Belgravia – Scandal, Murder and Conspiracy

Belgravia and Mayfair Walking Tour – Scandal, Murder and Conspiracy

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Albermarle Street to Belgravia – Conspiracy Murder and Scandal all in one of London’s most interesting walks with Julian McDonnell from Joolz Guides. Starting in Mayfair.

Albemarle Street –

Royal Institute – Michael Farday gave the first of the famous Christmas lectures in the famous auditorium in 1825.
Faraday discovered electromagnetic rotation here leading to the electric motor too.
1876 – Along the street at Brown’s Hotel, Alexander Graham-Bell made the first long distance phone call. Rudyard Kipling finished The Jungle Book here too.
Other famous patrons included Conan Doyle, Oscar Wilde, JM Barrie, Agatha Christie, Theodore and FD Roosevelt.
No. 13 was The Albemarle Club where Oscar Wilde was accused of Posing as a Sodomite by the Marquis of Queensbury. Father of Lord Alfred Douglas.

50 Albemarle Street – Scandal

Publishers have been based here through ten generations all called John Murray from 1762 – 2002
They were also Lord Byron’s publisher. He became famous with his poem “Child Harold’s Pilgrimage”
Byron died in Greece in 1824 having become hugely famous but in his latter years became associated with scandal, sodomy, bigamy, incest and a tangled love life making him a romantic hero.
Fighting against the Ottomans in the Greek war of independence.
His life too immoral to be buried at Westminster Abbey
Byron entrusted his memoirs to Thomas Moore his poet mate.
But John Murray ii was so shocked by the diaries he thought they were too scandalous to be published and burned them here in the fireplace!

Berkeley Square
The plane trees were planted in 1789 oldest in London
1747 – no 44 William Kent House – Clermont Club where Lord “Lucky” Lucan was due to meet friends in 1974
Beau Brummel entertained there too.

The Lansdowne Club was where Harry Gordon Selfridge lived.

Curzon Street

Half Moon Street was where Jeeves lives for access to clubs of Pall Mall and Mayfair in P.G. Wodehouse’s Jeeves and Wooster.

Shepherd’s Market was the location of the original May Fair. Riotous fairs took place every May but banned in 1764 because of complaints from residents.
Beau Brummel lived at no.4
Trumpers – Hair dresser George Trumper opened it in the late 19th Century, and it retains the original mahogany cubicles and glass display cabinets.. for the discerning gentleman.
Perfumes like Astor, Wellington Curzon Spanish Leather
Selection of canes, umbrellas, cuff links gentleman’s goods

Hyse Park Corner
Byron statue – Somewhat abandoned much like he was by the British. Used to be visible before all the streets were built.
The pink pedestal was donated by the Greek Government in 1888 as gratitude for his help in the war.
His dog by his side called Boatswain died of rabies
It was designed by Richard Claude Belt who won a libel case for not sculpting his own work

Achilles statue

First nude statue in London erected in 1822 – dedicated to Wellington and cast from guns captured at Waterloo.
Fig leaf put there to spare he blushes of ladies

Apsley House

Apsley House was built in 1770s for Lord Apsley
Home of Duke of Wellington who defeated Napoleon at Waterloo and after whom we get Wellington boots.

It’s called Number 1 London because it was the first house on entering through Knightsbridge tollgate
Inside is a nude statue of Napoleon which Napoleon didn’t like and it was purchased by the British Government from the French as a gift to Wellington.

46 Lwr Belgrave Street – Conspiracy and murder in Belgravia

Scene of a bloody murder which sparked one of the most famous man-hunts in recent history.
Richard John Bingham, 7th Earl of Lucan was an aristocrat and professional gambler and playboy who liked fast cars champagne and women.
1963 he married Veronica Duncan and had 3 children.
Marriage broke down in 1972 he moved out of the family home. Then one night the nanny was found murdered in the basement.
Lucan’s wife was also attacked and she claimed it was Lord Lucan.
Lucan borrowed a friend’s car and drove to Sussex to see a friend
Later it was found abandoned in Newhaven with the bloody lead piping in the boot.
Lucan was never seen again. It’s fascinated the British public for years.
People still claim to have had sightings of him but the police maintain that he’s missing presumed dead..

The star tavern – Belgravia

Where the great train robbery was planned
Ronald Biggs was thee most famous and escaped to Brasil…

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Rather Splendid London Walks Book

In this book of 20 walks, I will show you some of the fun, interesting, weird and ridiculous things I’ve noticed on my travels around London