Famous London residents
There are far too many famous Londoners to mention, but here are some highlights.
- One of the most famous residents of London was the dramatist and wit Oscar Wilde. Although born in Ireland in 1854, Wilde spent many years in Tite Street, Mayfair. There is a fantastic prostrate statue of Oscar opposite Charing Cross where you are invited to sit and converse with the great literary icon.
- The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea was home to many literary figures in the 19th century and many of their lives are commemorated by these eye-catching blue plaques, which can be seen in almost every street. World renowned children’s writer and author of Winnie the Pooh, A A Milne, lived in Chelsea at 13 Mallord Street
- JM Barrie wrote peter pan in a studio to the rear of 100 Bayswater. He moved here in 1902 overlooking Kensington Gardens, and it was here that he first met the sons of his close neighbours, Arthur and Sylvia Llewelyn Davies. Peter Pan became the boy who wouldn’t grow up, and his character was an amalgam of the Llewelyn Davies boys.
- Although it is said that T.S. Eliot disliked Kensington he spent most of his working life at various addresses in the borough. He came to Kensington Park Gardens shortly after his marriage to Valerie Fletcher. He was a devoted Christian and was sustained by his close friendship with Father Cheetham, vicar of St Stephen’s Church, Gloucester Road, where he served as a churchwarden for many years.
- Sylvia Pankhurst was an English campaigner for the suffragist movement in the United Kingdom. She was for a time a prominent left communist who then devoted herself to the cause of anti-fascism. She had a house at Cheyne Walk The blue plaque and the blue stucco identifies no 120, the house used as a base by Sylvia. The small house next door behind the tree was once Turner’s home.
- 13-14 Princes Gate SW7, Knightsbridge, London. 13-14 Princes Gate was the residence of the American Ambassador to the Court of St James from 1921 until 1955. JFK lived there with his family when his father, Joseph Kennedy, was ambassador between 1938 and 19 40.
- Jimi Hendrix lived at 23 Brook Street for quite a short time during the years 1968-1969. Hendrix only stayed there a few days in February and March 1969, he then returned to America. There were persistant rumours that George Friedrich Handel had been a previous resident at 23 Brook street (this however has turned out to be untrue, Handel lived at neighbouring number 25). When told by a journalist that Hendrix was now living in the same house as the famous composer had lived he replied: “I didn’t even know this was his pad, man, until after I got in. And to tell you the God’s honest truth I haven’t heard much of the fella’s stuff. But I dig a bit of Bach every now and then.”
- When Sir Isaac Newton left the Royal the Mint in late 1696, he moved into No. 88, built soon after 1675 on land leased from the Earl. This house is now one of the few surviving from the period (see photograph.) In 1700 he moved next door to No. 87 which is no longer standing. He finally left Jermyn Street in 1709 for Chelsea.
- Gandhi lived at 20 Baron’s Court Road, Hammersmith and Fulham, W14, London. He lived there having travelled to London, In 1888, to study law at University College London where he studied Indian law and jurisprudence and to train as a barrister at the Inner Temple.
- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart lived in London from 23 April 1764 until 30 July 1765. Whilst here he wrote his first two symphonies and regularly performed before admiring audiences.
- Sir Winston Churchill lived and died here 28 Hyde Park Gate, Kensington Gore, Kensington and Chelsea, SW7, London. Hyde Park Gate is an address in central London, England, which applies to two parallel roads in Kensington on the southern boundary of Kensington Gardens. It is probably most famous for being the death place of Sir Winston Churchill.
- Charles X of France When the French Revolutionary Wars broke out in 1792, Charles escaped to Great Britain, where King George III of Great Britain gave him a generous allowance . He made a home at 72 South Audley Street, between 1805 and 1814.
March 12, 2012 rentonomy Topical