicemen were awarded.
Baden-Powell, British army officer and founder of the Boy Scouts movement in 1908, was born
in London, the son of an Oxford Professor.
18/11/1852, Funeral of Lord Wellington
in St Paul�s Cathedral.
28/1/1833, General Gordon, British Army Commander, was
born in Woolwich, London.
4/6/1805. First Trooping The Colour ceremony in
Horse Guards Parade, London.
1573, Naval docks and a resupply depot were established at Deptford.
London, see also Royal Great Britain from
4/6/2002. On the final day
of the extended Bank Holiday to mark the Golden Jubilee, the Queen
rode through London in the State gold coach.
2/6/2002. In the middle of
preparations for a concert at Buckingham Palace, London, to mark the Queen
Elizabeth�s Golden Jubilee celebrations, fire broke out at the
Funeral of Diana Princess
of Wales in Westminster Abbey.�
It was watched on television worldwide by over one billion people.
1/10/1993. Buckingham Palace closed after being open to
the public for 8 weeks. 400,000 people visited, raising some �2.2 million.
7/8/1993, Buckingham Palace, London, opened to the
public for the first time ever. 4,314 visited on the first day, paying an �8
29/4/1993, Queen Elizabeth II announced she would open
Buckingham Palace to tourists. The �8 entrance fee was to raise money for the
rebuilding of Windsor Castle, damaged by fire in 1992.
21/2/1988. The grave of the warrior queen Boadicea
discovered under platform 8 of Kings Cross railway station, London.
23/7/1986, Prince Andrew married Miss Sarah
Ferguson in Westminster Abbey, and was created Duke of York.
9/7/1982. An intruder entered the Queen�s bedroom at
Buckingham Palace.� Michael Fagan, 35, asked the
Queen for a cigarette whilst sitting on the end of her bed in Buckingham
21/6/1982, Prince William (Arthur Philip Louis) was born
in London to Prince
Charles (Prince of Wales) and Princess Diana.
14/9/1981, Marcus Serjeant, who had fired blank shots at
the Queen on 30/6/1981, was jailed for 5 years.
29/7/1981. Marriage of Prince
Charles, Prince of Wales (born 14/11/1948), to Lady
Diana Spencer. The wedding was at St Paul�s Cathedral, London, and
was watched on TV by 700 million viewers worldwide. The design of Diana�s
wedding dress had been kept a close secret until she emerged from Clarence
House on the wedding day; then� Ellis
Bridals made a copy that went on sale in Debenhams, Oxford Street, just 5 hours
later, for �450. 750 million people watched the ceremony.
13/6/1981, Marcus Serjeant fired blank shots at Queen Elizabeth
II during the Trooping the Colour ceremony in London.� He was later charged with treason.
kidnap attempt was made on Princess Anne, in The Mall, London. The
Ball, was making a bizarre attempt to draw attention to the decline
in medical services for mental patients in Britain.
24/3/1953, Queen Mary, widow of King George V, died at her
London home, Marlborough House in Pall Mall, aged 85. Her funeral was on
15/8/1950, Princess Anne (Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise)
was born in Clarence House, London. She was the second child and only daughter
14/11/1948. Prince Charles,
Prince of Wales, was born in Buckingham Palace, as Charles Philip
26/4/1923, King George V, then the Duke of York, married Lady Elizabeth
Bowes-Lyon in Westminster Abbey.
9/8/1902. King Edward
VII, born 9/11/1841,
was crowned in Westminster Abbey. The coronation had been delayed from
June because the King had appendicitis.
23/6/1894, King Edward VIII was born at White Lodge,
Richmond, Surrey, the eldest son of George V and. Queen Mary
28/6/1838, The coronation
of the nineteen-year-old Queen Victoria took place in Westminster
13/7/1837. Queen Victoria moved into Buckingham Palace, the first
monarch to live there.
of King George IV in Westminster
(Alexandrine) Victoria was born at Kensington Palace, daughter of Edward Duke of
Kent and Mary, daughter of Francis, Duke of Saxe � Coburg - Saalfeld.
She was the granddaughter of King George III, and niece of King William IV.
15/5/1800. King George III
survived two assassination attempts in one day. James Hatfield tried to
assassinate the King at a theatre in Drury Lane.
4/6/1738, King George III,
grandson of George
II, was born in lodgings in St James Square, London.
17/7/1717. George I, Hanoverian King of England, held a
public concert on the Thames for Handel to conduct his hour-long Water
Music.� The King liked it so much he
asked for two complete encores.
2/2/1650, Nell Gwynne, mistress of King Charles II, was
born Eleanor Gwynne, the daughter of a fishwife. Originally an orange-seller,
she became an actress at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.
