Little slices of London's history

A royal wedding

Today in London’s history: On the 4th of November 1677, a tearful 15-year-old girl was married in St James’s Palace to her first cousin who was  older, shorter, and bisexual.

That girl was Mary II, eldest daughter of James, Duke of York, the future James II and her cousin was William III, William of Orange and grandson of Charles I, who turned 27 the same day. The couple later became joint sovereigns, much to the relief of anti-Catholics.

There is an Orange Street in London, near Leicester Square, which takes its name from William of Orange.

Famous names associated with the street include the actor Edmund Kean, who went to school here and who, coincidentally, shared a birthday with William – albeit 137 years apart.

Thomas Holcroft was born in Orange street in 1743, and in the late 18th century there was a small chapel in the street where Augustus Toplady – who wrote the hymn ‘Rock of Ages’ – was minister for a short time.

One response to “A royal wedding”

  1. […] site of a former orchard or an orange-sellers’ haunt. One explanation is that it was named after William III, William of Orange and grandson of Charles I, who became joint monarch with his wife Mary in 1689. […]

About Me (and my Obsession)

My obsession with London street names began in the early 90s when I worked in the Smithfield area and happened upon Bleeding Heart Yard. In my wanderings around London, I kept adding to my store of weird and wonderful street names. Eventually it was time to share – hence my blog. I hope you enjoy these names as much as I do.
– Elizabeth


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