The traditionally accepted date of Saint George’s death in 303 AD, April 23rd, is it seems an auspicious day….for not only is it recognised as St Georges Day (the patron saint of England) but it is also William Shakespeare’s birth and death day, and my birthday…
Since 23 April 1616 was the date of death and possibly anniversary of birth of the English playwright William Shakespeare (according to the Julian calendar), UNESCO declared this day the International Day of the Book.
Celebrated by many other countries around the world, in fact St George is even mentioned in the will of Alfred the Great. England is not the only country to embrace our lad St George, many other countries celebrate St George’s Day too, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece, Macedonia, Romania, and Serbia as well as which a great number of cities including Genoa in Italy, Beirut in Lebanon, Qormi and Victoria in Malta, Moscow in Russia, Ljubljana in Slovenia and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, amongst many others it’s also celebrated in the old Crown of Aragon in Spain — Aragon, Catalonia, Valencia, and Majorca. So we do indeed have much in common with many other parts of the world.
As for William himself, born in Stratford-Upon-Avon, the date of his birth, although unknown, is universally accepted as 23rd April, he was baptised on 26 April 1564 during what became known as the Elizabethan era – 1558-1603.
London has paid homage to both men and you can find many statues, busts, stained glass windows and paintings featuring them both.
1. St Lawrence Jewry Church, City of London – St George
2. Guildhall Art Gallery, City of London – Shakespeare
3. Leicester Square, City of Westminster – Shakespeare
4. Kingly Street, City of Westminster – St George
5. British Library, London Borough of Camden – Shakespeare
6. St Margaret Street, City of Westminster – Shakespeare
7. Dorset Rise, City of London – St George
9. St George’s Church, Bloomsbury
10. St George’s Church, Southwark
11. Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre
12. The George Inn, Southwark – my favourite pub
There are areas, hotels, buildings, universities, roads and a great number of Pubs named for St George and not just a few for Shakespeare….so wherever you go, keep your eyes peeled for these two lads…and as for me……I’ve been around I started life in Johannesburg, South Africa and have since adopted the United Kingdom as my home, discovering to my surprise, the links to these two auspicious men. Here I am in London:
Trooping the Colour 2010
The Royal Wedding 2011
The Green Man 2013
Jamie Oliver’s Britain’s forgotten foods, filming forThe Original Maids of Honour in Kew at Richmond Green 2013
The Tudor Pull 2014
The Shard 2014
I’ve no doubt there are many many more places where we could find these two gentlemen…..be sure to look out for them and when you do, join me on facebook and share your images.
Look out for the St Georges Day celebrations:
at Leadenhall Market, Thursday 23rd April with Ewell Morris Men Wandering Minstrel and St George! Nearest station: Bank
and the Feast of St George at Trafalgar Square on Saturday 25th April – nearest stations: Charing Cross & Leicester Square
Plan your journey: http://www.tfl.gov.uk
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