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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
26th April 1976 Neil McCallum, actor (Pete-Saber of London), dies at 45
26th April 1973 2 Gentlemen of Verona, musical opens in London
26th April 1947 Bless the Bride musical opens in London
26th April 1934 The Prince Albert, Duke of York (later King George VI) was married to Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (later The Queen Mother) in Westminster Abbey.
26th April 1928 Madame Tussaud's waxwork exhibition opens in London
26th April 1921 Born today: Harry Knutton, Maj-Gen/dir-general (London City and Guilds Institute)
26th April 1915 Italy secretly signes Pact of London with Britain, France and Russia
26th April 1890 Henry Morton Stanley inaugurated in London
JMW Turner died here
This is where artist JMW Turner lived his last days and died.
Location: 6 Davis's Place, Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, London
Description: Legendary 19th century English artist JMW Turner died here in the house of his mistress Sophia Caroline Booth on 19 December 1851. He met the widowed Sophia in 1834 while on tour in Europe.
Shortly before he took his last breath, Turner said, It is through these eyes, closed forever at the bottom of the tomb, that generations as yet unborn will see nature.
The attending Doctor wrote, Just before 9am the sun burst forth and shown directly on him with that brilliancy which he loved to gaze on. He died without a groan.
At his request he was buried in St Paul's Cathedral, where he lies next to Sir Joshua Reynolds. His last exhibition at the Royal Academy was in 1850.
On his death turner left a large fortune that he requested be used to support what he called Decaying Artists. He also bequeathed over 300 Paintings 19,000 drawings and had an estate valued at the time at 140,000.
Initially Turner kept his house and gallery in Queen Anne Street, where he had lived since the end of the 18th century. When Mrs Sophia Booth moved to London in 1846, they looked for a house by the river and took a 21-year lease here at the western end of Chelsea's riverside.