ON THIS DAY: May 14, 1762

As reported in Lloyd’s Evening Post, ‘Yesterday a Gentlewoman going along Cheapside trod upon a bit of orange peel, by which accident she fell down and sprained her ankle. The like accident happened to a Gentleman in Fleet Street the same day. As many accidents of this kind daily happen, oranges being plenty, it is greatly to be wished that the eaters were more cautious where they throw the peels.’

There are 400 kinds of oranges, and the first oranges to arrive were bitter Seville oranges that were sour. The sweet orange, although common in China circa 220 BC, was not imported to Europe and America until the beginning of the 16th century. The Portuguese were the first European importers. Nell Gwynne (1650-1687), the actress and mistress of Charles II, once sold oranges in 1663 at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, and was known as an ‘orange-girl’.