Intriguing People and their Connections with British History

Intriguing people in British history. In this historic theme we muse upon characters we find intriguing. People whose deeds or words capture our imagination find there way onto our time line. What is really intriguing is seeing the people who we know about disparately but who lived at the same time. Did they know each other, were they friends or foes? Take a look at the timeline to find out more.

intriguing people

I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious
Albert Einstein

In this theme we explore individuals who left their mark on history or influenced others. Drawn from a wide sphere Kings, Queens, Princes, Politicians, Reformers, Artists, Scientists, Matchmakers and Lamplighters, Engineers to Philosophers, what makes them do what they do and be who are they?

Intriguing people who sometimes slip through the net of history.

Lt. Colonel Percival Harrison Fawcett born in 1867 was a British artillery officer, archaeologist and South American explorer. Along with his eldest son, he disappeared under unknown circumstances in 1925 during an expedition to find "Z", his name for what he believed to be an ancient lost city in the uncharted jungles of Brazil.

Intriguing People

Percival Harrison Fawcett

Some people have been written out of history or not included in the first place, Many influential women, whose influence has changed the course of history are some of the most intriguing. Everyone has their place in history and the voices of rich and poor need to be heard. All are intriguing people, their actions and inaction, their friends and families, colleagues and known associates and even their enemies, detractors and opponents.

Despite our island status, our history, stretches outwards, far and wide across 5 continents.

British Kings and Queens - the Monarchs and their  Prime Ministers.

Intriguing People will always be growing as we establish interests, connections and linkages between the lives of these amazing characters and their roles in British History; Aritists, Authors, Architects, Artisans and Women in History. Interactive and searchable lists, articles, timelines and family trees to help you make your own intriguing connections.