6/7/1553, King Edward VI died in Greenwich of tuberculosis.
Court Palace was begun for King Henry VIII by Cardinal Wolsey.
17/6/1239, King Edward I
was born at Westminster.� He was the
eldest son of Henry
III and Eleanor of Provence.
2/12/1976, The Museum
of London opened, by the Queen, as part of the Barbican redevelopment.
1973, The Museum of London set up a department of urban archeology, to try
and rescue what was left of pre-industrial London from the office building boom
of the 60s and 70s.
30/12/1972, The Tutankhamun
exhibition closed in London; 1.6 million had visitoed since it opened on
27/4/1937, The National
Maritime Museum, beside the Thames at Greenwich, was opened by King George VI.
Tussauds waxworks museum re-opened on Marylebone Road, after its previous
address in Baker Street burnt down.
16/4/1850. Swiss waxworks show proprietor Madame Marie
Tussaud died. She was born on 1/12/1761 in Strasbourg. She learnt
the art of wax modelling from her uncle, Philippe Curtius. Before the French
Revolution Mme Tussaud was art tutor at Versailles to Louis XVI�s sister,
Elizabeth. After a period in prison she was tasked with making death masks from
the heads of those guillotined, some of whom she recognised as friends. She
left Paris in 1802, along with her waxwork models, and two sons from a failed
marriage to a French engineer, Francois Tussaud. She spent 33 years touring
Britain before opening a permanent display in London.
9/6/1920, In London, the Imperial War Museum was opened by King George V.
21/3/1912, The London
Museum was opened, in Kensington Palace, by King George V.
26/6/1909. King Edward VII opened the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
17/5/1899. Queen Victoria laid the foundation stone of
the Victoria and Albert Museum.
18/4/1881, The Natural
History Museum in Kensington, London, opened.
24/6/1872, The Museum
of Childhood (toys, games, dolls etc.) was opened in Bethnal Green, London,
originally as an extension of the Victoria
and Albert Museum. It became a dedicated mueum in its own right in 1972.
Museum, London, opened to the public, in premises formerly known as
Montague House. Funded by a lottery that raised UK� 300,000, the museum
contained a collection of books, manuscripts and natural objects amassed by Sir Hans Sloane,
also collections by Edward and Robert Harley and Sir Robert
5/4/1753, The Founding Charter of the British Museum
was enacted. It was built to accommodate the collection of Hans Sloane,
physician and naturalist. It was moved to Bloomsbury in 1823.
Parks / Cemeteries /
Fire badly damaged Hampton Court Palace, London.
1936, The site of Lesnes Abbey (founded 1178), Bexley, was
acquired by the LCC and opened as Lesnes
1/4/1935, The Green
Belt Scheme for the environs of London came into force.
The London County Council approved the Green
4/2/1929, The first Green Belt area was approved, a
five-mile wide strip near Hendon.
1/1/1923, 100 acres of Ken Wood Estate were bought for the
nation to extend Hampstead Heath. See also Great Britain (1866) Metropolitan
12/4/1913, Grovelands Park, Enfleid, was opened to
29/3/1904. Richmond Park in south-west London was opened to the public.
1903, Broomfield Park, Palmers Green, 60 acres, was purchased for the
Park, Highgate, London, 29 acres, was given as a free gift to London by Sir
1890, Dulwich Park was opened to the public.
1887, Ravenscourt Park, 32 acres, was purchased for public use for
1885, Highbury Fields Park was acquired for the public, cost �60,000.
Victoria opened Epping Park to the public. See also 1777.
1878, The Epping Forest Act
appointed the Corporation of London as conservators of 6,000 acres of Epping
Forest, to �preserve the natural landscape�.
7/1874, West Ham Park,
77 acres, former home of the Gurney family, opened as a public park.
24/5/1873, In north London, Alexandra Palace opened. See also 1863.
1869, Finsbury Park, north London, 115 acres,
opened. It was one of the first municipal parks in London, and cost �95,000.
Southwark Park was opened to the
public; it cost �55,000.
Common was secured for public use under the Metropolitan Commons Act.
Park, north London, opened to the public. It was rebuilt in 1873.
Park, 185 acres, was opened to the public. It was laid out 1852-5,
at a cost of
The first train left the new station of Waterloo Necropolis for the large
cenentery at Brookwood, Woking. The creation of this cemetery and its
innovative rail link was spurred on by the London cholera epidemic of 1848-49.
10/6/1854, Queen Victoria opened the Crystal Palace on its new site in Sydenham, south London.
