When a cricket ball cost Britain an heir to the throne

Plus: Other ways to spend the £3 million cost of ‘plebgate’, and will Bicester really be a garden city?

6 December 2014

9:00 AM

6 December 2014

9:00 AM

A fatal shot

The sad death of Australian batsman Philip Hughes was a reminder that a cricket ball can kill. A blow on the cricket field may even have cost us an heir to the throne.
— One of the earliest suspected victims was Frederick, Prince of Wales, the son of George II, who is first recorded as having played cricket in 1733 when he put up a team against Sir William Gage, in a match played on Mouley Hurst, Surrey.
— In 1751, a few weeks after his 44th birthday, he was said to be suffering from an abscess in the chest caused by a blow by a cricket ball, or possibly a real tennis ball. He then caught a chill and developed pleurisy. He died on 31 March after the abscess burst.

Best case scenarios

Some ways to spend £3 million (other than on a court case to decide whether someone called someone a ‘pleb’):
— Buying Sir Cliff Richard’s Berkshire penthouse, for sale after the police raid.
— Building a new 80-bedroom Travelodge in Bolton.
— Resurfacing 12.6 miles of the A14 between St Ives and Cambridge.
— A new helipad for the Bristol Royal Infirmary.
— Providing 12 more trains a day for three years between Lincoln and Nottingham.

Densely planted

George Osborne announced a new ‘garden city’ for the Oxfordshire town of Bicester. One of the visions of the garden city movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries was that they would escape the overcrowding of Victorian London and have low-density housing. Will Bicester really be a garden city?

Density (homes per acre)
Victorian London (Stoke Newington) 25
Hampstead Garden Suburb (1908) 15
Bicester (planned) 14
Ave. English development, 1996–2001 10
Welwyn Garden City plan (1920) 8
Letchworth Garden City plan (1903) 6

The toll of terror

The Islamic terror group al-Shabab murdered 36 quarry workers in Kenya. Which countries had the highest toll from terrorism last year?

Iraq 6,360
Afghanistan 3,110
Pakistan 2,350
Nigeria 1,830
Syria 1,080
Somalia 405
India 404

Source: Global Terrorism Index

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