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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
25th May 1905 Born today: Binnie Barnes, London, actress (Adv of Marco Polo, Diamond Jim)
25th May 1878 Gilbert/Sullivans opera HMS Pinafore, premieres in London
Site of Lord Byrons famous duel
This is where Lord Byron famously killed his neighbour in a duel
Location: 100 Pall Mall
Description: This is the site where the Star and Garter inn was until around 1905, and then the Carlton Club until 1940.
It was here that lord Byron challenged his neighbour Mr Chaworth to a duel over how many manors a mutual neighbour (Charles Sedley) owned.
They met on the staircase and a waiter escorted them to a room on the first floor where Byron fatally wounded Chaworth, with Chaworth uttering when a doctor arrived that he had not long to live, and that he forgave Lord Byron.
He died the following day, and Byron was taken to the tower for 3 months until he was tried and found not guilty of murder, guilty of manslaughter, but (as a peer) he pleaded Benefit of Clergy and got clean off.
It is also the site where in 1807 gas lighting was first demonstrated in England by German inventor Frederick Winsor, originally Friedrich Albrecht Winzer (1763-1830), one of the pioneers of gas lighting in Europe.
William Matthews 1827 book An Historical Sketch of the Origin, Progress & Present State of Gas-Lighting says that : Mr Winsor removed his exhibitions to Pall Mall, where, early in 1807 (28 January), he lighted up a part of one side of the street, which was the first instance of this kind of light being applied to such a purpose in London.
Winsor gets the green plaque instead of Byron.
Tagged in this Tour: Dark London