Intriguing People and their Intriguing Connections.

Intriguing people in British history. In this historic theme we muse upon characters we find intriguing. People whose deeds or words capture our imagination. 

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Find out who we find intriguing using the timeline or explore other historical themes via maps and timelines. Intriguing people in British history who are they, and who did they know? How did they connect with each other and our history?

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 Monarchs and Prime Ministers,  Who is your “Greatest Britain in History?” coming soon, 50th Anniversary tribute Winston Churchill was he a polymath? Expanding our collections shortly to include, 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.

 

Alexandra Feodorovna

Alexandra Feodorovna

Alexandra Feodorovna the last Russian Tsarina was she ultimately responsible for the downfall and murder of the Romanov family? She was ostracized by the Russian court, its people and many in Europe, what part did this play in forcing her towards Rasputin?

WW1 Remembrance Poetry Art and Hope

WW1 Remembrance Poetry Art and Hope

The Digital Archives of WW1 Poetry needs little introduction. Worthy of a reflective browse and full of deeply moving artefacts. When souls in the extremes of horrific wars raise themselves to such heights, in spite of all they face, it feels like the least we can do is to take inspiration from their art and…

Rachel Wriothesley wife of Lord Russell

Rachel Wriothesley wife of Lord Russell

Rachel Wriothesley played an interesting role in 17th Century intrigue but who was she? Rachel was born in 1636 in Titchfield Hampshire, the daughter of Thomas Wriothesley the 4th Earl of Southampton. The Wriothesley’s had an illustrious history, after the Reformation, the family grew more powerful and wealthier than ever before. Thomas Wriothesley, the 1st…

Sarah Guppy an English Inventor

Sarah Guppy an English Inventor

Sarah Guppy an English inventor and a rare breed indeed. She was born in 1770 and developed a passion for engineering that culminated in a plethora of useful and esoteric inventions.

The Cult of Chivalry

The Cult of Chivalry

The cult of chivalry was born out of the military culture that existed in the 11th century Chivalry was a code of honour for military warriors to follow. These men came from part of the elite ‘aristocratic’ society that existed at the time. Quite literally, the word chivalry came from the French word ‘chevalerie’ meaning…

Fair Rosamund

Fair Rosamund

Fair Rosamund, another intriguing woman of the Plantagenet period. Mistress of King Henry II but just why was she so important in his life?

IT Livery Companies History and Dame Shirley

IT Livery Companies History and Dame Shirley

Dame Stephanie Shirley, aka Steve computing pioneer, philanthropist and advocate for strategic projects in Autism and child escaping Nazi Germany via the British Kindertransport initiative. She survived and succeeded against the odds, one 10,000 against one and a half million that perished..She is part of history and very much alive and still making it happen, she is for me an inspiration and continues a long line of great contributions to British life that started with the story of a migration and the struggles of an immigrant trying to make the best of the cards life has dealt the, We can all learn something from Dame Shirley.

Richard II King 1377-1399

Richard II King 1377-1399

Richard II son of the Black Prince and Grandson of Edward III what kind of a King would he make coming to the throne at just 9 years old, confronting the Peasants Revolt and growing-up with the burden of kingship. Follow his timeline and chronology of the events that shape his life and impact on his kingdom.

Sidney Street Siege and Winston Churchill 1911

Sidney Street Siege and Winston Churchill 1911

Winston Churchill as Home Secretary 1911, dressed in Top Hat it could be mistaken for a scene from the Silent movies but find out what happened and decide for yourself was it ‘over-the-top’ for Winston to be there and to call in Artillery?

Edward Coke 1552 – 1634

Edward Coke 1552 – 1634

Edward Coke, supreme barrister and politician of the C16th and C17th, whose belief and work in Common Law became part of the English and US Constitution whose name should be known by every child in the UK.

Duke of Windsor Sends his Best to Winston Churchill

Duke of Windsor Sends his Best to Winston Churchill

A British King had abdicated for the woman he loved, some 18 years later he would make a rare and awkward film appearance on the occassion of Winston Churchill’s 80th. Had the political climate thawed after the tragedy of a family divided and the Duke wanted to pay tribute and honour an old friend and loyal servant of the nation. An intriguing moment that might be repeated, see he video and follow our new Windsor period on Intriguing History.

Winston Churchill 50th Anniversary Tribute

Winston Churchill 50th Anniversary Tribute

The start of a series of some facets of Winston Churchill and his intriguing connections, the character of the man himself his triumphs and failures, his polymorphic abilities, science, writing, oratory excellence, the people he knew and what he thought about them and vice versa. Simply one of the most intriguing men in at least British 20th century history, he had his failing but packed huge amounts in to a life of extremes and huge contrasts. What can we find and connect as a series on the intriguing people he was involved with, how he promoted and developed science and technology throughout his career and a little colour about the character of the man.

