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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
26th April 1976 Neil McCallum, actor (Pete-Saber of London), dies at 45
26th April 1973 2 Gentlemen of Verona, musical opens in London
26th April 1947 Bless the Bride musical opens in London
26th April 1934 The Prince Albert, Duke of York (later King George VI) was married to Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (later The Queen Mother) in Westminster Abbey.
26th April 1928 Madame Tussaud's waxwork exhibition opens in London
26th April 1921 Born today: Harry Knutton, Maj-Gen/dir-general (London City and Guilds Institute)
26th April 1915 Italy secretly signes Pact of London with Britain, France and Russia
26th April 1890 Henry Morton Stanley inaugurated in London
Former St Mary's School
The school where Darwin's Patagonian Indians were educated.
Location: Comunity Center, Walthamstow Village
Description: This building now used as a community centre used to be St Mary's School, infamous for schooling three Patagonians who had travelled with Darwin.
On that initial journey Fitzroy had taken four local 'savages' from the southernmost tip of the continent, known as Tierra del Fuego, as retribution for the stealing of one of his whaling boats.
As hostile as the captain's conduct may seem, his motives were largely 19th Century benevolence: Fitzroy planned to ferry his four captives back to Britain and school them in the ways of Christianity and gentility. He then planned to return them to their homeland in the belief they would spread their newly instilled values through this dark continent.
The four were an incongruous bunch, spanning in age range from nine to 26, with an equally motley collection of names given them by Fitzroy.
Fuegia Basket, the youngest and the only female, was named after Basket Island;
Jemmy Button, aged about 14, took his name from the pearl button he was exchanged for;
Boat Memory, who was about 20; and
York Minster, who was named after a hill that had been likened in shape to the ancient city's cathedral.
When the Beagle set sail from Plymouth for the south Atlantic in 1831, with Darwin in the charge of Captain Robert Fitzroy, it was taking the three surviving young Patagonian Indians home after the bizarre social experiment.
Fuegia, Jemmy and York adapt so well, that within nine months they are presented at the court of St James what triumph!