Yesterday I received a link to an interactive map displaying all the blue plaques in London. For the uninitiated, the blue plaques are badges (normally blue, you guessed!) installed in a public place to commemorate the link between the place and a well known person. These plaques exist not only in all of England, but also on other European cities, like Paris, Rome, Oslo, etc.
Back in London, I started checking how many blue plaques there were in the area around The Cavendish. I was quite surprised to see that Sir Isaac Newton lived just 1 minute from the hotel! Sir Newton moved to Jermyn Street, London, in the late 1600's and became Master of the Royal Mint. Sir Newton was the first scientist to be knighted and some believe that his eccentricity later in life was due to the high content of mercury in his body, probably due to his involvement with alchemy.
A blue plaque showing the residence where Sir Isaac Newton lived
Another important resident of the area was Nancy Astor, an incredibly witty politician, and the first female Member of Parliament. Lady Astor was not in the best terms with the then Prime Minister, Winston Churchill and allegedly suggested him "come sober" after the Prime Minister asked her what disguise he should wear to an upcoming masquerade ball. Very bold lady, indeed. She lived on St. James's Square, just 3 minutes from The Cavendish London.
Other illustrious former neighbours of The Cavendish London included the painter Thomas Gainsborough, Ada Lovelace (regarded as the first computer programmer and the only legitimate child of Lord Byron) and William Pitt, ex Prime Minister.
A plaque installed to commemorate Rosa Lewis on The Cavendish London entrance. Not a blue plaque, since Rosa Lewis never actually lived in The Cavendish.