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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
23rd April 1959 1st heliport in Britain opens in London
23rd April 1925 1st London performance of operetta Fasquita staged
23rd April 1881 Gilbert and Sullivan's opera Patience produced in London
23rd April 1775 Artist J.M.W. Turner was born in Covent Garden, London.
23rd April 1705 Richard Steele's Tender Husband, premieres in London
23rd April 1702 The Coronation of Anne I in Westminster Abbey.
23rd April 1685 The Coronation of James II (and VII of Scotland) in Westminster Abbey.
23rd April 1661 English king Charles II crowned in London
23rd April 1661 The Coronation of Charles II in Westminster Abbey.
William Beckford born here
The author of Vathek and builder of Fonthill Abbey was born here
Location: 22 Soho Square, London
Description: This is where the English novelist, art critic, travel writer, politician and ambitious dandy William Beckford was born.
At the age of ten, he inherited a large fortune from his father, a former Lord Mayor of the City of London, William Beckford consisting of 1 million in cash, land at Fonthill in Wiltshire, and several sugar plantations in Jamaica.
This allowed him to indulge his interest in art and architecture, as well as writing - he wrote the impressive novel Vathek. His architecture led to him masterminding the ill-fated build of the incredible gothic folly Fonthill Abbey.
He was trained by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in music.