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Dorset - Famous People

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Famous People Connected to Dorset

Image right - Thomas Hardy

Image By Bain News Service, publisher - Public Domain, Wiki Commons

Please add information about people of renown connected to Dorset, 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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  • Mary Anning was born in Lyme Regis in 1799. Her discoveries of dinosaur fossils along the Jurassic Coast were ground-breaking at the time and laid the foundations for much of our knowledge of dinosaurs. She was known as "Princess of palaeontology". Each year the Philpott Museum holds a special Mary Anning weekend of events to commemorate her life.
  • Jane Austen visited Lyme Regis in 1804 and her novel Persuasion is partly set in the West Dorset resort.


  • Robert Baden-Powell (1857-1941) was the founder of the boy scout movement and held his very first camp on Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour in 1907. He invited boys form all social classes to attend a camp where they would learn survival skills.Thus the scout movement was born.
  • William Barnes (1801-1886) born Pentridge. English Writer, Poet, Teacher, Clergyman, Poet and a Visionary.
  • Tony Blackburn radio and tv personality,Dj from Parkstone, Poole
  • Enid Blyton' (1897-1968) Her adventure stories were inspired by the Isle of Purbeck countryside.

She first came to the the area in 1931 and some Dorset landmarks became places in her books - Whispering Island is based on Brownsea Island and Corfe bears a remarkable likeness to Kirrin Castle in the stories.






  • Richard Gale - Actor, Director was Born in Dorset
  • Isaac Gulliver - smuggler born in Semington, near Trowbridge, in the neighbouring county of Wiltshire, to "Isaac Gulifor and Elizabeth his wife" a far from noble family, and there is even some doubt about his parentage, as in drawing up his will in 1765, Isaac Gulliver senior referred to "my son or reputed son Isaac Gulliver, otherwise Matravers".


  • Thomas Hardy (2 June 1840 – 11 January 1928) born at Higher Bockhampton - an English author of the naturalist movement, though he regarded himself primarily as a poet and composed novels mainly for financial gain.



  • George Jeffreys, 1st Baron Jeffreys of Wem, PC (15 May 1645 – 18 April 1689) - one of Dorchester's more infamous residents - the 'hanging judge'. Judge Jeffreys lodged at 6 High Street West, now a restaurant, and held his 'bloody assizes' in 1685 during which 74 people were executed.



  • Homer Lane (1875-1925) born Evershot ( Needs to be confirmed CJB) was Superintendent of the Little Commonwealth, a co-educational community in Dorset run for children and young people ranging from a few months to 19 years.
  • Thomas Edward Lawrence, CB, DSO (16 August 1888 — Died Bovington Camp, Dorset 19 May 1935), known professionally as T. E. Lawrence, was a British Army officer renowned especially for his liaison role during the Sinai and Palestine Campaign and the Arab Revolt against Ottoman Turkish rule of 1916–18. The breadth and variety of his activities and associations, and his ability to describe them vividly in writing, earned him international fame as Lawrence of Arabia, a title which was used for the 1962 film based on his World War I activities.





  • Thomas Pitt Parliamentarian (5 July 1653 – 28 April 1726), born at Blandford Forum, Dorset, to a rector and his wife, was a British merchant involved in trade with India.
  • Beatrix Potter spent a holiday in Lyme in 1904, and used some views of the town for the story, Little Pig Robinson.



  • Sir Walter Raleigh (1552-1618) - Explorer and buccaneer, lived at Sherborne Castle in North Dorset.

He was a favourite of Queen Elizabeth I who granted him ownership of the lands of the 12th Century Sherborne Castle on which he built Sherborne Lodge. He explored America, bringing back potatoes and tobacco to Britain. He eventually fell out with the Queen and was sent to the Tower of London, and was later beheaded for treason by James I.


  • Mary Shelly (née Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin; 30 August 1797 – 1 February 1851) the author of Frankenstein, is buried at St Peters Church right in the centre of Bournemouth of all places.
  • Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) Whilst staying in Bournemouth, the Stevenson Family's last residence was a house in the Westbourne area of Bournemouth. He left Bournemouth in 1887 for his final destination and resting place, Samoa in the South Seas.





  • Ivor Bertie Guest 1st Lord Baron Wimborne (August 29, 1835 - 1914), and succeeded as second baronet 1852.

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