Four colourful Irish Londoners
Posted on March 16 2017
With St Patrick’s day coming up and our ever present love for adventure spurring us on, we set out to find some true Irish treasures around London. Our quest led us to discover these four colourful Irish Londoners, and they inspired us so much that we wanted to share our luck with you.
So, to celebrate the St Patrick’s Festival in London, we will be giving away a UK Treasure Trail to anybody who posts a picture of themselves - with one of our Irish legends, at one of the London locations mentioned below - to our Instagram or Facebook pages and tagged with #DGUKIrishLegends, from Thursday 16 March 2017 to Sunday 19 March 2017.
Charles Macklin gained his greatest fame in the role of Shylock in The Merchant of Venice at the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane.
Even though his drive and discipline to perfect himself as an actor and teacher still inspires theatre practitioners today, Macklin was also known for his heated temper.
His career was often steeped in controversy and nearly ended in 1735 when he stood trial for murdering fellow actor, Thomas Hallam by fatally wounding him, through the eye with his cane, during a violent dispute over a wig. Apparently Macklin, who was not entitled to legal representation, did his own cross examinations and defence in court, and escaped with an accidental manslaughter conviction.
His memorial stone at St Paul’s Church in Covent Garden shows a dagger piercing the eye of a theatrical mask, a humble allusion, to his altercation with Thomas Hallam.
Can you find it?
Oscar Wilde became one of London's most popular playwrights in the early 1890s. He is remembered for his epigrams, his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, his plays, as well as the circumstances of his imprisonment and early death.
Wilde's life continues to fascinate, and he has been the subject of numerous biographies since his death. He was the ultimate celebrity of his own time and Wilde’s enduring legacy will continue to captivate audiences.
There is a sculpture called ‘Conversations with Oscar Wilde’ near to Charing Cross Station, do you know it?
There’s also a blue plaque to find on Suffolk Street near Trafalgar Square. See if you can locate it!
George Bernard Shaw
George Bernard Shaw was born in 1856, in Dublin, Ireland, but moved to London in his early twenties, where he wrote regularly but struggled financially.
He later became a theatre critic for the Saturday Review and began writing plays of his own. His play Pygmalion was made into a film twice and the screenplay he wrote for it won an Oscar. During his lifetime, he wrote more than 60 plays and won many other awards, among them the Nobel Prize.
Shaw lived at several London addresses – including one in Bloomsbury, one near the Savoy and one in Whitehall Court. Can you track down this stone at Adelphi Terrace off the Strand? It’s quite difficult to spot!
Sir Ernest Shackleton is widely known as one of the most inspirational leaders of the twentieth century.
He overcame all unimaginable odds when he ensured the survival and rescue of all his team members on his ship, the Endurance, during a Trans-Antarctic expedition. The group’s ship became trapped and crushed by the ice of the Weddell Sea and the team was forced to camp on the ice for 10 months.
When the ice started to melt, Shackleton led a small group of men across 1,300 km of open ocean and the mountainous terrain of South Georgia in a bid to seek help. In doing so he commendably rescued all 22 of his men who had remained stranded.
Shackleton’s name lives on as a synonym for courage, bravery and most of all, leadership.
There’s a statue of Shackleton on the wall of the Royal Geographical Society on Exhibition Road. You can also visit his portrait in the National Portrait Gallery – can you track down this great explorer?
We would also love to hear about what you’re planning for St Patrick’s Day weekend, or if you would like some ideas for outdoor puzzle adventures and treasure hunts, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on +44 (0) 207 193 4401.