on pavement grey

Where you can find the London addresses that were important to famous Irish people and of people who were important to Ireland.

Ireland’s largest emigrant takes centre stage

File:Denis Bourez - Natural History Museum, London (8900342705).jpg

Photo: Natural History Museum London by Denis Bourez (France) via WikiCommons Media – our thanks and appreciation.

London’s Natural History Museum announced recently that the skeleton of a blue whale will become their central exhibit in the Museum’s Hintze Hall from summer 2017. The whale was found injured in Wexford Harbour in 1891 and sold to the museum by William Armstrong. An example of the largest creature on Earth, she was 82ft long and weighed about 160 tonnes.

She replaces Dippy the diplodocus dinosaur – any suggestions for a name for the Irish blue whale?

The art of war and peace

Sir William ORPEN, painter born Stillorgan, Dublin 1878 died 1931, lived at 8 South Bolton Gardens, London SW5 (Studied art at the Metropolitan School and at the Slade School) an official war artist with an astonishing portfolio of powerful work.

His paintings and drawings say more than I can, and urge a visit to: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:William_Orpen

William Orpen, The signing of peace in the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles, 28 June 1919. 

Orpen, William (Sir) (RA) - The Signing of Peace in the Hall of Mirrors, Versailles, 28th June 1919 - Google Art Project.jpg

Ready to Start. Self-Portrait, 6 octobre 1917.Both pictures courtesy of the Imperial War Museum, London via Wikimedia commons

William Orpen-Ready to Start-1917.jpg

Humanitarian gun runner hanged for treason

Sir Roger Casement (6188264610).jpg

Photo http: National Library of Ireland http://www.nli.ie/en/flickr-commons.aspx via Wikimedia Commons

Sir Roger CASEMENT born Sandycove, Co Dublin 1864, executed 1916 in Pentonville Prison London, following a period in the Tower of London.

Yes, Roger Casement was all of these things. In 1904 he produced the Casement Report exposing the brutalities of the rubber industry in the Congo Free State which was run as a personal possession of the Belgian King, Leopold II.  Later, as Consul General in Rio de Janeiro he investigated the brutal activities of the Peruvian Amazon Company against the Putumayo Indians.

During the first world war Roger Casement tried unsuccessfully to raise an Irish brigade in Germany. On Good Friday 1916, three days before the 1616 rising, he was put ashore on Banna Strand from a submarine and was promptly arrested. A shipment of arms he had organised was intercepted on the same day.

His trial attracted controversy and his conviction hung on the the placing of a comma in the Treason Act of 1351. As well as this, the British government secretly circulated sections of Casement’s Journals known as the Black Diaries, to undermine support by portraying him at the time as being sexually suspect.

His remains were repatriated to Glasnevin, Dublin 50 years ago when he received a state funeral.

An artist in the dark art of propaganda

File:The Arrest of William Joyce ('lord Haw Haw') in Germany, May 1945 BU6911.jpg

This is photograph BU 6911 from the collections of the Imperial War Museums.

William JOYCE (Lord Haw-Haw) broadcaster (of fascist propaganda) born New York 1906 to unionist, Irish parents, grew up in Galway and executed in Wandsworth prison, London SW18 in 1946. With his wife Margaret, he left for Germany just before the outbreak of World War Two where they enjoyed an ‘interesting’ relationship. Announced with his droning of “Germany calling, Germany calling…” Joyce’s broadcasts were tuned into by millions of people.

The verdict of treason that led to his execution was controversial in that he lied to get the British passport he held and not being a legal British citizen could not have be guilty of treason against Britain – had his passport expired he would probably have escaped hanging.

The life of William Joyce contrasted with that of Brendan Bracken, previous entrant here, this contrast was the subject of Double Cross a play by Thomas Kilroy.

It’s a long way from Tipperary to 10 Downing Street

File:Winston Churchill at the Quebec Conference, August 1943 H32144.jpgFile:No. 10 Downing Street (7954372992).jpg

Dignitaries on the terrace at the Citadel overlooking Quebec Harbour, 18 August 1943. Seated are Anthony Eden (Foreign Secretary); President Roosevelt; the Countess of Athlone; Winston Churchill. Standing are the Earl of Athlone (Governor General of Canada); Mackenzie King (Prime Minister of Canada); Sir Alexander Cadogan (Permanent Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs); Brendan Bracken (Minister of Information).

