Waxy O’Connor was born in Smithfield, Dublin City, in the year 1788. He gained his name by way of his profession as a candle maker. Primarily, he is remembered for his great appetite and capacity for hard liquor. It seems he was not alone amongst men of his craft - their fondness for and ability to consume copious quantities of beer and whiskey are legendary.
The excuse for such excesses is that as candle makers had to work in such extreme heat it sapped a man of both energy and fluids. As Waxy O’Connor was heard to comment, “Such heat does parch a man - a parched man is a barren man - and beer is the only cure .......ah, us lads could put away gallons in a day!”
Water, it seems, was an unknown elixir.
The ‘Waxy O’Connor’s tree’ was planted 250 years in Midlands Ireland and died naturally in 1994. A local woodworker, who played around the Beech tree as a boy, hewed the pieces that were then shipped to England and ‘planted’ in Waxy O’Connor’s in August 1995.
So, now a tree, which has lived for a quarter of a millennium in Ireland, begins a new lease of ‘life’ in the heart of London.
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