IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
4th April 1984 Michael Frayn's Benefactors premieres in London
4th April 1956 Enid Bagnold's Chalk Garden, premieres in London
4th April 1940 Born today: Bijan, Iran, mens apparel designer (Beverly Hills, NYC, London)
4th April 1929 New Moon musical opens in London
Site of huge gunpowder explosion
Here was the scene of a disastrous Gunpowder explosion.
Location: 43 Great Tower Street, London
Description: Rose court, nearby was named after the Rose Tavern a lively pub that was here in the 17th Century.
On one Monday night in January 1649, a Tower Street resident, Robert Porter, a ship chandler - or provisions dealer - was storing 27 barrels of gunpowder in his house to be loaded onto a ship the following day.
Also on the street, a group of gentlemen, merchants, tradesmen... of very good quality were indulging in a parish feast here in the Rose Tavern, while at about 8pm that night, a Mr Dunne, staying with his mother-in-law, a midwife, was getting ready for bed.
But a sudden and disastrous explosion devastated the pub, dozens of houses and killing 67 people.
Of the Rose customers, 16 perished - including, according to one report, the landlady who was found sitting upright at the bar.
Mr Dunne was hurled into the nearby churchyard and died, and houses belonging to a shoemaker and two merchants were also utterly defaced, one contemporary account said.
And legend has it that the force of the blast threw a baby girl in her crib from a house to the top of the church tower - where she was found alive and well the next day.