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Oliver Goldsmith, Pallas, Birthplace, County Longford
Oliver Goldsmith (1728 -1774) Memorial of birth place, Pallas, County Longford.
[ultimate_heading main_heading=”The Life & Times of” main_heading_color=”#878787″ sub_heading_color=”#878787″ alignment=”left” main_heading_font_family=”font_family:Open Sans|font_call:Open+Sans” main_heading_font_size=”desktop:24px;” sub_heading_font_family=”font_family:Architects Daughter|font_call:Architects+Daughter” sub_heading_font_size=”desktop:60px;” main_heading_style=”font-weight:bold;”]OLIVER GOLDSMITH[/ultimate_heading]

Oliver Goldsmith (1728 -1774) one of the greatest natural writers in the English language, was born in a tumbledown farmhouse at Pallas, a small hamlet to the east of Ballymahon in Co Longford. His father was the Rev. Charles Goldsmith, curate in the local Forgney Church.

In 1730 his family moved to The Parsonage of Lissoy in Co Westmeath where his father took on the role of curate in Kilkenny West. Here Goldsmith attended village school under the tutelage of Thomas Byrne.

In 1741 he was sent to school in Edgeworthstown and then at the age of 14 he entered Trinity College as a sizar (servant) working for others in the college in return for tuition. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1749 and then left Ireland for Britain in 1752 where he was supposed to begin studying medicine at the University of Edinburgh.

Unfortunately due to his penchant for gambling he squandered his finances and ended up studying at Leyden University in Holland for a year. In 1755 he left Leyden and took a Degree of Medicine at Louvain.

Thereafter he travelled widely on foot throughout Italy, France and Switzerland and then returned to London in 1756 where he became a school master and began writing book reviews for magazines.

In 1759 he published a book of his own entitled ” An enquiry into the Present State of Polite Learning in Europe” but it was the publication of his poem “The Traveller” that earned him his reputation as a writer of consequence and catapulted him into London’s intellectual and literary society.

His book “The Vicar of Wakefield” was published in 1766 followed by “The Good Natured Man” in 1768, his most famous poem “The Deserted Village” in 1770 and his comedy play “She Stoops to Conquer” in 1773. It is in these last too he focuses on aspects of rural life in sweet Auburn, (Co Longford), where he spent his youth.

He also wrote a number of historical and biographical works and at the time of his death on 4th April 1774 he was in the midst of creating “A History of the Earth and Animated Nature”.

After his death his friends paid for a memorial monument in Poets Corner at Westminster Abbey. The epitaph written by Samuel Johnson says “Oliver Goldsmith was one who left scarcely any kind of writing untouched, and touched nothing he did not adorn.” Trinity College Dublin also have a fine memorial statue in place in his honour.

The Goldsmith Literary Festival Committee host an annual event in honour of Goldsmith and his literary works. As part of this annual event, guided tours of Goldsmith country can be booked. However for those who wish to undertake a drive through Goldsmith country, visiting en-route not only the places of relevance to Oliver Goldsmith but also many historic, scenic and interesting places in Co Longford, See the Oliver Goldsmith Trail.

Oliver Goldsmith, Pallas, County Longford
Memorial Site of the Birth Place of Oliver Goldsmith, Longford.
Forgney Church, County Longford
Forgney Church, County Longford where Goldsmith's Father was Curate
Oliver Goldsmith Parsonage Lismoy
Remains of the Parsonage at Lismoy