1853, Primrose Hill was opened as a public park. This was due to the
efforts of Mr Hume, who persuaded Eton College to swap the land for land near
1845, Victoria Park, N E London, opened to the public. Designed by James
Pennethorne, with planned
spaces for promenading and sports undert the watchful gaze of park keepers,
in 1892 it had 303,515 visitors on a single day. The UK Government had promised
�90,000 to create this park in 1841, in response to rising ill-health, �moral
decline� and overcrowding in the East End of London.
5/1839, The famous Highgate Cemetery was consecrated by the Bishop of
1833, The Select Committee on Public Walks argued for more open spaces for
poorer Londoners. This would distract them from less desirable leisure
activities siuch as drinking, boxing and dog-fighting, and make them fitter for
1832, Kensal Green cemetery opened.
Regents Park, 464 acres in North London,
was opened. The area was formerly pastureland known as Marylebone Park Fields.
1777, Epping Forest, which once covered most of Essex, Suffolk and
Norfolk, had shrunk to 20 square miles (12,000 acres) through encolsures. By 1851 it covered just
10 square miles (6,000 acres), and by 1871 was down to 5 square miles (3,000 acres).
The Corporation of London obtained a legal ruling in 1874 that all enclosures
since 1851 were illegal, and in 1878 an Act of Parliament handed over 6,000
acres of the Forest to the Corporation of London. On 6/5/1882 the Forest was
opened to the public by Queen Victoria.
1762, Syon House was built.
1762, The Chinese Pagoda Tower in Kew Gardens was designed and erected by Sir William
Chambers. It was originally adorned with Chinese dragons at each
stage, but these being made of cheap pine, had rotted by 1784 and had to be
removed that year. In 2018 they were restored, now made of machine 3-d printed
1759, Kew Gardens began to be laid out.
1730, The Serpentine, Hyde Park, was created by Queen Caroline, by
converting the bed of the Westbourne River.
1660, Green Park was opened to the public.
1637, Hyde Park was opened to the public.
1514, Large numbers of Londoners
went out into land near the city that had once been common land where they had
enjoyed games and recreation, but had
recently been enclosed by farmers. The Londoners took shovels and spades,
and demolished the hedges and filled in the ditches, reclaiming it as common
Policing and crime, see also Protests and Riots below See also Crime
11/4/2019, Julian Assange,
47, was seized by UK police from the Ecuadorian Embassy, where he had been
residing for nearly seven years to avoid extradition to Sweden on a rape
charge, which could lead to onward extradition to the USA on more serious
Terrorist attacks 1999 -
terrorist stabbed 5 people, 2 fatally, at London Bridge. He was shot dead by
15/9/2017, A terrorist
bomb exploded on a tube carriage at Parsons Green, SW
London. 29 people were injured. The bomb only partially exploded.
19/6/2017, Shortly after
midnight a White man drove a van into a crowd of Muslims eating a communal meal
in a street in Finsbury Park, London, after the Ramadan fast had ended. One man
died and 10 were injured; the driver was arrested.
3/6/2017, Three Islamist
terrorists killed 7 and injured 48 in three simultaneous attacks in London, at
London Bridge, and Borough Market. The three terrorists were killed by security
22/3/2017, In an Islamist
terrorist attack on the Houses of Parliament, London, four people died
(including the attacker) and 40 were injured. One of the dead was a policeman
who was stabbed. A 4x4 was driven across Westminster Bridge, killing and
injuring pedestrians, before crashing a barrier at Parliament. One of the injured, a tourist, died later in hospital.
22/5/2013, A soldier wearing a �Help for Heroes� T
shirt, near Woolwich Barracks, SE London, was hacked to death in the street by
two Africans who had converted to Islam. The perpetrators then waited for
police to arrive and were shot but not fatally. Hate crimes in the UK against
Islamic targets over the next two days amounted to 160, ten times the usual
22/7/2005, A Brazilian
de Menezes, was shot dead by police at a London Underground station;
they mistook him for a suicide bomber.
21/7/2005, A second terrorist attack on London
Transport, similar to the one on 7/7/2005.�
There were 4 attempted bomb attacks on 3 underground trains and a London
bus.� However the bombs all failed to
explode properly and there was only one injury.
7/7/2005, Four Islamist
suicide bombers struck London in the morning rush hour. Three separate
Underground trains and a bus were hit, killing 50 and injuring over 200
commuters. Al Quaeda gave British
military involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq as justification for the attacks.
Another nail bomb exploded, (see 17/4/1999), in the Admiral Duncan pub in Old
Compton Street, Soho, London.� A pregnant
woman and two friends were killed, and seventy injured.� This was part of a hate campaign against gay
people and ethnic minorities by David Copeland.
nail bomb exploded in a busy market in Brixton, south London.� See 30/4/1999.
