The Infamous kray Twins 11oz dishwasher safe mug@The Mug Factory
Notorious, epic, scandalous, the Kray twins ruled the East End of London, building a criminal empire that rocked the Fifties and Sixties. The biopic Legend, starring Tom Hardy, highlights the rise and fall of these infamous gangsters. the Mug Factory reveals some amazing facts surrounding the history behind the terrible twosome.
They were imprisoned in the Tower of London
Not after their 1968 arrest but way back in 1952. The twins were held at the tower for a few days due to failing to report for National Service. They were among the last prisoners ever to be held there.
Lucien Freud owed the Krays money
Freud racked up £500,000 in gambling debts to the Krays. (Lucien: great at painting, ropey with cards.) At one point Freud cancelled an exhibition in case the Krays got wind and demanded their cash.
Reggie Kray was nearly a professional boxer
The twins were keen boxers in their teen years inspired by their granddad Jimmy Cannonball Lee. Reggie was invited to turn professional, but he was turned down because of his criminal activity.
There was a third Kray brother
Their old brother, Charlie Kray, was also a member of their gang "The Firm." However Charlie was the "quiet Kray" and never received the notoriety of Ronnie and Reggie. In 1997 Charlie was convicted of a £39 million cocaine smuggling plot and, aged 70, jailed for 12 years.
Both brothers were rumoured to be bisexual
Ronnie Kray openly, Reggie less so. The former was rumoured to have had a sexual relationship with Conservative politician Lord Boothby. In fact, he shot George Cornell at The Blind Beggar pub for calling him a "fat poof". Although others believe that Ronnie wanted to avenge the death of one of their gang members.
They were photographed by David Bailey
Fashion photographer David Bailey famously photographed the London gangsters in a Box of Pin Ups published in 1965, which was a collection of poster prints featuring some of the most elite celebrities in the swinging sixties such as The Beatles, Jean Shrimpton and Mick Jagger.
Reggie could break your jaw with one punch
Reggie perfected a "cigarette punch". He offered his victim a cigarette directly to the mouth, then stuck when their guard was down and their open mouth guaranteed a broken jaw. Never accept gifts from gangsters.
Reggie slept with Babs
Barbara Windsor aka Eastenders Peggy Mitchell once had a one-night stand with Reggie Kray. Windsor clearly had a taste for a bad boy, as she later married gangster Ronnie Knight.
Frank Sinatra hired Kray muscle
In 1985, Frank Sinatra was said to have hired 18 bodyguards from Krayleigh Enterprises, which was the Kray twin's protection company.
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