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Origins &Endings

Taking a look at Robert's early life and the places he lived until his death in 1978.

"I'm seriously thinking that this might be my last film ... I no longer have anything real to say. " 

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1927 - 1933

WesthoughtonLancashire

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Robert was born at 51 King Street in Westhoughton, Lancashire  on August 9th 1927. He soon after lived at Oakleigh on Bolton Road and attended the White Horse Primary School. 

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StromnessOrkney Islands

1933 - 1936

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Robert's family moved to Stromness on The Orkney Islands in 1933 where his father ran a doctor's practice. Robert attended the Stromness Academy school where, as one of the few English children, he felt very isolated as the picture shows. He formed a football team of all the English kids and they beat the school team. His fathers' drinking got worse and in 1936, his mother Doreen moved him down to Truro in Cornwall. 

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1936 - 1944

TruroCornwall

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Robert and his family moved to Somerset in south west England in 1936 where his mother had relatives. Robert's father committed suicide in 1938 and this would have a life long impact on Robert. The family then moved to Cornwall. He attended the prodigious Truro School where he excelled at Rugby and Athletics, and found his love of theatre. He was also head boy at Truro School and played Rugby for Cambourne Town and Wasps.

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1963 - 1970

The Porch HouseColeshillBuckinghamshire

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Originally bought by Mary Ure and her then husband John Osborne, Robert and Mary lived here for 6-7 years. In 1969, the Shaws lived in the Finca mi Gusto in Madrid whilst looking for a property in Ireland. A huge lover of sport, Robert installed a table tennis table and a swimming pool. The house was eventually sold in 1970.

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1975

56 Curzon StreetMayfairLondon

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Robert and Mary were renting an apartment in this exclusive area of London whilst he was filming Diamonds and Mary was appearing in the play The Exorcism in the West End. It was here that Mary tragically died of an overdose of barbiturates and was found by Robert and his son Colin on April 3rd 1975.

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Drimbawn HouseTourmakeadycounty mayoireland

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1972 - 1978

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With the tax situation so bad in England Robert and Mary had to live abroad and after years of searching they finally found their dream home in Tourmakeady, County Mayo, Ireland. On the shores of Lough Mask, Robert had finally found a place of solace and he became a great favourite with the locals.

He hired local labour, tried his hand at farming and built a nine hole golf course in his grounds. He was a regular in Paddy's bar and the locals gave him a memorial in 2008 to mark his time as a cherished resident of Tourmakeady. After Mary's death he continued to live here until his own death in August 1978. 

Built by Catherine Plunket in the mid 1850s to the design of Patrick Byrne, the house was originally known as Lough Mask Cottage. By the mid 1870s it was the country home of Catherine Plunket's cousin Sir Richard Bolton McCausland and remained in the ownership of Sir Richard's descendants until the early 1960s. It is now owned by the Wilson family.

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