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Frommer's London 2012 by Donald Strachan, Joe Fullman

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By Donald Strachan, Joe Fullman

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His suicide in prison was sufficient proof of guilt for local investigators, but their shoddy handling of the case led indirectly to the Metropolitan Police Act of 1829, establishing Britain’s first professional police force. As P. D. James’ investigation The Maul and the Pear Tree (1971) concludes, this development came too late to achieve justice for the victims of 1811. The Ratcliff Highway Murders remained East London’s most curious and senseless killings until Jack the Ripper appeared (see below).

Samuel) Johnson’s Dictionary of the English Language in 1755 and James Boswell’s 1791 Life of Samuel Johnson, which reinvented biography as a genre. Johnson’s residence in Gough Square is preserved as the Samuel Johnson’s House museum (p. indd 28 8/23/11 11:10 PM 2 LONDON IN DEPTH The Making of London (p. 133). The shocking autobiography of freed slave Olaudah Equiano (ca. 1745–97), published in London in 1789, was a contributing factor to the ending of the transatlantic slave trade. Daniel Defoe (ca.

1810 London’s first Indian restaurant opens. 1815 The Bethlehem Hospital for the insane—nicknamed “Bedlam”—closes. 1837 Queen Victoria begins her reign, in the same year that London’s first rail station— Euston—opens. 1848 The Chartist convention assembles in London and demands political reform. 1851 The world is astonished at the exhibits on show at London’s Great Exhibition. 1878 With eerie similarities to the Marchioness disaster 111 years later, the Princess Alice pleasure boat is struck in the Thames, and 650 souls drown.

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