Page 208. " upon the gallows at Newgate "


There was a prison in Newgate from the twelth century until 1902. London's gallows, where condemned men would be put to death by hanging, originally stood at Tyburn, near Marble Arch. In 1783 the site of executions was moved to the street outside Newgate Prison, where the condemned men were held. Executions remained public until 1868, when they were moved to gallows within Newgate.

The prison was demolished in 1904, and replaced with the Central Criminal Court, more commonly known as the Old Bailey.

Page 219. " several of his close friends from the Woolwich Arsenal "


The Royal Arsenal at Woolwich tested and manufactured arms, ammunition and explosives for the British government. It was originally established in the seventeenth century as an ordnance storage facility, lying on a 31 acre site on the south bank of the Thames. Throughout its history it was expanded, until it covered 104 acres, including a laboratory and gun foundry. By the mid-1800s Woolwich was one of three major Royal munitions factories, alongside Enfield and Waltham Abbey.

Page 222. " The left paddle-wheel began to reverse "

'Westminster Stairs: Steamers Leaving' (detail)
Public Domain'Westminster Stairs: Steamers Leaving' (detail) - Credit: Gustave Doré


Paddle steamer boats were pioneered in the eighteenth century, becoming widespread in the 1800s. Although often associated with the Mississippi river in the United States, paddle steamers were used across the world on sea-going trips as well as on rivers.

They appeared on the Thames from 1818, slowly forcing out the watermen and their skiffs; by 1844 it was calculated that there were two hundred steamers constantly navigating the river, with frequent collisions. The busiest stretch was between Chelsea and Woolwich, as people commuted from the fringes of the city to the centre.  

The paddle steamer Waverley, the last sea-going paddle steamer left in the world, still operates some pleasure cruises down the Thames.