London has been home of many famous Englishmen. Some were born there. Some lived there all their lives. Others lived in London only for a short time but all gave something to this great city.
One of the first names of importance is that of Geoffrey Chaucer, the poet. He lived most of his life in London. He knew the courts of King Richard II d King Henry IV. His most famous work, 'The Canterbury Tales", opens at the Tabard Inn, in Southwark. Chaucer held official posts in London and is buried in Westminster Abbey.
William Shakespeare also lived in London. He lived there for more than twenty years. He acted at the Globe Theatre and wrote his plays in London. But London's famous men are not only writers. Sir Christopher Wren, the architect, spent most of his life in London. He designed many beautiful churches, including St. Paul's Cathedral. He also designed palaces and fine houses.
Music is represented by a very interesting figure. This is George Frederick Handel. He came to London from Hannover in 1710. He lived for a time at Burlington House, Piccadilly, now the Royal Academy. After some success and some failure he at last became famous. This happened when he composed "The Messiah". "Judas Maccabeus". and 'The Music for the Royal Fireworks". Like Chaucer and many other great artists, Handel is buried in Westminster Abbey.
Another famous London figure is one of England's greatest seamen. Admiral Lord Nelson. He has a very special memorial in Trafalgar Square. The monument consists of a very tall column. On top of it stands a figure of Nelson. It is called the Nelson Column. Equally famous is the general who led the army at the battle of Waterloo in 1815. This was the Duke of Wellington. His house stands at Hyde Park Comer. It is sometimes known as Number One, London. Like Admiral Nelson, the Duke of Wellington is buried in St. Paul's Cathedral.