26/4/1999, BBC TV presenter
Jill Dando was shot dead
on the doorstep of her Fulham house in London. Barry George, a loner obsessed with guns and celebrities, was convicted of the
murder in 2001.
22/4/1993, A Black teenager, Stephen
Lawrence, 18, was stabbed to death in Eltham, south east London, in
a racist attack.
3/10/1991, Sir Allen Green QC, 56, the
British Director of Public Prosecutions,
resigned after having been stopped by the police for kerb-crawling in the Kings
Cross area of London.
30/12/1990, Patrick Harward-Duffy, a
36-year-old Glaswegian, attacked the 70-foot Christmas Tree in London�s
Trafalgar Square with a chainsaw, cutting a third of the way through the trunk
before police stopped him. He was protesting against �the unfairness of the Norwegian legal
system�. Ever since 1947 the people of Oslo have donated a Christmas Tree to
London in gratitude for liberation from the Nazis.
17/4/1984. In London, the Libyans
opened fire from their People�s Bureau, killing 25 year-old policewoman, Yvonne Fletcher. A police siege of the Libyan
Embassy began and on 22/4/1984 the UK Government broke off diplomatic relations
with Libya. The siege ended on 27/4/1984 and 30 Libyans from the Bureau were
deported. The British Ambassador and other diplomats returned from Tripoli.
26/11/1983. 6,800 gold bars worth �25
million were stolen from the Brinks-Mat
security warehouse at Heathrow Airport. Only a fraction of the gold was ever
recovered, and only 2 men were ever convicted of the crime.
9/2/1983. Dennis Nilsen,
mass murderer, was arrested after human remains were found at his house in
Muswell Hill, north London.� Nilsen,
37 years old, confessed to police to the murders of 15 men over 4 years.
11/9/1978. Bulgarian defector Georgi Markov, a broadcaster on
the BBC�s foreign service, was stabbed in the thigh with a poisoned umbrella in
London. He soon collapsed into a coma, and died on 18/9/1979.
30/8/1976, Over 100 police officers were
taken to hospital after clashes at London�s Notting Hill Carnival.
25/3/1953, Police hunted for John Christie
after the remains of three women were found at his former house in Notting
Hill, London. See 15/7/1953.
9/5/1938, Scotland Yard announced
they were to use police dogs.
10/5/1934, The Police Training College in Hendon, London, was opened by the Prince of Wales.
8/8/1929, Ronald Biggs, great train robber, was born in
Lambeth, south London.
22/9/1920, The Metropolitan Police �Flying
Squad� was formed.
17/2/1920, London Metropolitan Police
became the first police force in Britain to announce it was to replace its
horses with cars.
police strike 1918
31/8/1918, After a London police strike, and a meeting
with the UK Government at Downing Street,, the pensionable pay of a top
constable rose to �2.65 / week, also a�
60p War Bonus was granted. Yet the UK Government, fearful of the example
of the 1917 Soviet Revolution, was extremely reluctant to recognise any police
trades union. On 14/7/1919 a Police
Federation of England and Wales was created, so avoiding the use of the
term �trades union�. On 14/7/1919, The Desborough
Commission recommended a rise in police constable�s pay to �3.50 on
joining, to �4.50 after 10 years� service, and �4.70 after 22 years.
30/8/1918. London police went on strike. Prisoners had to be taken to court in
taxis, but a major crime wave did not materialise. Bus drivers did traffic duty
at major junctions. 2,000 police officers marched to a rally at Tower Hill,
demanding wage rises and the reinstatement of a colleague dismissed for
political activities. The key issue, however, was trade union recognition.
Trade Unions had grown significantly during the War, from 4,145,000 members in
1914 to 6,533,000 members in 1918. Now working-class policemen, who kept union
disputes in check, wanted their own union representation.
police prepared to strike. Their wages had been eroded by inflation (see
prices and wages, 1/7/1917 for more details),
and they were forbidden from leaving the force to take up better-paid jobs at
munitions factories. The UK Government was strongly against the formation of a
police trades union, and threatened that any police officer who joined one
would be dismissed, and sent as a soldier to fight in the trenches of World War
3/1/1911. The siege of Sydney Street took place
when 1,000 police and soldiers besieged three anarchists suspected of killing
three policemen at a house in London�s East End. 2 Anarchists were killed as
the house caught fire; the ringleader, �Peter the Painter�, escaped.
19/5/1910, Westminster Court, London,
banned cabbies from asking for tips.
27/2/1907, London�s Central Criminal
Court (The Old Bailey) was opened on
the site of Newgate Prison, by King Edward VII.
16/3/1903. Trial of Jack the Ripper.
