#On This Day – The Party

Wednesday, June 27th, 2018


On June 27, 1709 Peter the Great of Russia defeated Charles XII of Sweden at the battle of Poltava. Here’s hoping he did not celebrate in quite the same fashion he did whilst he was in London in 1696, after he trashed diarist and Fellow of the Royal Society, John Evelyn’s house and beautiful garden. The garden had been previously described by Samuel Pepys as “variety of evergreens and hedges of holly, the finest thing I ever saw in my life”. However, the holly hedge was no match for the Russian Tsar and at least three wheelbarrows, which were driven through it; boy did those Russians know how to party! Legend now has it that 300 panes of glass were broken, 240 feet of fencing was damaged, along with 170 feet of oak wainscoting. Portraits hanging in the house were used for target practice, and eight feather beds were spoiled beyond repair. The damage done was estimated to amount to £350 9s 6d, or about £42,000 in today’s money, not even Keith Moon’s 21st birthday celebrations ran up that much at the Holiday Inn in 1967!

To learn more listen to our episode on the unexpected history of the party!


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