London Times

Around the year 1911 MacGill sent an article on 'navvy' life to the London newspaper, The Daily Express. So impressed was the then editor, A. C. Pearson, that MacGill was offered a job as a journalist and so the 'Navvy Poet' came to Fleet Street, London. MacGill however was not a successful journalist and did not enjoy routine reporting on subjects such as latest fashions in men's neckties and socks or pet shows.

McGill remained with The Daily Express for only a short period of time. By 1913, after meeting the Rev. Sir John Neale Dalton, tutor to the Prince of Wales, MacGill was given a new career opportunity and he readily accepted. He was appointed King's Librarian to George V and worked in the Chapter Library at Windsor Castle translating Latin manuscripts. However his socialist ideals did not wane and he still gave the occasional radical lecture.

4 The Cloisters Windsor

Dear Comrade, I have found a copy other than the only one which I thought I possessed, and shall be pleased if you accept it as a present from a fellow socialist. (I presume you are one).

Yours fraternally

Patrick MacGill.

4 The Cloisters Windsor Castle

Dear Comrade, I've signed the paper re. Tolstoy and sent it along. I hope the good object will be obtained, but I'm afraid "the things that should be" are long in coming in the land of the Czar. I beg to enclose a copy of my new book as a present. You'll find it on top of the 6 others which you can have for the benefit of the branch of B.S.P at the usual trade terms 4/6 per ½ doz sale or return. I suppose financially it will not be very strong (your branch). The S.D.P to which I belong in Greenock is and was always in a struggling way, which I think is one conspicuous sign of the Cause. But the great spirit more than recompenses. I was employed for 3 months on the London Daily Express. When I say its owned by Pearson you'll understand how glad I was to leave. I have now a job here translating and copying old English mss of the 13th century, a job in which I'm much interested. I'm not to blame however for my surroundings as one must work somewhere, and I've induced my master (?) to read The Clarion. He's not a bad sort, but belong's to the class which sooner or later have to go.

Yours fraternally,

Patrick MacGill


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