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Answer 96. Sir Thomas More’s head was parboiled, stuck on a pole and exhibited on London Bridge, the traditional place for traitors’ heads.


It would have been thrown away after a while if More’s daughter hadn’t bribed the bridge keeper to let her have it instead. She preserved the head in spices until her own death in 1544. It is believed to be buried now in the family vault at St Dunstan’s Church in Canterbury.

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Edmund BurkeIn 1790, this house in Gerrard Street was occupied by a Member of Parliament, a distinguished Irish thinker. He often worked through the night instead of going to bed, as a neighbour observed from across the street:

‘Many a time when I had no inclination to go to bed at the dawn of day, I have looked down from my window to see whether the author of the Sublime and Beautiful had left his drawing-room, where I had seen that great orator during many a night after he had left the House of Commons, seated at a table covered with papers, attended by an amanuensis who sat opposite to him.’

In January 1790, the great orator came home after a dinner party and decided to stay up, ‘late as it was’, to read a pamphlet praising the revolution in France. He found the pamphlet so disturbing that he sat down over the next few days to pen a famous reply.

HISTORIC LONDON: X MARKS THE SPOT. Question 97. The reply was entitled Reflections on the Revolution in France. Who wrote it?

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TENNIS AND THE MASAI

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