9/11/1888, Mary Kelly, fifth and last of The Ripper�s victims,
was found dead in her room at 13 Millers Court, London.
30/9/1888. Jack the Ripper
butchered 2 more women. They were Liz Stride
found behind 40 Berber
Street, and Kate Eddowes, in Miter Square,
both in London�s East End.
27/9/1888. The Central London News Agency received a
letter which began �Dear Boss, I keep on hearing the police have caught me but
they won�t fix me just yet..�. It was signed �Jack the Ripper�the first time the name
had been used.
8/9/1888, Jack the Ripper claimed his 2nd victim,
Chapman, who was found disembowelled at 29 Hanbury Street, London.
31/8/1888, Mary Ann
�Polly� Nichols, the first victim of Jack
the Ripper, was found mutilated in Bucks Row in the early hours of
Republican attacks 1883 - 85
further terrorist attack on the London Underground, by Irish Republicans. James Canningham
set a bomb off in the tunnel between Kings Cross and Gower Street (now Euston)
stations; only slight damage to a train was caused. Later that month, he was
seen detonating a bomb which seriously injured four people at the Tower of
London, and was sentenced to life imprisonment with hard labour. Bomb attacks
by these so called �dyamitards� tailed off after others were caught or blew
30/10/1883, The first terrorist attack on the London
Underground. Two bombs were set off by Fenian fighters for Irish independence, one at Praed Street Station
(now Paddington) on a Metropolitan Line train going towards Edgware Road, and
one on a District Line train between Westminster and Charing Cross (now
Embankment). Nobody was killed and there were only slight injuries from flying
glass. The perpetrators were never found. In February 1884 more serious bomb
attacks were attempted, with devices planted at Victoria, Charing Cross,,
Ludgate Hill and Paddington. Fortunately only the Victoria bomb exploded and as
the station was nearly empty at the time nobody was killed. Again the bombers
were never discovered. Other terrorist plans of the time included an attempt to
blow up Scotland Yard., by Clan na Gael.
Some damage was done, with records on Irish Republicans destroyed, but had all
the dymanite detonated the building would have been totally destroyed.
London�s Royal Courts of Justice opened.
15/8/1842. The first regular British detective force was formed as a
division of the Metropolitan Police, later assuming the name C.I.D.
19/6/1829. The London Metropolitan Police was founded, set up by the Home
Robert Peel. The
policemen were known as �Peelers�, or �Bobbies�. 3,314
professional police now guarded London.
30/11/1824, Henry Faultleroy, convicted of
forgery, was executed in London (born 1785).
1/5/1820. The militant radicals
involved in the Cato Street conspiracy
(just off the Edgware Road) to kill the Prime Minister were executed. Their leader, Arthur
Thistlewood, was suspected of being a police informer.
23/2/1820, The Cato Street
conspiracy was discovered. This was
a plot to blow up the entire Cabinet with explosives and set up a provisional
government. The conspiracy was led by Arthur Thistlewood. This led to renewed fears of radicalism and set back the cause of
1783, Tyburn Gallows, at what is now Marble Arch, were taken
down. Erected in 1196, over 50,000 people had been executed on them, Executions
had become too rowdy, and were transferred to Newgate Prison (but remained a
8/10/1754. Henry Fielding died, aged 47. He is famous as
the author of the novel Tom Jones but he also, as a Justice of the Peace, organised the detective force that became
1697, The refuge priveliges of
�Alsatia� were revoked. Alsatia was a district of London between Fleet
Street and the Thames, adjoining the Temple, formally known as Whitefriars,
where rights of refuge existed. It therefore became a haunt of criminals, and
was named after Alsace, a border district between France and Germany whetre
similarly criminals could hide. The last such sanctuary in London, Southwark
Mint, was abolished as such in 1723. However London still retained areas of
dense courts and alleyways where villains could operate in relative safety.
21/1/1670, Claude Duval, highwayman, was
hanged at Tyburn (born 1643).
