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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
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.
Charles I Unburied
This is the statue of Charles I that pre-dates Trafalgar Square.
Location: Trafalgar Square, Westminster
Description: This statue of Charles I by Hubert La Sueur is the earliest equestrian statue in London. But the 1633 bronze has an even quirkier claim to fame.
During the Civil War the Roundheads sold it to a brazier, John Rivet, so he could break it up for scrap. He didn't, he hid or buried it in his garden in Holborn instead, and then set about selling souvenirs cast from the statue.
When the monarchy was restored he made himself a further few bob by producing the undamaged monument to the late king and sold it back to His Majesty Charles II's Government to be re-erected here in 1678.
Both the original sword and it's replacement have both been stolen from the statue over the years and not been seen since.