Famous People Connected to Suffolk
Image right - Dr. Elizabeth Garret Anderson
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!
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- Dr Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, LSA, MD (9 June 1836 – 17 December 1917) - was a physician and feminist. She was the second of nine children of Newson Garrett, a grain merchant and maltster from Aldeburgh. After studying medicine in London, her name was entered on the medical register and she was the first woman qualified in Britain to do so. In 1897 Dr Garrett Anderson was elected president of the East Anglian branch of the British Medical Association. On 9 November 1908 she was elected mayor of Aldeburgh, the first female mayor in England. She died in 1927 and is buried in Aldeburgh.
- Benjamin Britten - (22 November 1913 – 4 December 1976) - the composer, conductor, and pianist, Benjamin Britten was born in Lowestoft, to a dentist father and an amateur musician mother. He was educated at Old Buckenham Hall School in Suffolk, and in 1927 he began private lessons in music that would be the beginning of his now world-famous musical career.
- Beryl Cook, OBE - (10 September 1926 – 28 May 2008) - born in Surrey, best known for her comical paintings of people.
- John Constable (1776-1837) English Romantic painter, was born in East Bergholt, a village on the River Stour in Suffolk, to Golding and Ann (Watts) Constable. His father was a wealthy corn merchant, owner of Flatford Mill in East Bergholt and, later, Dedham Mill in Essex.
- George Crabbe (24 December 1754 – 3 February 1832) - the English poet and artist, was born in Aldeburgh where he first developed his love of poetry. In 1768 he was apprenticed to a local doctor. The field of medicine taught and interested him little, and in 1771 he changed masters and moved to Woodbridge. There he met his future wife, Sarah Elmy. His first major work, a poem entitled Inebriety, was self-published in 1775. He became most well known for The Village (1783) and The Borough (1810). He was ordained as a priest in 1872. At one time, Crabbe was also an active and notable coleopterist and recorder of beetles, and is credited for taking the first specimen of Calosoma sycophanta L. to be recorded from Suffolk.
- Jimmy Doherty (born 1975) - the Suffolk-based farmer and television presenter was born in Ilford, Essex and trained as a farmer in Cumbria. It was here that he met Michaela Furney, his future wife, and the two of them set up The Essex Pig Company utilising free–range meat production practices. Jimmy went on buy his own farm in Wherstead near Ipswich, which became the base for his BBC TV series, Jimmy's Farm.
- Millicent Fawcett (1847-1929). - the sister of Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, was born to a progressive family who supported the education of women. Mrs Fawcett was a suffragist. In contrast to the militant suffragettes, she believed in using law-abiding, non-violent means to gain the vote for women, including petitions, lobbying and spectacular marches. Mrs Fawcett became president of the 'National Union Women’s Suffrage Societies' which was the largest of the suffrage societies and had some 50,000 members by 1913
- Sir Clement Freud (24 April 1924 – 15 April 2009) – broadcaster, writer, politician and chef, was born in Berlin grandson of psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud and the brother of artist Lucian Freud. In his early years, Clement was one of Britain's first celebrity chefs and wrote various newspaper and magazine columns. Clement died at his home in Walberswick on 15 April 2009, aged 84. His wife, actress Jill Raymond, runs a successful theatre company near to the family home, and his daughter, broadcaster Emma Freud, and her partner, Four Weddings and a Funeral scriptwriter Richard Curtis, own and reside in a country house also Walberswick.
- Thomas Gainsborough FRSA (christened 14 May 1727 – 2 August 1788) was an English portrait and landscape painter. He was born the youngest son of John Gainsborough, a weaver in Suffolk, and, in 1740, left home to study art in London with Hubert Gravelot, Francis Hayman, and William Hogarth.
- Ronald "Carl" Giles (1916 –1995) – often referred to simply as Giles, this Suffolk-born cartoonist was most famous for his work for the British newspaper the Daily Express. A bronze statue of his character "Grandma" to commemorate him is located in Ipswich town centre.
- Mary Shelley and wrote the world-famous novel, Frankenstein. On August 30 1797, Mary Wollstonecraft died from complications ten days after the birth of her daughter.