31/1/1606, Guy Fawkes and co-conspirators
5/11/1605. Guy Fawkes attempted to blow up King James I
and the Houses of Parliament with 36 barrels of gunpowder (see 11/12/1604). His
trial was at Westminster Hall on 27/1/1606. This was part of a Catholic plot to overthrow the Protestant English
monarchy BUT see 11/12/1604.� However
the gunpowder barrels were discovered in the cellars of Parliament before they
were detonated.� Lord Monteagle, a Catholic peer, had received a letter
warning him to stay away from the State Opening of Parliament and hinting at an
and the Lord Chamberlain investigated the cellars below the House of Lords and
discovered a man piling wood, who gave his name as Guy Fawkes, and claimed that the
wood belonged to his master, Lord Percy. They let him go but after further
investigating the wood pile they found 36 barrels of gunpowder underneath. Guy Fawkes,
a 36-year-old Yorkshireman, was arrested when he returned at midnight to make
final preparations for the explosion. Guy Fawkes was hung, drawn, and quartered on
31/1/1606.� Sir Everard Digby, Thomas Winter,
Bates, other conspirators, were hung, drawn, and quartered on
11/12/1604, Guy Fawkes began digging a
tunnel from a house he had rented near the Houses of Parliament (see
5/11/1605). His plan was to reach the cellars under the House and fill it with
gunpowder to blow it up. They reached the foundations of the House by Christmas
1604, but then the opening of Parliament was unexpectedly postponed, from
7/2/1605, first to 3/10/1605 and then to 5/11/1605. This was lucky for Guy
Fawkes because the foundations, 12 foot thick, were difficult to dig through,
and then the coal merchant who had been renting the House cellars gave up his
lease. Allegedly a roaring noise above the tunnelers first alarmed them, then
alerted them to the vacated rent, the noise being due to the removal of the
coal stored there. The conspirators quickly took up the rent themselves. However
some historians have doubted elements of this story, such as the tunnel being
dug under a busy part of London; it is possible that the entire episode was in
fact a Protestant scheme to discredit English
1196, Tyburn Gallows were erected at what is now Marble Arch.
They were dismantled in 1783.
27/10/1932, Hunger Marchers protested in Hyde Park,
London. See also Washington urban sprawl, USA, 1959.
Large march in London in protest at pay cuts.
1894, A survey of children in
Bethnal Green, a poor district of London�s East End, found that 83% of them
received no solid food apart from bread at average 17 of the 21 meals a week.
Scurvy, rickets and tuberculosis were widespread.
Sunday in Trafalgar Square, London, when police clashed with Socialist
demonstrators. The protestors were calling for the end of a ban on open air
meetings and the release of an Irish MP who had been jailed for supporting a
rent strike. Two protestors were killed.
The first soup kitchens for the poor opened in London, UK.
Public Transport See also Railways GB, London
9/12/2005, London�s iconic Routemaster buses were
withdrawn this day, replaced by updated models, although one heritage bus route
in London still operates them.
26/2/1968, London�s first bus lane, across Vauxhall
London buses to be painted red. Earlier trials with yellow and red proved
3/2/1919, London tube workers went on strike for
2/11/1911, London cab drivers went on strike.
London, 3,000 cab drivers went on strike.
Protests and riots, see also Policing above
28/2/2012, Occupy Wall Street protestors were
evicted from the front of St Pauls,
London, protests on a worldwide day of demonstrations against capitalism turned
250,000 pro-foxhunting demonstrators marched through the centre of London.
31/3/1990. Anti-Poll Tax demonstrations in Trafalgar
Square, London. 300,000 protested, led by MP Tony Benn.
21/3/1990, A large demonstration in London�s Trafalgar
Square against the Poll Tax
turned into a riot. 417 people were injured and 341 arrested.
tax riots in Brixton, London. There were also riots in Lewisham, Hackney, Haringey, Maidenhead, Reading,
Bristol, Plymouth, Gillingham, Norwich, Birmingham, Stockport, Leeds, Bradford,
and many other places. Both Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister, and the
Labour leader, Neil
Kinnock, condemned the riots.
SOGAT called off its picket of Rupert
Murdoch�s Wapping plant.
3/5/1986, Violent protests at Wapping between
pickets and police.
linked to racism 1977 - 95
13/12/1995, The death of a Black man in police custody
led to rioting in Brixton, London. This was 3rd riot
in 15 ytears in the area ;linked to racial tensions.
19/3/1987, Three men were sentenced to life
imprisonment for the murder of PC Blakelock on Broadwater Farm Estate,
Tottenham, north London.
7/10/1985. Riots erupted in Broadwater Farm Estate, Tottenham, London,
after a Black woman, Cynthia Jarrett, collapsed and died whilst
police searched her home. Within hours, police were lured to the estate by fake
999 calls and then came under attack from bricks, stones, petrol bombs, and
were even shot at. From 6.30 pm until well after midnight both Black and White
youths fought 500 police in riot gear. PC Blakelock, 40, was hacked to death.
29/9/1985, 209 people were arrested in rioting in Brixton.
28/9/1985, Riots erupted in Brixton after a Black woman, Cherry Groce,
was shot during a police raid.
15/7/1981, Rioting in Brixton, London.
