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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.
The Percy Thompson murder
This was the scene of one of the most infamous London murders.
Location: Belgrave Road, Ilford, London
Description: It was here that the scene of the crime took place as Edith and Percy walked home in the early hours of 4th October 1922, while they were on their way home to Kensington Gardens. Edith's lover Frederick Bywaters stepped out of the shadows and stabbed Percy Thompson to death.
The case was highly criticised but the subsequent trial and conviction of Frederick Bywaters and Edith Thompson for the murder of Percy, Edith's husband made Ilford famous. Both hanged, Frederick for murder and Edith for adultery.
In December 1922, the lovers were tried at the Old Bailey in a blaze of publicity. People queued all night for a seat in court to see the beautiful murderess and her young lover. Newspapers portrayed Edith as a wicked adulteress who would stop at nothing - not even murder. When her passionate love-letters to Frederick were read out in court, the press denounced her as 'the Madame Bovary of North-East London' and 'the Messalina of Ilford'.