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Cornwall - Famous People

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  • Dawn French
    Dawn Roma French (born 11 October 1957) is an English actress, writer, and comedian, best known for starring in and writing for the comedy sketch show French and Saunders with comedy partner Jennifer S...
  • Emily Hobhouse (1860 - 1926)
    Emily Hobhouse (9 April 1860 – 8 June 1926) was a British welfare campaigner, who is primarily remembered for bringing to the attention of the British public, and working to change, the deprived condit...
  • John Couch Adams (1819 - 1892)
    John Couch Adams FRS (5 June 1819 – 21 January 1892) was a British mathematician and astronomer. Adams was born in Laneast, near Launceston, Cornwall, and died in Cambridge. The Cornish name Couch is p...
  • Dame Daphne du Maurier, DBE (1907 - 1989)
    Dame Daphne du Maurier, Lady Browning DBE ( /ˈdæfniː duː ˈmɒri.eɪ/; 13 May 1907 – 19 April 1989) was a British author and playwright. Many of her works have been adapted into films, including the n...

Famous People from Cornwall

Image right - Daphne du Maurier

Please add information about people of renown connected to Cornwall, England. If the person has a profile on Geni please add their profile to the project and add the link in bold.

To participate in any project

- you do need to first be a collaborator - so please join the project using the request link under "actions" at the top right of the page. Visit Geni Wikitext, Unicode and images which gives a great deal of assistance. See the discussion Project Help: How to add Text to a Project - Starter Kit to get you going! The following people of renown were either born or lived in Cornwall or are strongly associated with Cornwall.


How to add a link is explained in the attached document - Adding links to Geni profiles in projects.

  • John Couch Adams (1819-1892) Mathematician and astronomer born in Launceston - co-discoverer of the planet Neptune
  • Michael Adams, chess grandmaster
  • Michael An Gof (Michael Joseph), leader of the Cornish Rebellion of 1497
  • John Arnold, watchmaker and pioneer of the marine chronometer
  • Humphrey Arundell, leader of the Cornish Rebellion of 1549


  • Morwenna Banks, comedian and actress
  • Jonah Barrington, squash player
  • Tom Bawcock, legendary fisherman from Mousehole
  • Vanessa Beeman Former Grand Bard of Gorseth Kernow
  • William Bickford, inventor of the safety fuse
  • Lamorna Birch, artist and member of the Newlyn School
  • Sheila Bird, local history writer from Falmouth
  • William Bligh, captain of the ship Bounty
  • Janie Bolitho, crime writer
  • Thomas Bond, topographer from Looe
  • Admiral Edward Boscawen, a naval commander in the Royal Navy known as "Old Dreadnought"
  • John Boson, Nicholas Boson, and Thomas Boson, 18th-century writers in the Cornish language
  • Maria Branwell, mother of the Brontë sisters
  • James Silk Buckingham, author, journalist and traveller
  • Barry Bucknell, the original DIY TV presenter, who lived at St Mawes
  • W. J. Burley, author of the Wycliffe series of crime novels


  • Richard Carew, translator and antiquary
  • Elizabeth Carne, geologist
  • James Power Carne, Victoria Cross DSO, Lieutenant Colonel of the 1st Gloucestershire Regiment who was an instrumental figure at the Battle of the Imjin River in the Korean War
  • Joseph Carne, geologist, industrialist and Fellow of the Royal Society
  • John Carter, smuggler known as the "King of Prussia", who operated from Prussia Cove
  • Charles Causley, poet
  • William Clift, naturalist and Fellow of the Royal Society
  • Joseph Henry Collins, mining engineer, mineralogist and geologist
  • Myrna Combellack academic researcher and writer of Cornish history
  • Constantine of Cornwall, Cornish ruler and saint
  • William Cookworthy, discoverer of china clay (kaolinite) in Cornwall
  • Saint Corentin, missionary to Brittany
  • Corineus, the legendary founder of Cornwall in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae
  • Arthur Quiller-Couch (aka 'Q'), author and literary critic
  • Jonathan Couch, naturalist and physician
  • Richard Quiller Couch, naturalist
  • John Kevin Curtice, political scientist


