HISTORIC George further claimed that Caroline’s manners on her wedding night ‘were not those of a novice. In taking those liberties natural on these occasions, she said : “Ah, mon Dieu, qu’il est gros!” [“My God, it’s big!”] and how would she know this without a previous means of comparison?’
That’s George’s story, anyway. He also claimed to have done his duty twice on his wedding night, despite his suspicions that Caroline wasn’t a virgin. Whatever the truth of the matter, she did give birth nine months later.
Craven Street lies off Trafalgar Square. While working as a lobbyist for the Pennsylvania Assembly in the 1760s, Benjamin Franklin lived at No 36 (and chased women, see Question 7). Later, he moved a few doors along to another house in the same street, number unknown.
Franklin was living at this second address on 29 January 1775 when he received a visit from a former Prime Minister, one of the most famous men in England.
The ex-Prime Minister had called round for urgent discussions on the gathering crisis in America. He had always been too busy and important to see Franklin in the past, but the situation in America was now so grave – the colonists were talking openly of independence – that he was calling on Franklin himself.
The neighbours gaped in awe as the great man arrived, as Franklin later recalled:
‘He stayed with me near two hours, his equipage waiting at the door; and being there while people were coming from Church, it was much taken notice of, and talked of, as at that time was every little circumstance that men thought might possibly any way affect American affairs. Such a visit from so great a man, on so important business, flattered not a little my vanity.’
LONDON: X MARKS THE SPOT. Question 100. Who was the former Prime Minister who flattered Benjamin Franklin’s vanity?
‘Riveting’ – Daily Mail
‘Fascinating’ – The Times
‘Outstanding’ – Midwest Book Review
‘Utterly absorbing’ – Macleans