The History of England

from Celts through 20th century

Archives for the ‘Famous people’ Category

SHAKESPEARE, THE POPULAR PLAYWRIGHT

Category: Famous people

A national poet must be known by the people of his na­tion. Shakespeare has now been allowed the last word in honours — his head on the same stamp as the queen’s. Only Dickens has peopled our imaginations with any­thing like so many types. Macbeth is part of our image of what guilt is, just […]



James Cook. The grocer’s boy who went to sea

Category: Famous people

There was a lot of excite­ment in a fishing village in Yorkshire one morning. Jimmy Cook, the grocer’s boy, had run away to sea. “He was always talking to the fishermen,” said one woman. “Yes,” said another, “And I’ve seen him at Whitby port many times. He liked to watch the ships and such like.” […]



William Harvey. A doctor who discovered the circulation of the blood

Category: Famous people

William Harvey, a son of a rich merchant, was born at Fol­kestone, England, in 1578. Will, as he was called in the family, had six younger brothers and two sisters. They were affectionate to each other, though a little afraid of the father, who was very strict. In 1588, when Will was ten, he was […]



Isaac Newton, the discoverer of the law of gravitation

Category: Famous people

Early years The great English scientist Isaac Newton was born in the little village of Woolthorpe, not far from the old university town of Cambridge, on December 25, 1642. His father, a farmer, died before his son’s birth. Little Isaac was left to the care of his mother, uncle and grandmother who sent him to […]



James Watt. The inventor of the universal steam-engine

Category: Famous people

James Watt was born on January 19, 1736, at Greenock in Scotland, where his father was a shipwright. Jamie, as his pa­rents called him, was not at all strong. He suffered from terrible headaches and this was naturally a great handicap to him both in play and later in work. He could not start his […]



Edward Jenner. The conquest of smallpox

Category: Famous people

Smallpox was quite usual in the past, and it took millions of lives. It killed people in Asia and Africa, and it was a terrible illness in Europe too. Be­ginning with the 15th century, Europe was like a great smallpox hospital in which more than one and a half mil­lion people died every year. At […]



George Stephenson. He started Britain’s railways

Category: Famous people

The man whose name is connected with the first railway is George Stephenson. He is often called “The Father of Railways”. George Stephenson was the son of a poor English worker who lived eight miles from Newcastle. Stephenson’s father worked twelve hours a day for twelve shillings a week, and on that very low wage […]



Michael Faraday, the father of the electric motor

Category: Famous people

One of the great names in the history of man’s work in electricity is that of Michael Faraday. He was born in a small village near London on September 22,1791 in a poor family. His father, a blacksmith, could feed his family with difficulty, and could not even dream of an education for his boy. […]



Charles Darwin, the greatest naturalist

Category: Famous people

The famous naturalist and thinker, Charles Darwin, was born on February 12, 1809. The family lived near Shrewsbury, not far from the river Severn. Charles’ father was a well-known physician, a Fellow of the Royal Society and the son of a still greater physician, poet and scientist—Erasmus Darwin. Charles’ father hoped that his son also […]



Henry Bessemer. A man who improved the quality of steel

Category: Famous people

Henry Bessemer, who was born on January 19, 1813, inherited his love of inventing from his father. Old Bessemer had worked in Holland and helped to build the first steam-engine in that country. Later he designed a new kind of lathe and made some other inventions while he was in France before the French Revolution […]






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