10/7/1981. Following the riots in Toxteth, riots broke out in other British
cities. Riots in Moss Side (Manchester) and Wood Green (London). Brixton
saw riots on 15/7/1981. Hull, Wolverhampton, Birmingham, Reading, Preston and
Chester also saw riots.
rioted in Toxteth, Liverpool for a
second night running. There were also riots in Brixton and Southall in London.
Asians rioted in Southall, west
London, after racist aggression by skinhead youths.
in Brixton. Mobs of youths went on the
rampage, throwing petrol bombs, looting shops, and attacking police. Over 300
civilians, and 65 police officers, were injured.� Over three days of unrest, 779 crimes were
reported.� The riots were sparked by a
controversial initiative to cut street crime, the �stop and search� laws, and were the worst riots in London for a
3/4/1981, Riots in Brixton and Southall.
19/1/1981, Thirteen Black people died in a fire at
Deptford, south London., during an all-night party.� The West Indian community suspected the fire
had been started by racists.
23/4/1979, A teacher, Blair Peach, was killed, and 300
were arrested after violent clashes between the National Front and the
anti-Nazi League in Southall, west London.
13/8/1977, The police used riot shields on the British
mainland for the first time, during an anti-fascist demonstration in Lewisham,
Bomb protests 1958 - 62
23/4/1962, 150,000 people gathered in Hyde Park,
London, for the biggest-ever Ban the Bomb demonstration.
17/9/1961, A large �Ban the Bomb�
demonstration in London was ended by the police with 830 arrested,
Redgrave. 15,000 had attended the demonstration in Trafalgar Square.
6/9/1961, In London, anti-nuclear protestors
attempted to march to the US Embassy in protest at the resumption of
nuclear tests by the USA. They were stopped
and their leaders, including the 89-year-old Bertrand Russell, were arrested
by the police.
19/4/1960, A crowd of between 60,000 and 100,000 protested
in Trafalgar Square, London, against the atom bomb.
The first CND march from London arrived at
Aldermaston. It had left Hyde Park on 4/4/1958.
clashes in London 1927 - 36
11/10/1936. In London,
100,000 people barricaded east London streets to prevent a march of Oswald
Moseley�s Fascists. During violent clashes, 80 people were injured.
See also Jewish
9/9/1934. Fascists and their opponents clashed in London.
fighting broke out at a fascist rally staged by Oswald Moseley at London�s
20/6/1927, Fighting between Communists and Fascists in Hyde Park, London.
16/11/1896. Birth of British fascist leader Oswald Mosley,
9/7/1905, Large Labour
demonstration in Hyde Park, London.
28/2/1837, The London Working Men�s Association presented a petition to the UK
Parliament. They wanted universal adult male suffrage, reform of voting
districts to make them equal size (i.e. to get rid of �rotten boroughs), voting
by secret ballot, annual parliaments, abolition of property qualifications for
MPs, and MPs to be paid a salary.
2/12/1816. Rioting broke out at Spa Fields in
London during a meeting to promote demands for parliamentary
reform. Demands were for the vote
for all men aged 18 and over, and for no
property qualifications for MPs. The response was a series of Coercion Acts, including a temporary suspension of Habeas Corpus
and an extension of the 1978 Act against
12/6/1595, Large numbers of London
apporentices protested against rising food prices by seizing fish and butter
from vendors and paying what they considered a ;fair� price for it. On
14/6/1595 a crowd of over 1,000 gathered outside the Lord Mator;s house� tore down the pillory in Cheapside. The Crown
responded by empowering a provost-martial to arrest and even execute
protest, see Parks above.
17/6/1497, Cornish rebels
Henry VII, having marched to Guildford on 13/6/1497, and skirmished
with the Army on Hounslow Heath, now marched on London. They failed to gain the
support of Kentish men, and therefore marched through Banstead, and this day
faced the King�s men at the Battle of Deptford where the rebels were finally
Religion and religious
buildings See also Christian Buildings
18/8/1995, The largest traditional stone-built Hindu temple in the world outside India
opened in Neasden, N W London.
first Hindu Temple opened in London.
1717, Britain�s first Druid
revivial ceremony was held, on the Autumn Equinox at Primrose Hill.
21/6/1675. The foundation stone of Sir Christopher
Wren�s new St Paul�s
Cathedral, London, was laid. The new place of worship faced the old church
that burned down in the Great Fire of London, (see 2/9/1666). The first Sunday
service there was held on 5/12/1697.
18/3/1612, Bartholomew Legate became the last person in London to be executed for their religious
beliefs.� A cloth dealer, he became a
preacher for a sect called �The Seekers�, who held unorthodox views about the
divinity of Jesus..� He was jailed in
Newgate Prison for heresy in 1611, and burnt to death at Smithfield.
