The Tower of London has been home to many important national institutions for over 900 years. Close to the seat of royal power at Westminster, the fortress offered a secure site for a variety of functions vital to England’s monarchy.
Competition for space and power grew as the number of institutions expanded and their employees increased. While some organisations moved out and other functions ceased, many operated for hundreds of years, making the Tower England’s ultimate power house.
This expression originates with the misfire of a flintlock or similar gun. The powder in the pan was supposed to ignite the main charge in the barrel. Sometimes only the powder in the pan flashed without firing the main charge.