  • Nick Darke, playwright
  • Frederick Hamilton Davey, botanist
  • Sir Humphry Davy, scientist, inventor and President of the Royal Society
  • Anne Dowriche, historian, poet and protestant writer
  • Daphne du Maurier, novelist
  • Edwin Dunkin, FRS, President of the Royal Astronomical Society and the Royal Institution of Cornwall
  • John Dyer, painter


  • Richard Edmonds, geologist and antiquary
  • John Passmore Edwards, Chartist and philanthropist
  • Joseph Antonio Emidy black composer who lived in Truro
  • Enys family of Enys in Cornwall, includes many landowners, MPs and public officials
  • Matthew Etherington, professional footballer who played in two FA Cup finals with two different teams, West Ham United and Stoke City


  • Thomas Flamank, leader of the Cornish Rebellion of 1497
  • Mick Fleetwood, drummer
  • Samuel Foote, dramatist
  • Stanhope Forbes, artist and member of the Newlyn School
  • Fox family of Falmouth, entrepreneurs and philanthropists
  • Robert Were Fox the Elder, Quaker and businessman
  • Robert Were Fox, FRS, geologist


  • Richard Gaisford, GMTV presenter and reporter who trained at University College Falmouth
  • Susan Elizabeth Gay, chronicler of Falmouth
  • Richard Gendall, linguist and musician
  • Ken George, scholar and Cornish nationalist
  • Davies Gilbert, applied mathematician and technocrat, President of the Royal Society
  • William Golding, novelist
  • Winston Graham, novelist, author of the Poldark series
  • William Gregor, clergyman and scientist, discoverer of titanium
  • Pascoe St Leger Grenfell (1761–1838) British business man & politician, merchant in the tin and copper business. Joined the business of Thomas Williams of Llanidan - brass and copper producer Served as Governor of the Royal Exchange Assurance Company from 1829 to 1838.
  • Daniel Gumb, mathematician and stonemason who lived in a cave near the Cheesewring at Linkinhorne
  • Sir Goldsworthy Gurney, inventor of limelight


  • Robert Stephen Hawker, Anglican priest and poet, Vicar of Morwenstow
  • John Hawkins, geologist, traveller and FRS
  • Harrison Hayter Civil engineer
  • Tim Heald, author and journalist
  • Donald Healey, automotive engineer
  • John Hellins, FRS, mathematician, curate of Constantine.
  • Charles Napier Hemy, landscape and seascape artist, of Falmouth
  • Barbara Hepworth, sculptress
  • Antony Hewish, astronomer
  • Graham Hicks (born 1990), guitarist and comedian
  • William Robert Hicks, asylum superintendent
  • Emily Hobhouse, humanitarian during the Boer War
  • Silas Hocking, author and preacher
  • Roger Hosen, born in Mabe, who played rugby for England ten times in the 1960s
  • Joseph Wellington Hunkin, Bishop of Truro


  • Kenneth Hamilton Jenkin, Cornish historian, especially of Cornish tin mining
  • Henry Jenner, scholar and leader of the revival of Cornish
  • George Birch Jerrard, mathematician
  • Thomas Brown Jordan, engineer
  • Richard Jose, singer


  • Tony Kellow footballer
  • Allin Kempthorne, actor
  • Kenneth Kendall, newsreader and broadcaster
  • Henry Killigrew, 16th century diplomat and ambassador
  • Dame Laura Knight, artist and member of the Newlyn School
  • Edsel Kragg, performance artist


  • Richard Lander, explorer of Africa
  • Walter Langley, artist and a member of the Newlyn School
  • Cassandra Latham, contemporary witch and "village wisewoman" of St. Buryan, Cornwall
  • John Lawn (miner) miner of gold in New Zealand
  • John le Carré, novelist
  • Bernard Leach, potter who set up a studio pottery in St. Ives in the 1920s
  • Charles Lee (1870–1956), novelist
  • Michael Loam, inventor of the man engine
  • Richard Lower, blood transfusion pioneer
  • Stanley Lucas (15 January 1900 – 21 June 2010) from Bude, Cornwall was a British supercentenarian.
  • Benjamin Luxon baritone singer


