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.
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).
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?
Michael Collins, revolutionary, born 1890 in Sam’s Cross near Clonakility Co Cork. He left there in 1906 to work in London where he lived and worked for nearly a third of his life.
In 1914 he moved into a flat at 5 Netherwood Road, W14 which he shared with his sister Hannie. A discreet plaque commemorates its illustrious resident.
Around the corner and behind the Olympia Exhibition Centre at 23 Blythe Road W14, is Blythe House, the Post Office Savings bank where he worked until 1910.
Thanks to Katie Walsh for sourcing these gems.
For more information, especially on Collins’ life in London, see Michael Collins: A Life by James Mackay, Mainstream Publishing 1996.
Colonel Thomas Blood, adventurer and inspiration of films was born in Co Clare during 1618. His most impressive escapade was not just his attempt to steal the Crown Jewels from the Tower of London but to be rewarded with a royal pardon, money and land.
He lies by the Church of St Margaret, Westminster SW1P 3JX
Eva Gore-Booth, poet, dramatist suffragist and human rights activist was born in Co Sligo (1870). She rests at St John-at-Hampstead, Church Row, Hampstead NW3 6UU.
(Her sister Constance also features in this blog.)
IMAGE COURTESY OF WIKIPEDIA