Henry Grattan, MP and orator, born in Dublin and led what was known as Grattan’s Parliament until the Act of Union dissolved this separate Irish parliament. He died in 1820 and is buried in Westminster Abbey beside Pit and Fox. A statue to him is in the Palace of Westminster.
Micheal Mac Liammoir, actor, impresario, writer and theatrical legend was born Alfred Willmore, Purves Road, Kensal Rise, NW10. He co-founded the Gate theatre, Dublin with his partner Hilton Edwards and assisted in the establishment of An Taibhdhearc, the Irish language theatre in Galway.
Gate Theatre, Dublin
Madam Ninette de Valois, founder of the Royal Ballet, dancer and choreographer was born near Blessington, Co Wicklow in 1898, lived at 14 The Terrace, Barnes SW13 0NR (blue plaque) from 1962 to 1982.
Patrick Kavanagh died 50 years ago today, poet and novelist enjoyed London and lived at 20 Williamson St, Holloway N7, 35 Downshire Hill, Hampstead NW3 and 33 Great James Street, Holborn WC1N where he finished The Green Fool.
His work is rich with references to London; the musician faltered over his fiddle in Bayswater London (Memory of My Father) and he listed the ass’s tack in Ealing Broadway (Kerr’s Ass).
With thanks to Patrick Kavanagh: A Biography by Antoinette Quinn.
Also, while it didn’t turn up the Kavanagh connection, pastlivespresentstreetshampstead.blogspot.com may be of interest to you.
Jonathan (Dean) Swift writer of Gulliver’s Travels, among other great works, was born 350 years and a day ago. While he visited London often, he stayed with Alexander Pope at Pope’s Villa 21 Cross Deep, Twickenham TW1 4QG (now Radnor House School).
Tom Kettle, Nationalist MP and poet born Artane, Dublin is commemorated on the Parliamentary War Memorial in Westminster Hall.
He left us the lines, “…Died not for flag, nor King, nor Emperor But for a dream, born in a herdsman’s shed And for the secret scripture of the poor”. From, To My Daughter Betty, The Gift of God.
John Hamilton Gordon (Lord Aberdeen) owned and lived in Dollis Hill House, London NW2 from 1881 until 1897 where his illustrious guests included William Gladstone and Lord Randolph Churchill. (Mark Twain was later to stay at the house).
Lord Aberdeen was twice Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, in 1886 and again in the critical years 1905 to 1915 during these years he lived in the Viceregal Lodge in Dublin’s Phoenix Park, now the residence of the President of Ireland, Áras an Uachtaráin.
Incidentally, in an upstairs window of Áras an Uachtaráin, a constantly lighted lamp signifies the love and and remembrance on the island for those who leave it while welcoming them home. Maybe this is the Irish tomb of the unknown warriors?
A slight change of direction to mark international Women’s Day, Wednesday 8 March.
St Bride’s Church Fleet Street EC4Y 8AU, honours Brigid (Kildare), one of Ireland’s best known saints. She was mistakenly and irrevocably consecrated a bishop thus gaining equal status about 1,500 years ago.
If you cannot visit the church, then a visit to its website is recommended – www.stbrides.com Here, in its rich history you can learn how its steeple inspired the traditional, tiered wedding cake and about the well-known couple who renewed their vows here on March 5 2015.
Three free tours, a hundred-thousand welcomes and a big thank you
Next, and slightly overdue, a hearty welcome or ‘cead mile failte’ to our new followers. We hope you are enjoying this perspective of London.
Also overdue, a big thank you or ‘go raibh maith agat’ to London Street Views and London Details, two excellent sites that name us among their favourite sites. We will return the compliment and provide you with a link to them very soon.