Naming of Drury Court
The Naming of Drury Court Hotel
Plenty of people ask us where the name Drury Court came from, and whilst we are a family run establishment, this is not the name of the owners of the hotel. Instead, this also ties into the diverse history of our surrounding area, as the street formerly known as “Little Butter Lane” was given a make-over (or at least a name-over) in the 18th Century and became Drury Street. This was more than likely a nod to the famous theatrical street in London of the same name, especially as Dublin at the time (and possibly even still today) was seen as a ‘Little London’.
It was typical at the time for aspiring actors to serve their apprenticeship in Dublin, before moving on to London- examples of such names doing just this were Peg Woffington, Meg Jordon and Mossop and Spranger. But the area was not just a breeding ground for London-bound talent, SIgnora Violante (who started out as a tight-rope walker) moved her highly successful amusement booth and theatre from Temple Bar to George’s Lane (now George’s Street). As well as daring displays of acrobatics, she also used local children in a children’s opera: and it was here that Peg Woffington, the daughter of a local fruit seller, got her first taste of the stage.
On her return to Dublin, following huge acclaim on the London stage, Woffington was invited to preside over a meeting of the “Beefsteak Club”: a raucous evening of dinner and politics held weekly by Thomas Sheridan, and which no woman had ever been allowed to attend previously.