Intriguing people

Matilda Duchess of Saxony

1147 - 1219William Marshall
Politician Knight under King John.
1167 - 1216King John
King of England who sealed Magna Carta
1445 - 1527Jane Shore
Mistress of King Edward IV
1485 - 1540Thomas Cromwell
English lawyer and statesman who served as chief minister to King Henry VIII of England from 1532 to 1540. Cromwell was one of the strongest and most powerful advocates of the English Reformation
1494- 1536William Tyndale
English scholar who became a leading figure in Protestant reform under King Henry VIII until he was executed. He is well known for his translation of the Bible into English
1543 - 1634Lettice KnollysRival to Queen Elizabeth I, she was Countess of Essex and Countess of Leicester, was an English noblewoman and mother to the courtiers Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, and Lady Penelope Rich, although via her marriage to Elizabeth I's favourite, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, she incurred the Queen's unrelenting displeasure
1552 - 1634Edward Coke
English barrister and judge who opposed James I and authored the Petition of Right
1561 - 1626Francis BaconEnglish philosopher and statesman. His works are credited with developing the scientific method, and remained influential through the scientific revolution.
1588 - 1679Thomas HobbesEnglish philosopher, considered to be one of the founders of modern political philosophy. Hobbes is best known for his 1651 book Leviathan
1617 - 1692Elias AshmoleEnglish antiquary, politician, officer of arms, astrologer and student of alchemy.
1623 - 1673Margaret CavendishEnglish aristocrat, philosopher, poet, scientist, fiction-writer, and playwright
1624 - 1691George Fox
Theologian. English dissenter and Founder of the Society of Friends (Quakers)
1632 - 1704John Locke English philosopher and physician, widely regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers and commonly known as the "Father of Liberalism"
1632 - 1723Christopher Wren English anatomist, astronomer, geometer, and mathematician-physicist, as well as one of the most highly acclaimed English architects in history.
1644 - 1718William Penn Theologian Lawyer
Theologian Lawyer. The son of an admiral and landowner, he was educated in theology and the law. In his twenties he converted to the Quaker religion and was jailed several times for his resistance to the Church of England. In 1681, he received a royal charter to form a new colony in America, to be named Pennsylvania; he envisioned this territory as a peaceful refuge for members of all religious beliefs.
1659 - 1695Henry PurcellEnglish composer. Although incorporating Italian and French stylistic elements into his compositions, Purcell's legacy was a uniquely English form of Baroque music
1660 - 1731Daniel DefoeEnglish trader, writer, journalist, pamphleteer and spy. He is most famous for his novel Robinson Crusoe
1660 - 1731Daniel Defoe. Writer, journalist and dissenter. Educated at Newington Green Academy, Defoe is probably best known for his book, Robinson Crusoe. He was however at heart a trader who believed that trade was the most noble, most instructive and improving of anyway of life. He was a man of his time who thought that all hope for Britain's future lay in its ability to trade with the rest of the world.
1666 - 1731Mary AstellEnglish feminist and rhetorician. Her advocacy of equal educational opportunities for women earned her the title, the first English feminist.
1672 - 1719Joseph AddisonEnglish essayist, poet and politician who along with Richard Steele founded the spectator.
1689 - 1762Mary Wortley Montagu Writer and Social Reformer
Aristocrat, writer and social reformer.
Writer Social Reformer
1693 - 1776John HarrisonClock maker and inventor of the marine chronometer for determining longitude.
1697 - 1764William Hogarth. Engraver, painter, satirist and social critic who dared to poke and prod the deepest and darkest aspects of life as he saw it. His series of moral works, The Harlots Progress and The Rakes Progress brought him instant recognition.
1709 - 1784Dr Samuel Johnson.Writer, lexicographer
1716 - 1772James BrindleyEnglish engineer who is best known for his work on canal building.
1717 - 1806Elizabeth CarterEnglish philosopher, considered to be one of the founders of modern political philosophy.
1725 - 1795Robert BakewellEnglish agriculturalist. Recognized as one of the most important people in the Agricultural Revolution. Implemented system of selective breeding.
1728 - 1792Robert AdamsScottish Neoclassical architect. Interior and furniture designer.
1728 - 1809Matthew BoultonManufacturer and business man. Founder of the Lunar Society.
1728 - 1779James Cook
Captain in the Royal Navy, scientist, cartographer and explorer
1731 - 1802Erasmus Darwin One of the key thinkers of the Midlands Enlightenment, he was also a natural philosopher, physiologist, slave-trade abolitionist, inventor and poet.
1737 - 1794Edward GibbonHistorian, writer, Member of Parliament. Author of The History of the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire.
1743 - 1820Joseph Banks
British explorer and naturalist, and one of the great men of his age. As long-time President of the Royal Society he steered the course of British science for the first part of the 19th century.
1746 - 1815James Lackington.Bookseller, trader, author. Bookseller who owned a book shop called the 'Temple of the Muses' and who through selling books cheaply, revolutionised the sale of books and who saw reading as enlightenment.
1748 - 1832Jeremy BenthamPhilosopher, social reformer and founder of modern Utilitarianism.
1749 - 1806Charlotte Turner SmithPoet, Novelist whose hard life did not diminish her but seemed to spur her to write. Wordsworth identified her as having an important influence on the Romantic Movement.
1759 - 1833William Wilberforce
English politician, philanthropist, and a leader of the movement to abolish the slave trade.
Politician Philanthropist
1762 - 1851Joanna BaillieScottish poet and dramatist.
1770 - 1852Sarah Guppy Engineer
In 1811 she patented the first of her inventions, a method of making safe piling for bridges. She was a friend of Isambard Kingdom Brunel and gave him and the government advice on the GWR.
1775 - 1817Jane AustenEnglish novelist primarily known for her 6 major novels.
1778 - 1818Mary BruntonEnglish naturalist, botanist and patron of the Natural Sciences.
1780 - 1845Elizabeth Fry
English prison reformer, social reformer and, as a Quaker, a Christian philanthropist
Social Reformer
1781 - 1864Lucy AikinEngish historical writer, biographer and correspondent.
1788 - 1872Samuel BamfordEnglish radical and writer.
1792 - 1867Archibald AlisonScottish advocate and historian.
1799 - 1847Mary Anning Fossil Hunter
Dorset fossil dealer and palaeontologist who became famous for her discovery of the first ichthyosaur skeleton.
1805 - 1865Robert Fitzroy
Royal Naval Officer. Captain of HMS Beagle with Darwin. Scientist and meteorologist who created an accurate way of forecasting weather for sailors.
Naval Officer Scientist
1812 - 1870Charles DickensEnglish writer and social reformer, friend of Florence Nightingale.
1815 - 1852Ada Lovelace
English mathematician who worked with Charles Babbage on his early mechanical computer
1819 - 1891Joseph Bazalgette
Engineer who built London's sewers and embanked the Thames.
1820 - 1910Florence NightingaleEnglish social reformer, statistician and founder of modern nursing.
1827 - 1912Joseph Lister
British surgeon and pioneer of the use of antiseptics in surgery.
1828 - 1906Josephine Butler
Feminist and social reformer who was especially concerned with the welfare of prostitutes.She campaigned against child prostitution and against the Contagious Diseases Acts which allowed women suspected of being prostitutes to be forceably examined. She also campaigned on educational issues.
1831 - 1904Isabella Bird
English explorer, writer, photographer and naturalist. She worked with Josephine Butler on various social issues.
Writer Explorer naturalist social reformer
1855 - 1926Dorothy Tennant Stanley
Victorian neo-classicist painter who married Henry Stanley the explorer. She was also an author.
Writer Painter
1862 - 1900Mary Kingsley Writer and Scientist
Ethnographic and Science writer who explored and wrote about Africa among the founders of the Royal African Society. She was the niece of Charles Kingsley the writer.
1871 - 1962Ethel Mary Charles
Architect. First woman to be admitted to the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in 1898.
1876 - 1928Eglantyne Jebb Founder of Save the Children Social Reformer
1894 - 1978Victoria Drummond First woman marine engineer in BritainEngineer
1908 - 1964Ian Fleming Author of James Bond Novels
In WW2 Ian Fleming received a commission in the Royal Navy and worked for British Naval Intelligence. Eventually serving as the assistant to Admiral John Godfrey, the director of Naval Intelligence. He learnt about espionage and after the war became an author, writing the James Bond novels.