On 6 July 1837, just three weeks after her accession, Queen Victoria was travelling by carriage down West Hill. Arriving outside the Fox and Crown public house, her horses became agitated, and “set off at a fearful pace”.
The publican, Mr Turner, was outside the pub at the time. He saw what was happening, grabbed the reins and managed to save the Queen from “an accident which threatened alarming consequences”. Indeed, the Victorian era might not have happened at all!
Mr Turner was given a suitable reward and was granted a royal coat of arms, which can now be seen in the hall of the Highgate Literary and Scientific Institution.
Photo credit: From the Archive of the Highgate Literary and Scientific Institution