Ok so we didn't get the first Irish mention of this series yet but we did our own bit of digging around to find an Irish connection. In case you missed it Sebastian Coe, arguably the world’s greatest middle distance runner in the 1980s, winning two Olympic gold medals for the 1500 metres and breaking a number of world records, traced his heritage back to his great – great – great –great – grandfather George Hyde Clarke. Clarke was an 18th century sugar baron, who made a fortune from plantations in Jamaica worked by more than 500 slaves.
Clark was married to Catherine Hussey, daughter of Robert Hussey, from Donore, Co. Kildare. The Hussey’s were a well know land owning family at the time. Both of Catherine’s sisters eventually settled in Bordeaux in France, while Catherine split her time between Jamaica and Hyde Hall near Manchester. Unfortunately Catherine had to share her husband with various other women, including his mistress Sophia Astley, Coe’s great-great-great-grandmother. Catherine had two sons by George, George, born in 1768, and Edward, born in 1770. After George’s death, Catherine lived out her years at Hyde Hall, her son Georg now head of the estate.
Here’s hoping for some Irish connections in the rest of the series or maybe we'll just have to wait for the new Irish series to start.