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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.
Dr James Barry's Secret
The celebrated doctor who held a lifelong secret.
Location: 14 Margaret Street
Description: The acclaimed Dr James Barry lived here towards the end of his life and eventually died here on July 25th, 1865.
He was born in Ireland, and he studied at University of Edinburgh Medical School gaining his MD in 1812. His birth date is unclear but between 1889 and 1899 (which certainly would make him a child prodigy).
After moving to London he successfully took the examination for the Royal College of Surgeons of England, and subsequently qualifying as a Regimental Assistant. This enabled him to take posts with the British Army in Plymouth, India, Malta, Canada, Mauritius, Trinidad, and South Africa.
In the latter he performed one of the first successful Caesarean sections.
He retired in 1864 and returned to England, where he died from dysentery on 25th July 1865. In examination of his body, it was found that he had been born a woman (later identified as being born as Margaret Ann Bulkley).
Later it turned out that Barry was the niece of James Barry the painter.