23 September, 2020

London Diary

In the lead-up to the Olympics, Londoners had more than the weather to be wary about...

London Diary

The Frere Tuck

Shortly after my British Airways plane had taken off from Mumbai, the pilot informed us that the UK “was also having a bit of a monsoon”. He signed off as Bartle Frere. I was intrigued. Bartle Frere was the name of a governor of Bombay who ordered the old fort’s walls torn down in the 1860s, giving the city’s animal spirits more room to prowl. Flora Fountain, in the heart of the city, was built in his honour. After his term in the subcontinent, Frere was dispatched to Zanzibar and then made the High Commissioner for Southern Africa. Though he was recalled home amidst controversy (his attempt to unite Southern Africa into a confederation resulted in a string of wars), the administrator has been memorialised across the Anglophone world: one of Karachi’s most imposing buildings is called Frere Hall, Mt Bartle Frere is Queensland’s...



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