Organised by the Gaelic League, the first, official Irish ceilidh was held in the Bloomsbury Hall, on this day in 1897. While I find it difficult to be certain, the address appears to be at 5-7 Tavistock Place, Mary Ward House (Mary Ward Centre is on Queen’s Square).
A new, English Heritage blue plaque marks the site of the Bryant & May match factory at Bow Quarter, 60 Fairfield Road, E3.
The strike against the atrocious working conditions here started in July 1888. It involved about 1,400 women and girl match makers, most of whom were Irish and came from an area known as the Fenian Barracks. Their victory was a watershed in rights for women workers. The cause of the match girls was aided by the social activist Annie Besant who was also of Irish extraction.
Ironically, perhaps, the factory is now gated and gentrified.
For more information, see Irish London, Kirkland R, Bloomsbury Press, London 2021.
Wilhelmina Geddes, perhaps, the world’s greatest stained-glass artist, had her studio here, the Glass House 9-12 Lettice Street, Fulham SW6 4EH (although born Leitrim in 1887, Wilhelmina considered herself “a Belfast girl”).
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?
Sam Maguire, born Mallabracca 1877, died 1927. Sat on the London County Board with Liam MacCarthy. Recruited Michael Collins into the IRB. London Hibernians to their All-Ireland finals at the turn of the century. Worked at Mount Pleasant Post Office, Clerkenwell EC1A 1BB. Best remembered by the All-Ireland senior football trophy, The Sam Maguire Cup.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.