Photograph: H 32144 from the collections of the Imperial War Museums via Wikimedia Commons. Photograph of No. 10 taken by Leonard Bentley via Wikimedia Commons.

Brendan BRACKEN, Minister for Information during World War II, Private Secretary to Winston Churchill, Privy Counciller and publisher born near Templemore Co. Tipperary 1901 lived on North Street (number required) and, for the duration of the War, at 10 Downing Street. Having led a full and prosperous life (he was a founder and Chairman of the Financial Times), he died in 1958.

Recommend looking up Bracken House, Cannon Street/Friday Street, near St Paul’s London EC4. This fellow blogger has a very authoritative feature, https://baldwinhamey.wordpress.com/2015/01/ 

Nineteen names and a big thank you

A big thank you to the increasing number of followers, commenters and visitors. You make it all worthwhile. Wishing you all the happiest of new years. And, thank you, to many of these other bloggers whose work I am enjoying.

The list of names here so far features a range of great Irish names from diverse fields (and mostly good London addresses!). There are more ready to be posted and yet more under research. I hope they will surprise and inform in equal measure. As a reminder here they all are, in reverse order, not forgetting the thousands commemorated at the Crown, Cricklewood,

William Butler YEATS

Sir Francis BEAUFORT

George Bernard SHAW

Sir Ernest Henry SHACKLETON

Dr Thomas John BARNARDO

Duke of WELLINGTON

Francis BACON

Countess Constance MARKIEWICZ

Erskine Robert CHILDERS

Daniel MACLISE

Oliver GOLDSMITH 

Bernardo O’HIGGINS

Daniel  O’ CONNELL

John Henry FOLEY

Bram STOKER

Richard Brinsley SHERIDAN

St Oliver PLUNKETT

Katharine O’ Shea

Louis MACNEICE

Snow time

File:52 Canonbury Park South N1.jpgMap of 52 Canonbury Park N, London N1 2JT

Louis MACNEICE , poet (born Belfast 1907 died 1963) lived at 52 Canonbury Park South, Islington, N1 from 1947 to 1952. Perhaps a good time of year for his poem ‘Snow’ follow the link below to read it and hear it read aloud it only takes a minute. I hope this is the kind of site that takes you on paths less well trodden.

http://www.thepoetryexchange.co.uk/uncategorized/snow-by-louis-macneice-2/

Photo of house by Spudgun67 on Wikimedia Commons, map from Google. 

Last posting was a saint this one a ‘sinner’

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Katharine O’ Shea (Kitty to her enemies) lived at 112 Tressillian Road SE4. Although born in Essex (1846) to a well connected family, her affair with and subsequent marriage to Charles Stewart Parnell stirred great moral outrage that affected the cause of Home Rule and altered the course of Irish history. A perfect example of not Irish but important to Ireland.

File:Charles Stuart Parnell cabinet card.jpgMap of 112 Tressillian Rd, London SE4

Pictures: thanks to Wikmedia Commons and Google

Born in Meath, hanged drawn and quartered in London

 

St Oliver PLUNKETT, martyr and Archbishop of Armagh, born Oldcastle, Co Meath 1629. A victim of Titus Oates’ ‘Papish Plot’, he was found guilty of high treason “for promoting the Catholic faith” and was condemned to be hanged, drawn and quartered. Executed at the Tyburn 1681, now 49 Connaught Square London W2. His preserved head can still be seen in St Peter’s Church Drogheda, Co Louth, Ireland.

Photos: head of St Oliver Plunkett St Peter’s Church Drogheda, Ireland. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons user Trounce.

 Portrait of St Oliver Plunkett, in writer’s collection.

Was ‘A School for Scandal’ inspired by Dublin or London?

A very warm welcome to the new followers of On Pavement Grey.

Please bear with me as I get comfortable with this whole scene. I hope this blog returns at least some of the pleasure yours have already given me.

Among other achievements, today’s notable wrote the play A school for Scandal. He was also a member of parliament and owner of the Theatre Royal on Drury Lane.

Map of 10 Hertford St, Mayfair, London W1J

Richard Brinsley SHERIDAN, dramatist born Dublin 1751 lived at 10 Hertford Street, London, W1 from 1795 to 1802. Buried at Poet’s Corner, Westminster Abbey 1816 – see the entry for Oliver Goldsmith. To defend the honour of his lover he fought a duel on the site of what is now Apsley House – see the entry for the Duke of Wellington.

Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Mrs Brinsley Sheridan by Gainsborough and Richard Brinsley Sheridan.

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