SHACKLETON NEWS ARCHIVE
Dr. Shackleton and his family, including the young Ernest, lived in Sydenham in South London, just over the hill from Dulwich. The Sydenham Community site includes a delightful entry on Shackleton, which also offers useful links to other Shackleton-related websites.
The site records the family's arrival in Croydon, London (1884) from Kilkea, Co. Kildare, Ireland, and then its subsequent move six months later to Sydenham.
'Ernest was first taught,' it explains, 'in one of Sydenham's many 'Dames Schools' - Fir Lodge, run by "the redoubtable Miss Higgins (with ear trumpet) and her Chief of Staff Miss Parry".
'Ernest was then sent to Dulwich College which was an energetic mile walk up a steep Westwood Hill and down an even steeper College Road. The advantage for Henry was that Ernest could be educated as a day pupil at famous public school for a modest £15 per annum. Dulwich, founded in 1618, was then more renowned for producing imperial administrators, businessmen and writers rather than for academic excellence.'
The site recalls that family of Emily Dorman - later to marry the young Ernest Shackleton in 1904 (see brief record below) - lived in 'The Firs' just a short distance away from the Shackleton's house, and speculates whether a block now with the same name might be on the site of the Dormans' former home.
There is also an entertaining section on Ernest Shackleton's brother Frank Shackleton (see also item below) and his association with the theft of the "Crown Jewels and other Insignia of the Order of St Patrick", popularly known as "The Irish Crown Jewels", which were found during a visit by King Edward VII in 1907 to have disappeared from a safe in Dublin Castle, Ireland. Frank's conviction on other matters was to hang like a cloud over the planned sailing of the Endurance half a dozen years later.
The rest of this interesting, thoughtful Shackleton entry is well worth reading, and those who are interested in where Shackleton lived will find a useful concise summary on the Antarctic Circle website.
Further information comes from the site Kent Archaeology, which draws attention to a series of graves and memorials in St. Bartholomew's Church, which adjoins Aberdeen House (now St. David's), the house in which Shackleton's family lived. Listed at 272 and 273 are the details of the Blue Plaque installed by London County Council on Shackleton's house and the following extended entry (slightly amended):
'Major Sir Ernest Henry SHACKLETON: born 15 Feb 1874 Kilkee, County Kildare; of 14 Milnthorpe Road, Eastbourne, Sussex; died on board the steam yacht Quest at Grytviken, South Georgia, in the Atlantic Ocean. Will proved 12 May 1922. Son of Henry Shackleton, MD (age 54 in 1901), and Henrietta Letitia Sophia [nee Gavan] (aged 55 in 1901), daughter of Henry John Gavan. Henry and Henrietta Shackleton had other issue: Amy V., 25 in 1901; Frank, 24 in 1901, died 1941 in Chichester (alias "Mellors"); Ethel R., 22 in 1901; Eleanor H., 21; Clara L., 20; Helen, 19; Kathleen, 17; Gladys M., 14 (born Sydenham).
'Ernest Shackleton married 9 Apr 1904 Emily Mary Dorman, daughter of Charles Dorman of Wadhurst, Sussex.'