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IN THE NEWS

Westfield Stratford City East
Westfield Stratford City East Retail Theme

TOUR OF THE MONTH

The Rolling Stones London Tour
The Rolling Stones London Tour

ON THIS DAY IN LONDON

23rd March 1934 Born today: Bryan Bass, headmaster (City of London School)

23rd March 1933 Born today: Geoffrey Leigh, CEO (Allied London Properties)

23rd March 1905 Born today: Ralph Perring, Lord Mayor (London)

23rd March 1889 The free Woolwich ferry service was launched by Sir Joseph Bazalgette.

23rd March 1861 London's 1st tramcars, designed by Mr Train of NY, begins operating

23rd March 1743 George Frideric Handel's oratorio Messiah premieres in London

23rd March 1729 Celebrated satirical painter William Hogarth married Jane Thornhill, daughter of artist Sir James Thornhill.

Jigsaws were invented here



Jigsaws were invented here

This is where the humble jigsaw was invented in the 1760s.

Location: Russell Street, Covent Garden, London

Description: In the 18th century Russell Court was here, just off Russell Street and Drury Lane. John Spilsbury, engraver, mapmaker & print seller, owned a print shop here in the 1760's.

Spilsbury was born in Worcester, England in 1739 and as a young man was apprenticed to Thomas Jeffreys near Charing Cross. Jeffreys was an engraver, map seller and Geographer to the King. Spilsbury worked for Jeffreys until about 1760, then went into business for himself here.

Spilsbury wanted to aid the teaching of geography (which was still very formative - his world map jigsaw didnt include Australia!). It was fun and children seemed to enjoy them. There is an example of Spilsbury's jigsaw in the British Library.

John Spilsbury died in 1771.

A street directory from 1763 lists him as:

Spilsbury, John. Engraver and Map Dissector in Wood, in order to facilitate the Teaching of Geography. Russel-court, Drury-lane.

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