- Jimmy Hoseason (1927-2009) - well-known holiday entrepreneurs, grew up in Lowestoft where his father Wally was the harbourmaster. A civil engineer by trade, he took over his father's small boatyard after Wally's death. Hoseasons was founded in 1944 by Wally, who started hiring out boats in Oulton Broad as holiday homes on behalf of their owners during a fuel ban because of the Second World War. Mr Hoseason, who lived in Beccles, died on Saturday 7th November 2009 at age 82.
- Bob Hoskins - well known and award-winning actor, Bob Hoskins, is famous for playing a great variety of roles in many films for a long time now (his acting career began in the 1960's). He is especially recognised as having played tough, cockney gangsters - but was actually born in Bury St Edmunds in 1942. His mother was evacuated to Suffolk from London as a result of the heavy bombings, and the Hoskins family left Bury while Bob was just a baby.
- Angus McBean (1904-1990) – a highly influential photographer thought to have revolutionized portraiture in the 20th century by photographing the likes of Audrey Hepburn, Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Agatha Christie, Laurence Olivier, Noel Coward, Vivien Leigh, and The Beatles
- Sir Alfred Munnings - (8 October 1878–17 July 1959) - one of England's finest painters of horses, Alfred Munnings was born in Mendham, Suffolk.
- George Orwell - Born: Eric Arthur Blair (25 June 1903 – 21 January 1950) - English writer who penned works such as Ninteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm, and is considered one of the 20th Century's best narrators of English culture.
- John Peel – influential DJ and radio presenter, who lived in Suffolk for 33 years, and his gravestone was erected three years after his death. Peel was Radio 1's longest serving DJ when he died aged 65 in October 2004, famously championing The Undertones' Teenage Kicks on his show. He was quoted as saying he would like the song's line "our teenage dreams so hard to beat" on his tombstone. The DJ is buried in St Andrew's Church, in the village of Great Finborough, Suffolk. Peel's widow, Sheila Ravenscroft, said: "We have put the words on the stone that he would've wanted. I wouldn't dare do anything else!"
- Humphry Repton (21 April 1752 – 24 March 1818) His first name is often incorrectly given as "Humphrey". English author and landscape designer. Born Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk
- Margaret Susan Cheshire, Baroness Ryder of Warsaw and Baroness Cheshire, CMG, OBE (3 July 1924 – 2 November 2000), best known as Sue Ryder, was a British volunteer with Special Operations Executive in the Second World War, who afterwards led many charitable organizations, notably the charity named in her honour.
- WG Sebald - (18 May 1944 – 14 December 2001) - Although not a Suffolk resident, the great author WG Sebald focused his second novel, The Rings of Saturn, on an account of his own on a walking tour of East Anglia, including Suffolk. The frist sentence of the novel thus begins: "In August 1992, when the dog days were drawing to an end, I set off to walk the county of Suffolk, in the hope of dispelling the emptiness that takes hold of me whenever I have completed a long stint of work."
- Claudia Schiffer – German super-model and actress, owns a £5 million Elizabethan mansion, Coldham Hall in Lawshall near Bury St Edmunds.
- Delia Smith - once celebrity cook, author and TV presenter, Delia Smith is also a Suffolk celebrity for her role as shareholder at Norwich City F.C. Delia resides near Stowmarket with her husband and co-shareholder of Norwich City, Michael Wynn-Jones. Delia has had a varied and successful career, beginning as a behind-the-scenes consultant for Sainsbury's. She has presented a number of highly popular TV shows and written many well-loved cookery books, each with an aim and focus on teaching basic cookery skills.
- Norman Tebbit - outspoken former Conservative MP, a key figure in Margaret Thatcher's government, lives in Bury St Edmunds. His wife Margaret was confined to a wheelchair after the IRA's bombing of the Grand Hotel in Brighton during the 1984 Conservative Party conference, where Tebbit was also injured.
- Twiggy - one of the world’s most famous models, Twiggy, shares a home in Southwold with her actor husband, Leigh Lawson.
- Cardinal Thomas Wolsey (1490–1530) - historical political figure and Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church was born in Ipswich and attended Ipswich School. Wolsey came into great power as King Henry VIII's chief adviser, and held Henry's confidence until the King decided to seek an annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon in order to marry Anne Boleyn. Wolsey's failure to secure the annulment is widely perceived to have directly caused his downfall and arrest. In 1529, Wolsey was stripped of his government office and property and accused of treason. Wolsey fell ill and died just before his hearing on 29 November 1530.
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