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Dr. George Ferdinand SHAW, LLD, FTCD, Anglo-Irish Scholar, Regius Professor of Greek, (1821-1899) | by londonconstant
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Dr. George Ferdinand SHAW, LLD, FTCD, Anglo-Irish Scholar, Regius Professor of Greek, (1821-1899)

Dr. George Ferdinand SHAW, LLD, FTCD,

(1821? - 1899 Dublin)

Anglo-Irish Scholar,

Sizar, Fellow, Junior Dean and Registrar of Trinity College Dublin

Regius Professor of Greek, Professor of Latin, TCD

Journalist, First editor of the Irish Times before he handed over the position to his brother-in-law and FTCD Rev. George Bomford Wheeler (1805-1877)

Council member and contributor to the Proceedings of the The Statistical and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland, Contributor to the Dublin Daily Mail, The Irish Times

Founder (1870) of the "Home Government Association" together with Major John Knox, editor and proprietor of the Irish Times (a Protestant and Conservative newspaper at that time); E. R. King Harman from a leading landlord family; and Isaac Butt, a prominent barrister and politician. They feared that the values, structures, and heritage consolidated by the Union, were being endangered by a weak-kneed United Kingdom parliament. The new association aimed to preserve this political heritage by establishing a determined Home Rule Protestant-led parliament in Dublin. Among its sixty early members were Protestants and Catholics, landlords and tenants, Conservatives, Liberals and Fenians. in 1873 as the Home Rule League, which was to take up the cause not only of Legislative independence for Ireland, but also a reform of the land system. To these was added the Roman Catholic demand for state supported denominational education.

• the Home Government Association 1870

• This was formed in Dublin by Isaac Butt. It appealed for Home Rule under the Crown. It wanted an Irish parliament elected from the Irish commons and gentry to control all but foreign policy. Gladstone violently opposed the Home Government Association and it was banned, but re-appeared in 1873 as the Home Rule League, with exactly the same aims. By the time the League became a political Party with MPs at Westminster, Butt died making room for Parnell who radicalised the structure as a powerful political party.

G.F. Shaw was a well-known man-about-town, indulging in journalism, and a friend and associate of the leading actors and actresses of the day. His interests, as declared to Who's Who, were plays, opera and drama. He was a friend of Sir Henry irving whose play were performed in Dublin and among his students he taught Oscar Wilde and Bram Stoker - the latter apparently having used Henry irving as an inspiration for Dracula.


George Ferdinand Show is described by Bernard Shaw (who was not a relation) as "literally what Shakespeare called “A Fellow (of Trinity College Dublin), almost damned in a fair wife ".

Among his students were John Kells Ingram (famous for hisballad "Memory of the Dead" written at TCD and set to music by Pigot), Oscar Wilde and a crop of influential barristers, judges and politicians including Canning and Tyrrell of Alahabad and the Dublin School of Classic scholars.


Husband of Ellen (nee Shinkwin) who inspired some of the characters in Bernard Shaw's plays and who describes her as "... a remarkable woman, who would have filled a larger place, in a larger world than that in which she was dropped."

Father-in-law of Robert Yelverton Tyrrell, Father of "Barnacle" Shaw, life-long friend of G.B.Shaw,

Grandfather of Deena Hanson, (Lady Hanson) Dublin Literary Hostess and Socialite and of Lady Thompson, wife of the Chief Commissioner for India Sir John Perronet Thompson, whose grandson is Sir Edward Humphrey Tyrrell Wakefield of Chillingham castle, Northumberland.

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Taken on August 20, 2009