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Thomas Gresham and the London Royal Exchange

Thomas Gresham and the London Royal Exchange

On January 23, 1571, the Royal Exchange in London was founded by the merchant Thomas Gresham to act as a centre of commerce for the City of London. The Protagonists On the afternoon of January 23rd, 1571, Queen Elizabeth [8] went from her Palace of Somerset House to dine with Sir Thomas Gresham at his fine mansion in Austin Friars. She went in state with her Trumpeters and Halberdiers, with Sir Thomas Gresham…
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Christopher Wren and his Masterpiece – Saint Paul’s Cathedral

Christopher Wren and his Masterpiece – Saint Paul’s Cathedral

On October 20, 1708, the construction of Sir Christopher Wren‘s famous Saint Paul’s Cathedral was finished when the final stone was placed on its lantern. The Cathedral is dedicated to Paul the Apostle and depicts the fifth of its kind standing in London since 604 AD. “Architecture has its political Use; public Buildings being the Ornament of a Country; it establishes a Nation, draws People and Commerce; makes the People love their native…
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The Still Unsolved Case of Jack the Ripper

The Still Unsolved Case of Jack the Ripper

On August 31, 1888, the mutilated body of Mary Ann Nichols was found in Whitechapel, London. Her death has been attributed to the notorious unidentified serial killer Jack the Ripper and was part of a series of eleven murders that took place between 3 April 1888 and 13 February 1891 in Whitechapel and the neighbouring districts of Poplar, Spitalfields, and the City of London. Despite the mundane nature of crime against women,…
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The Amazing Diary of Samuel Pepys, Esq.

The Amazing Diary of Samuel Pepys, Esq.

On February 23, 1633, English naval administrator and Member of Parliament Samuel Pepys was born, who is now most famous for the diary he kept for a decade while still a relatively young man. The detailed private diary Pepys kept from 1660 until 1669 was first published in the 19th century, and is one of the most important primary sources for the English Restoration period. Personally, I really enjoyed reading Samuel Pepys’…
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Sir Christopher Wren – Baroque Architect, Philosopher, Scientist

Sir Christopher Wren – Baroque Architect, Philosopher, Scientist

On October 20, 1632 (October 30 according to the new Gregorian calendar), one of the most highly acclaimed English architects in history, Sir Christopher Wren was born. He was accorded responsibility for rebuilding 52 churches in the City of London after the Great Fire in 1666, including what is regarded as his masterpiece, St Paul’s Cathedral, on Ludgate Hill, completed in 1710. “Architecture has its political Use; publick Buildings being the Ornament…
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Sir Joseph William Bazalgette and the Great Stink of 1858

Sir Joseph William Bazalgette and the Great Stink of 1858

On March 28, 1819, British civil engineer Joseph William Bazalgette was born. As chief engineer of London‘s Metropolitan Board of Works Bazalgette‘s major achievement was the creation in response to the Great Stink of 1858 of a sewer network for central London which was instrumental in relieving the city from cholera epidemics, while beginning the cleansing of the River Thames. Joseph William Bazalgette was mainly educated at home and was employed to Sir John…
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J. M. Barrie and the Boy who wouldn’t grow up

J. M. Barrie and the Boy who wouldn’t grow up

On May 9, 1860, Scotish author and playwright Sir James Matthew Barrie, 1st Baronet was born. Barrie is best remembered for being the creator of Peter Pan in his novel “Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up“, a “fairy play” about an ageless boy and an ordinary girl named Wendy who have adventures in the fantasy setting of Neverland. James Matthew Barrie was the ninth child of ten. When he…
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John Graunt and the Science of Demography

John Graunt and the Science of Demography

On April 18, 1674, English herberdasher and statistician John Graunt passed away. Graunt is considered by many historians to have founded the science of demography as the statistical study of human populations. For his published analysis of the parish records of christenings and deaths, he was made a charter member of the Royal Society. John Graunt was born on April 24, 1620, in London, the eldest of seven or eight children of Henry Graunt,…
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John Snow and His Work on Cholera

John Snow and His Work on Cholera

On March 15, 1813, English physician and a leader in the adoption of anaesthesia and medical hygiene John Snow was born. He is considered one of the fathers of modern epidemiology, in part because of his work in tracing the source of a cholera outbreak in Soho, London, in 1854. John Snow was born on 15 March 1813 in York, England, the first of nine children born to William and Frances Snow. His father a was…
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Joseph Carey Merrick – the Elefant Man

Joseph Carey Merrick – the Elefant Man

Joseph Carey Merrick (1862-1890) On August 5, 1865, Joseph Carey Merrick was born. Sometimes incorrectly referred to as John Merrick, Joseph Carey Merrick was an English man with severe deformities who was exhibited as a human curiosity named the Elephant Man. He became well known in London society after he went to live at the London Hospital. You might have heard of Merrick from David Lynch’s popular film ‘The Elefant Man’, released in 1980 starring…
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