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Cornwall - Famous People

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Famous People from Cornwall

Image right - Daphne du Maurier

Image by автор неизвестен/author unknown - The Chichester Partnership (copyright), University of Exeter (publication), Copyrighted free use, Wiki Commons

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.

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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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