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Flying Flowerpots, or, The Strange Story of the Camberwell Ghost

The report on the Surrey Sessions printed in the South London Press on Saturday the 7th December 1872 makes fascinating reading.  The venue was the Sessions House in Newington Causeway, and the forty-five cases were tried by William Hardman and a supporting cast of fellow magistrates.  Forty-four of the prisoners were charged with felony, and one with misdemeanour.  Only three could …

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The Line of Duty: Part Two

If you read the first part of this story, which can be accessed by following this link to the London Overlooked website, you will remember that George Johnson was a police constable living and working in South London at the outbreak of the Great War in July 1914.  In these traumatic times the deteriorating state of relations in Europe had …

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The Line of Duty: Part One

In a churchyard in South London there is an unassuming headstone bearing the name of a certain George Johnson.  We are told that George Johnson was a police constable, and that he was a member of the “W” or Clapham Division, with warrant number 202.   He died “through injuries received in the execution of his duty” on the 17th …

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The Churchyard Cur, or, A Tale of Loyalty and Love

Readers of London Overlooked may find that Edward Jesse is a name that rings a bell.  Jesse was a man of many parts, and his varied career, which spanned the first half of the nineteenth century, embraced such diverse employments as government clerk, secretary to a president of the Board of Control, and commissioner of hackney coaches.  He also published …

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The Good Doctor: Part Three

If you have been following the story of Louisa Nathalie, which can be accessed on the London Overlooked website by following links to Part One and Part Two, you will remember that she was the victim of a callous ex-army officer by the name of Arthur Robert Willoughby Wade.  She was a young German woman residing in the Strand Union …

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The Good Doctor: Part Two

If you read my most recent article, which can be accessed on the London Overlooked website by following this link, you will remember that in 1863 a young woman from the St Giles workhouse, Bridget Corrigan, was preyed on by a scurrilous army officer who gave his name, falsely, as James Smith, and his occupation, also falsely, as a hospital …

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The Good Doctor: Part One

Joseph Rogers, M.D., is a name that may well be unfamiliar to readers.  The fact is, though, that Dr Rogers was a very remarkable man.  Principally, he was a workhouse medical officer, and he devoted his energies to the care of some of the poorest members of Victorian society.  In doing so he forfeited the social advancement and financial rewards …

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The Man Who Stole a Knighthood

One of the strangest stories in the long history of investiture must be the knighting of Francis Columbine Daniel early in the reign of George IV.  The occasion was marked with the usual pomp and ceremony, and was widely reported in the newspapers.  However, not everything was quite what it seemed, and not everyone was impressed. So who was the …

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The Railway Children, or, A Moving Story of Youthful Heroism

If, like me, you enjoy looking at old maps of London, the name Edward Stanford will have a familiar ring.  Stanford was a leading figure in the world of Victorian map-makers, and his Library Map of London, which was first published in 1862, is cartography at its finest.  You can access various editions of Stanford’s map online.  The 1872, for …

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Leda and the Swan, or, Vandalism at the National Gallery

On Tuesday the 23rd of January 1844 Mr Edward Grant—a belt, braces and breeches maker of 23 Piccadilly—was enjoying an afternoon of art appreciation in the Great Room of London’s National Gallery.  Although some might have criticised the appearance of the building designed by William Wilkins, Grant enjoyed the privilege of free admission to see great art, as did many …