  • Jessica Mann, crime writer
  • Mark of Cornwall, ruler of Cornwall in the legend of Tristan and Iseult (see also Tristan)
  • Nigel Martyn, former England footballer
  • John Mayow, physiologist
  • Rory McGrath, comedian
  • Kevin Miller, footballer who played for Crystal Palace, Birmingham City and Watford
  • Chris Morris, footballer who played for Glasgow Celtic and Sheffield Wednesday
  • Matthew Paul Moyle, meteorologist and mining writer
  • David Mudd, Conservative Party MP, local historian and broadcaster
  • William Murdoch, engineer, inventor and sometime Cornish resident


  • Robert Morton Nance, scholar and archaeologist
  • John Nettles, actor
  • Thandie Newton, actress
  • William Nichols, mariner
  • William Noye, Victorian entomologist


  • William Oliver, FRS, inventor of the Bath Oliver and a founder of the Royal Mineral Water Hospital at Bath
  • John Opie, portrait painter, the only Cornishman to be buried in St Paul's Cathedral


  • Alex Parks, singer/songwriter who won Fame Academy in 2003
  • Philip Payton historian and Professor of Cornish and Australian Studies
  • Andrew Pears, soap manufacturer who invented Pears soap
  • William Pengelly, geologist and archeologist
  • David Penhaligon, Liberal Member of Parliament
  • Susan Penhaligon, actress and writer
  • Dolly Pentreath, fish pedlar who claimed to be the last native speaker of the Cornish language.
  • Saint Petroc, a patron saint of Cornwall
  • John Arthur Phillips, FRS, geologist, metallurgist, mining engineer
  • Rosamunde Pilcher, novelist.
  • Saint Piran (or Perran), a patron saint of Cornwall and of tin miners
  • Kenneth Plummer, Born January 17, 1947, Falmouth; English rugby player


  • Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch (aka 'Q'), author and literary critic


  • John Ralfs, botanist
  • Andy Reed, rugby union player who played for Bath RFC and won 18 caps for Scotland
  • Rick Rescorla, a hero of the Twin Towers terrorist attack of September 11th 2001
  • Henry Chidley Reynolds, dairy farmer who started the Anchor brand of butter
  • Edward Hearle Rodd, ornithologist
  • Geoffrey Rowe, Cornish comedian better known as Jethro
  • A. L. Rowse, historian, novelist and poet


  • William Scawen, soldier and linguist
  • Kristin Scott-Thomas, actress
  • Richard Sharp, Rugby union player of the 1960s who captained England and won 14 caps
  • Tim Smit head gardener at the Eden Project
  • Barney Solomon, Rugby union player who captained the silver medal winning Great Britain team in the 1908 Olympics
  • John Spargo Socialist and scholar
  • Howard Spring novelist
  • Rick Stein celebrity TV chef, owns a restaurant in Padstow and his pet dog Chalky
  • Claude Brian Stevens, known as "Stack Stevens", born in Godolphin, rugby player who won 25 caps for England


  • Derek Tangye, writer who wrote the "Minack Chronicles"
  • Nigel Tangye, airman, author and hotelier at Newquay
  • Richard Tangye, engineer
  • Roger Taylor, Rock drummer with the group Queen
  • E. V. Thompson author of historical novels
  • Sam Toy, former chairman of the Ford Motor Company, UK
  • Mike Trebilcock, footballer who won the FA Cup in 1966 with Everton
  • David Treffry, colonial administrator and international financier
  • Giant Tregeagle, lawyer
  • Jack Trelawny, writer for children
  • Jonathan Trelawny, Anglican bishop and antagonist of James II
  • Petroc Trelawny, journalist and BBC Radio 3 presenter
  • Henry Trengrouse, inventor of a rocket-powered maritime rescue system
  • Silvanus Trevail, architect, mayor of Truro and President of the Society of Architects
  • Raleigh Trevelyan, author and publisher
  • Richard Trevithick, inventor, engineer and builder of the first steam locomotive
  • Elizabeth Trewinnard, Lady Killigrew, aristocrat who was convicted of piracy during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I
  • Tristan, hero of the Tristan and Iseult legend, nephew of Mark of Cornwall


  • John Verran, Prime Minister of South Australia
  • Phil Vickery, England rugby player
  • Andrew Vivian, Trevithick's cousin and collaborator, and captain of Dolcoath Mine


  • William Wagstaff, ornithologist and naturalist
  • Samuel Wallis, explorer of the Pacific
  • Patrick Woodroffe fantasy artist
  • Brenda Wootton Folk singer and poetess

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