Mediaeval St Pauls Cathedral, with a lead-lined wooden spire 584 feet high, was
struck by lightning, and the entire building burned to the ground. The clergy
blamed the destruction on divine displeasure at use of the Cathedral for worldy
pursuits such as business deals and entertainment. By the end of the year, with
donations of over �1,000 from Queen Elizabeth, also the
City, the Cathedral was rebuilt. However the spire was not nrestored, much to Elizabeth�s displeasure. The new Cathedral fell
into disrepair and was burnt down again in the Great Fire of London 1666.
built by Carthusian monks.
1290, London�s Jews were expelled; they had lived in the area
known as Old Jewry.
1141, The first palace for the
Bishops of London was built, in Fulham.
markets See also Companies
9/4/1987, The UK
government launched an inquiry into the Al Fayed takeover of Harrods.
19/1/1982,� London�s new Billingsgate Market opened on the Isle of Dogs, three days after
the old Billingsgate in Lower Thames Street, EC3, closed.
13/5/1981. Queen Elizabeth
II opened the �Shopping City�
in Wood Green, north London. It had taken seven years to build.
2/3/1976, Brent Cross shopping centre, N W
London, was opened; it was the first regional shopping centre in Europe.
8/11/1974. Covent Garden Market moved from central
London to Nine Elms, after 300 years in the West End. See 1670.
22/1/1972. As the
British Conservative Prime Minister Edward Heath signed the Treaty of Brussels,
he had ink thrown over him by protestors
against the redevelopment of Covent Garden Market.
3/1965, The Elephant
and Castle retail centre was opened by the Minister of Labour.
24/8/1959, House of Fraser beat Debenhams in a takeover battle for Harrods.
Britain�s first launderette opened
in Queensway, London.
opened its Corner House fast food
restaurant in London. It could seat 2,000 people.
15/3/1909. The new Selfridges (American-owned)
store opened on a 6 acre site in Oxford Street, London.
fire at Harrods
store, London; however the business quickly recovered. Late employees were
fined 1.5 d for every 15 minutes they were late.
founder of Britain�s first large department store.
3/9/1855, The last Bartholomews fair was held in
London. It was first held on 24/8/1133. It grew to be a huge national
market, the maincentre for cloth sales in England. However by the 1850s it had
become a magnet for thieves and muggers, and the event was disapproved of by
the upper classes in London.
last market for live animals was held at Smithfield, London. Thereafter live
animals were traded further north, at Copenhagen Fields. Central London Meat
Market (Smithfield) was begun in 1862 and opened for meat trading in 1868.
1849, Henry Charles Harrod took over a grocers shop
in the village of Knightsbridge. His son, Charles Digby Harrod, took over the store in
1861, aged 20; by 1867� the shop was
large enough to employ 5 assistants, and had a staff of 16 by 1870. The store
burnt down in December 1883 but was rebuilt, and all Christmas orders only
delayed by a few days. Customers were impressed, and by 1889 the store was
worth �120,000. The first escalator in London was installed at Harrods in 1898.
Most of the current building dates from 1901-05. In 1985 Harrods was bought by
the Al-Fayed brothers for �615 million.
Burlington Arcade, Piccadilly, London, opened.
1707, Fortnum &
Mason department store, London, was established.
1670, The original fruit and
vegetable market in Covent Garden opened when King Charles II granted a
charter to the Earl of Bedford to hold a market in the area. See 9/11/1974.
1656, Covent Garden fruit and
vegetable market began, as a few stalls in tbe garden of the Duke of Bedford.
1358, London Bridge had 138 shops on it.
1276, Croydon market was established, making the town
the commercial centre for the region.
1265, A fruit and vegetable stall was set up on the
north side of the road between the City of London and Westminster by the monks
of St Peter�s Abbey, to sell the surplus from their vegetable garden. This
stall later became Covent Garden
Fruit and Vegetable Market (see 1656)
1150, The earliest mention of
the cattle market at Smithfield.
24/8/1133, In London, the first Bartholomew�s Day Fair
was held. It was held annually thereafter until 1855.
Market for meat began in the �Smooth Field� just north of London�s walls.
Tower of London
30/10/1841, Fire at the
Tower of London.
9/5/1671. Irish adventurer Captain James Thomas Blood made
an unsuccessful attempt, dressed as a clergyman, to steal the Crown Jewels from
the Tower of London. See 24/8/1680.
10/1/1645, At Tower Hill, William Laud, Archbishop of
Canterbury since 1633, was beheaded for treason.� He was not replaced until 1660.
1097, The White Tower, Tower of London, was completed.
It was built of white stone from the Caen, France, area.
1078, Building work began on the Tower of London.
dates and districts, see spreadsheet at London Population
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