Theobald’s Road, Holborn

Pictured: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor c1893

From Wikipedia:

“Theobald’s Road is a road in the Holborn district of London. It is named after Theobald’s Palace because King James I used this route when going between there and London, travelling with his court and baggage of some 200 carts. For this reason, it was also known as the King’s Way which is now the name of the nearby road, Kingsway.

A tram tunnel was built under Kingsway in 1902–1906 which had its north-eastern entrance at Theobald’s Road. When the tram network was closed in the 1950s, the Theobald’s Road end was used as a flood control centre and movie location.

The road’s name is usually pronounced intuitively (/ˈθiːəbəldz/), but traditionally it was pronounced “Tibbalds” (/ˈtɪbəldz/).

Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield, KG, PC, FRS, was born at 22, Theobald’s Road, Bloomsbury, Middlesex, on 21 December 1804, and lived until 19 April 1881. He was a British politician of the Conservative Party who twice served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. He played a central role in the creation of the modern Conservative Party, defining its policies and its broad outreach. Disraeli is remembered for his influential voice in world affairs, his political battles with the Liberal Party leader William Ewart Gladstone, and his one-nation conservatism or “Tory democracy”. He made the Conservatives the party most identified with the glory and power of the British Empire. He is the only British prime minister to have been of Jewish birth. He was also a novelist, publishing works of fiction even as prime minister.

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor was born at 15, Theobald’s Road, Holborn, on 15 August 1875, and lived until 1 September 1912. He was an English composer and conductor of mixed race; his mother was an English woman and his father was a Sierra Leone Creole physician. (His mother, Alice Hare Martin, named her son Samuel Coleridge Taylor after the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge). Coleridge-Taylor achieved such success that he was referred to by white New York musicians as the “African Mahler” when he had three tours of the United States in the early 1900s. He was particularly known for his three cantatas on the epic poem, Song of Hiawatha by American Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Coleridge-Taylor premiered the first section in 1898, when he was 22.

He married an Englishwoman, Jessie Walmisley, and both their children had musical careers. Their son Hiawatha adapted his father’s music for a variety of performances. Their daughter Avril Coleridge-Taylor became a composer-conductor.

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