Intriguing People Timeline

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An evolving timeline of intriguing people
Birth DateDeath DatePersonBiography and Connections.
11471219William Marshall
Politician Knight under King John.
11671216King John
King of England who sealed Magna Carta
monarch
14451527Jane Shore
Mistress of King Edward IV
14851540Thomas 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
14941536William 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
15521634Edward Coke
English barrister and judge who opposed James I and authored the Petition of Right
16241691George Fox
Theologian. English dissenter and Founder of the Society of Friends (Quakers)
16441718William 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.
16601731Daniel 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.
16891762Mary Wortley Montagu Writer and Social Reformer
Aristocrat, writer and social reformer.
Writer Social Reformer
16971764William 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.
17091784Dr Samuel Johnson.Writer, lexicographer
17281779James Cook
Captain in the Royal Navy, scientist, cartographer and explorer
17431820Joseph 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.
17491806Charlotte 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.
17461815James 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.
17591833William Wilberforce
English politician, philanthropist, and a leader of the movement to abolish the slave trade.
Politician Philanthropist
17701852Sarah 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.
Engineer
17801845Elizabeth Fry
English prison reformer, social reformer and, as a Quaker, a Christian philanthropist
Social Reformer
17991847Mary Anning Fossil Hunter
Dorset fossil dealer and palaeontologist who became famous for her discovery of the first ichthyosaur skeleton.
Scientist
18051865Robert 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
18151852Ada Lovelace
English mathematician who worked with Charles Babbage on his early mechanical computer
18191891Joseph Bazalgette
Engineer who built London's sewers and embanked the Thames.
18271912Joseph Lister
British surgeon and pioneer of the use of antiseptics in surgery.
18281906Josephine 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.
18311904Isabella Bird
English explorer, writer, photographer and naturalist. She worked with Josephine Butler on various social issues.
Writer Explorer naturalist social reformer
18551926Dorothy Tennant Stanley
Victorian neo-classicist painter who married Henry Stanley the explorer. She was also an author.
Writer Painter
18621900Mary 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.
18711962Ethel Mary Charles
Architect. First woman to be admitted to the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in 1898.
18761928Eglantyne Jebb Founder of Save the Children Social Reformer
18941978Victoria Drummond First woman marine engineer in BritainEngineer
19081964Ian 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.
Novelist
18201910Florence NightingaleEnglish social reformer, statistician and founder of modern nursing.
18121870Charles DickensEnglish writer and social reformer, friend of Florence Nightingale.
17921867Archibald AlisonScottish advocate and historian.
17881872Samuel BamfordEnglish radical and writer.
17811864Lucy AikinEngish historical writer, biographer and correspondent.
17781818Mary BruntonEnglish naturalist, botanist and patron of the Natural Sciences.
17751817Jane AustenEnglish novelist primarily known for her 6 major novels.
17621851Joanna BaillieScottish poet and dramatist.
17481832Jeremy BenthamPhilosopher, social reformer and founder of modern Utilitarianism.
17371794Edward GibbonHistorian, writer, Member of Parliament. Author of The History of the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire.
17311802Erasmus Darwin One of the key thinkers of the Midlands Enlightenment, he was also a natural philosopher, physiologist, slave-trade abolitionist, inventor and poet.
17281792Robert AdamsScottish Neoclassical architect. Interior and furniture designer.
17281809Matthew BoultonManufacturer and business man. Founder of the Lunar Society.
17251795Robert BakewellEnglish agriculturalist. Recognized as one of the most important people in the Agricultural Revolution. Implemented system of selective breeding.
17171806Elizabeth CarterEnglish philosopher, considered to be one of the founders of modern political philosophy.
17161772James BrindleyEnglish engineer who is best known for his work on canal building.
16931776John HarrisonClock maker and inventor of the marine chronometer for determining longitude.
16721719Joseph AddisonEnglish essayist, poet and politician who along with Richard Steele founded the spectator.
16661731Mary AstellEnglish feminist and rhetorician. Her advocacy of equal educational opportunities for women earned her the title, the first English feminist.
16601731Daniel DefoeEnglish trader, writer, journalist, pamphleteer and spy. He is most famous for his novel Robinson Crusoe
16591695Henry PurcellEnglish composer. Although incorporating Italian and French stylistic elements into his compositions, Purcell's legacy was a uniquely English form of Baroque music
16321704John Locke English philosopher and physician, widely regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers and commonly known as the "Father of Liberalism"
16321723Christopher Wren English anatomist, astronomer, geometer, and mathematician-physicist, as well as one of the most highly acclaimed English architects in history.
16231673Margaret CavendishEnglish aristocrat, philosopher, poet, scientist, fiction-writer, and playwright
16171692Elias AshmoleEnglish antiquary, politician, officer of arms, astrologer and student of alchemy.
15881679Thomas HobbesEnglish philosopher, considered to be one of the founders of modern political philosophy. Hobbes is best known for his 1651 book Leviathan
15611626Francis BaconEnglish philosopher and statesman. His works are credited with developing the scientific method, and remained influential through the scientific revolution.
15431634Lettice 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