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The Chubb Company Flower and Bird Show

What do the ‘Housing of the Working Classes Act’ of 1885, the Chubb Patent Lock and Safe Company, and a ‘laughing jackass’ have to do with one another? Find out in this short Viewpoint…

Maiden Lane

Maiden Lane – a “country dance” from John Playford’s English Dancing Master, 1651.

The dance and its melody is thought to be named after Maiden Lane in Covent Garden, and it is just one of a great number of dances called for London places.

Situated between the Covent Garden Market and the Strand, Maiden Lane was originally a path running from Drury Lane to St Martin’s Lane along the southern edge of the ‘Covent Garden’: that is, the Convent Garden, belonging to the Benedictine monks of Westminster Abbey, and providing produce for their table. The street was first called Maiden Lane in 1636.

A statue of the Virgin stood at the Eastern end of the lane, and this may be the origin of the name Maiden Lane. Another explanation is that it is a corruption of the Middle-English word ‘Midden’.

Famous residents over the centuries include Louis Napoleon, Benjamin Disraeli, Voltaire and the artist J.M.W. Turner. Edward VII and Lily Langtry dined in Maiden Lane and William Terriss, a celebrated actor of his day was murdered here by a crazed understudy in 1897.

Eleanor Cramer: bass viol
Christopher Goodwin: cittern
Peter Kenny: drum
Tamsin Lewis: violin

The Astoria

The Astoria Picture Theatre and Dance Hall opened in 1927, quickly becoming a popular spot for socialising and dancing. The Astoria was built during the British dancing ‘boom’ of the 1910s and 1920s.

The Quaker Scientists of Plough Court

The laboratory of 2 Plough Court, hub for Quaker scientists and inventors, and an ancestor to today’s Glaxo Smith Kline.