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Northamptonshire - Famous People

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  • Jacquetta Woodville, Baroness Strange (c.1444 - 1509)
    Jacquetta Woodville was born in 1444/45.1 She was the daughter of Richard Wydevill, 1st Earl Rivers and Jacquetta de Luxembourg.1 She married John IX Lestrange, 8th Lord Strange (of Knokyn), son of Ric...
  • Anne Dudley Bradstreet, 1st American poet (1612 - 1672)
    Anne Bradstreet (c. 1612 – September 16, 1672) was an English-American writer, the first notable American poet, and the first woman to be published in Colonial America. Her work was very influ...
  • Gov. Thomas Dudley (1576 - 1653)
    The current image is of his son Joseph Dudley, which is attributed to Sir Peter Lely. The former picture, of which there are several black & white copies in the Media Tab, is said to be a reverse of th...
  • Rev. Samuel Dudley (1608 - 1683)
    Samuel DUDLEY HUSBAND: [F3778]. Samuel DUDLEY. Born in (1610-S?)(30 NOV 1608_S1,S2,S4) at (Northampton-S?)(Canon’s Ashby, Northamptonshire-S4), England; son of Thomas DUDLEY [F7556] and Do...
  • Thomas Meekins (1611 - 1687)
    Birth surname has also been reported to be Meakins . Date of marriage to Sarah Catherine Beardsley has been erroneously reported to be January 21, 1651. "The town hath manifest that they are desiro...

Famous People Connected to Northamptonshire

Those people of note with connections to the county are listed below. Some of these connections are a little tenuous - counties like to lay claim to people of renown!

Please add information about people of renown connected to Northamptonshire, 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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  • Malcolm Arnold (1921-2006): Sir Malcolm Arnold CBE was born in Northampton, in 1921. A prominent musician of the 20th century, Malcolm Arnold excelled across a broad musical spectrum; compositions include symphonies, ballet music, opera and chamber music, as well as numerous film scores. Sir Malcolm Arnold was among the first British composers to win an Oscar (for Bridge on the River Kwai, in 1958).


  • Herbert E. Bates (1905 – 1974): Born in Rushden, Northamptonshire and educated at Kettering Grammar School, novelist, Herbert Ernest Bates is best known for his development of the short-story genre. Herbert E. Bates is author of The Darling Buds of May, (1958) which became a popular television series (1991 – 1993). Bates’s writings are profoundly influenced by rural England and particularly the Northamptonshire countryside (e.g. the setting for the novel Love for Lydia was based on Rushden).


  • John Clare (1793 - 1864): Born in the village of Helpston, the poet John Clare drew much of his inspiration from the natural landscapes of the Northamptonshire countryside. John Clare was also a gardener at Burghley House, before joining the Northamptonshire Militia at Oundle, in 1812.
  • Eric Coates (1886 – 1957): - well-known English composer from Northamptonshire, Eric Coates was born in Hucknall, Northamptonshire. He lead violinist for the Queen’s Hall Orchestra, in 1912.


  • Diana, Princess of Wales (1961 – 1997): One of the most Famous People of Northamptonshire, adored the world over, Princess Diana, often fondly referred to as the ‘People’s Princess’ is buried in the grounds of Althorp, Northampton, home of the Spencer family. To find out more about Althorp and Princess Diana, follow the link on the Information and Articles link on this website, ‘Althorp House’.
  • John Dryden (1631 – 1700): The famous poet and prolific writer, John Dryden, was born in Aldwinkle, Northamptonshire; appointed Poet Laureate in 1668. Probably best known for his final contribution - Fables, Ancient and Modern (1699).
  • Anne Dudley (1612 – 1672): The famous American poet, Anne Dudley was born in Northampton, in 1612.



  • Benjamin Franklin (1706 – 1790): U.S. Statesman, Franklin, had close links with Northamptonshire, (his ancestors came from the village of Ecton). Benjamin Franklin’s letters and diaries make numerous references to his family lineage and historic family links with Ecton, Northamptonshire.
  • Thomas Fuller (1608 – 1661): 17th century writer, historian and clergyman, Thomas Fuller, was born in Aldwinkle St Peters, Northamptonshire; appointed Chaplain-Extraordinary to Charles II; author of The History of Holy War (1639).



  • Sir Christopher Hatton (1540 – 20 November 1591) was an English politician, Lord Chancellor of England and a favourite of Elizabeth I of England.




  • Henry Kingsley (1830 – 1876): Novelist Henry Kingsley, youngest brother of Charles Kingsley, was born at Barnack Rectory, Barnack, Northamptonshire; he later emigrated to Australia.



  • Charles Montagu (1661 – 1715): Statesman, MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, founder of the Bank of England in 1694, and briefly Prime Minister (1697 – 1699), Charles Montagu was born in Horton, Northamptonshire; also a popular poet and writer, who had a hand in writing the ‘Story of the Country Mouse and the City Mouse’ (1687).




  • Ebenezer Prout (1835 – 1909): Born in Oundle, Northamptonshire, the English composer and author of theoretical musical works, Ebenezer Prout won several awards at The British Society of Musicians and was heralded as a prominent leader of the Modernist Movement.



  • Thomas Randolph (1605 – 1635): English poet and dramatist, Thomas Randolph, was born in Daventry; also lived for a period in Little Houghton, Northamptonshire. Thomas Randolph is famous for his acerbic wit typified by such works as The Conceited Pedlar (1630). Randolph’s masterpiece, The Jealous Lovers, was presented before royalty, at Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1632.
  • James Rice (1843 – 1882): English novelist and journalist, was born in Northampton, Northamptonshire.
  • King Richard III (1452 – 1485): The 15th century King of England, Richard III, was born in Fotheringhay Castle, Northamptonshire, in 1452. Following the death of his brother (King Edward IV) Richard III ruled briefly as Regent for Edward IV’s son, before incarcerating the youngster and his brother Richard in the Tower of London and ascending the throne himself. Richard III became King of England in 1483 and reigned until his death in the Battle of Bosworth. King Richard III was the last English king to die on the battlefield.
  • Edmund Rubbra (1901 – 1986): Composer and well-known music critic, Edmund Rubbra, was born in Northampton; he went on to win a scholarship to Royal College of Music; Edmund Rubbra was also a pupil of Vaughan Williams.





  • Stanley Unwin (2002): Dubbed variously as ‘Professor’ Stanley Unwin, the ‘Verbal Magician’ and the ‘Master of Nonsense’; although born in Pretoria, South Africa, Stanley Unwin lived for some time in the village of Long Buckby, as well as in Daventry, Northamptonshire; he died in Daventry, in 2002. Stanley Unwin is best known as a star of variety theatre and BBC radio comedies in the 1950s.


  • John Wilkins (1614 – 1672): Born in Daventry, Northamptonshire, John Wilkins was well-known as both a churchman and a pioneering scientist; author of Discovery of World in the Moon (1628) and Discourse Concerning a New Planet (1640).
  • Roy Wilson (1900 – 1965). Born in Kettering, Northamptonshire, Roy Wilson was one of Britain's most successful and popular children's cartoonists during the 1930s and 40s; remembered also for his striking annual covers’ front pages.


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