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The Greatest Britons List. Biography

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A poll by the BBC, asked the nation, who they thought were the Greatest Britons. The winner was Winston Churchill. The other top 100 are also listed.

Top 10 Greatest Britons

1. Winston Churchill (28.1%)
british 2. Isambard Kingdom Brunel (24.6%)
british 3. Princess Diana (13.9%)
british 4. Charles Darwin(6.9%)
british 5. William Shakespeare (6.8%)
british 6. Sir Isaac Newton (5.2%)
british 7. Queen Elizabeth I (4.4%)
british 8. John Lennon (4.2%)
british 9. Horatio Nelson (3%)
british 10. Oliver Cromwell (2.8%)
    • Alfred the Great (king of Wessex – who united Anglo-Saxons and defeated Vikings)
    • Julie Andrews (actress)
    • King Arthur (legendary king of Camelot)
    • David Attenborough (TV presenter and environmentalist)
    • Jane Austen (author)
    • Charles Babbage (Inventor of early form of computers)
    • Lord Baden Powell (founder of Scouts movement)
    • Douglas Bader (Second World War Pilot)
    • David Beckham – (Footballer and global fashion icon)
    • Alexander Graham Bell – (Inventor of the telephone)
    • Tony Benn – (Labour politician)
    • Tim Berners Lee – (Creator of World Wide Web)
    • John M Keynes – Famous economist)
    • Aneurin Bevan (Labour politician, founder of NHS)
    • Tony Blair – British Prime Minister 1997-2007)
    • William Blake – Poet, artist and mystic
    • William Booth – Founder of the Salvation Army
    • Boudicca – Queen who led revolt against the Romans
    • Richard Branson – Founder of Virgin business empire
    • Robert the Bruce – Scottish king
    • Isambard Kingdom Brunel – Engineer and designer
    • Emily Bronte (poet, author) – Author
    • Richard Burton – Actor
    • Donald Campbell – High-speed record holder
    • William Caxton – Early printer
    • Charlie Chaplin – Actor and comic
    • Geoffrey Chaucer – Poet
    • Leonard Cheshire – Second World War pilot and founder of homes for servicemen.
    • John Cleese (1939 – ) Comedian, actor – Monty Python and Fawlty Towers
    • James Connolly – Irish Republican and leader
    • Captain James Cook -Sailor and explorer
    • Michael Crawford
    • Aleister Crowley
    • Charles Darwin – Scientist and theory of evolution
    • Diana, Princess of Wales – humanitarian and wife of Prince Charles
    • Charles Dickens – Author
    • Benjamin Disraeli – British Prime Minister in Nineteenth Century
    • Francis Drake – Explorer, pirate and vice-admiral during Armada.
    • King Edward I – Powerful king
    • Edward Elgar – English composer
    • Queen Elizabeth I – Queen during the Spanish Armada
    • Queen Elizabeth II – Queen during post-war period
    • the Queen Mother – Mother of Queen Elizabeth II
    • Michael Faraday – Scientist.
    • Guy Fawkes – Rebel who tried to blow up parliament
    • Alexander Fleming – Discovered penicillin.
    • Bob Geldof – Pop star who founded Live Aid charity
    • John Keats – Romantic poet
    • Bradley Wiggins – Olympic Cyclist and winner of Tour de France
    • George Harrison – musician – part of Beatles
    • John Harrison
    • Stephen Hawking – Scientist and populariser of science.
    • King Henry II
    • King Henry V
    • King Henry VIII
    • Paul Hewson (Bono) – pop star
    • Edward Jenner – Discovered vaccine for smallpox
    • Samuel Johnson – Wrote first major dictionary
    • D H Lawrence – author
    • T E Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) Led Arab and British armies during First World War.
    • John Lennon musician – part of Beatles
    • David Livingstone – African explorer and Christian missionary
    • David Lloyd George – British PM during First World War
    • John Locke – political philosopher
    • John Logie Baird Inventor of TV
    • James Clerk Maxwell Scientist
    • Paul McCartney musician – part of Beatles
    • Freddie Mercury – Pop Star
    • Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery General during second world war
    • Bobby Moore – Footballer
    • Thomas More – Philosopher and servant of King Henry VIII
    • Eric Morecambe – Comedian
    • Isaac Newton – scientist and physician
    • Florence Nightingale – Pioneering Nurse
    • Wilfred Owen– war poet
    • Thomas Paine– Political philosopher
    • Emmeline Pankhurst – Suffragette.
    • Enoch Powell – Conservative politician gave ‘rivers of blood’ speech
    • Sir Walter Raleigh – Adventurer and explorer.
    • Steve Redgrave – Olympic rower
    • King Richard III
    • Cliff Richard – pop star
    • J K Rowling – author of Harry Potter series
    • Robert Falcon Scott
    • Ernest Shackleton – Adventurer and explorer.
    • George Stephenson – Engineer and inventor played role in building first railway.
    • Marie Stopes – Developed family planning
    • Margaret Thatcher – British PM in the 1980s
    • William Tyndale – Translated Bible into English
    • J R R Tolkien – author of Lord of the Rings trilogy
    • Alan Turing -Scientist deciphered Enigma code during second world war
    • Unknown soldier
    • Queen Victoria
    • William Wallace– Scottish independence leader
    • Barnes Wallis– Military inventor
    • James Watt – inventor of steam engine
    • Duke of Wellington – Defeated Napoleon at Waterloo
    • John Wesley – Founder of Methodism
    • Frank Whittle- Miltary inventor
    • William Wilberforce

– Campaigned against slavery

  • William Wordsworth (poet)
  • John Wycliffe (religious reformer of Fourteenth Century)

If you’d like to nominate anyone, please do in comments

In a way, the BBC list would be better to be called ‘most famous Britons’. There is also an inevitable bias to those who lived recently.

From a personal perspective, I feel the Greatest 100 Britons should include great poets like John Keats and William Wordsworth. Also, I would want to include some who epitomised certain events like the First World War; perhaps Vera Brittain and Wilfred Owen.

Related pages

  • Welsh People
  • Scottish People
  • English People
  • Irish people

Eras of Britain

  • Famous people of the Industrial revolution
  • Famous Victorians
  • Famous Edwardians

External links

  • Great Britons: The Great Debate at Amazon.co.uk
  • Top 10 Greatest Britons chosen at BBC
  • 100 Great British Heroes
  • top 100 Greatest Britons at Wikipedia

Other Notable Britons missing out on the list

  • Clement Attlee (politician)
  • Jeremy Bentham (philosopher, writer, social activist)
  • Vera Brittain (author)
  • Emily Bronte (poet, author)
  • Richard Attenborough (actor)
  • Sir Roger Bannister (sportsman)
  • Thomas A Beckett (religious figure)
  • Nurse Edith Cavell
  • Jeremy Clarkson (TV presenter, journalist)
  • Betty Boothroyd (politician)
  • Vera Brittain (author)
  • Gordon Brown (politician)
  • Michael Caine (actor)
  • Brian Clough (football manager)
  • John Constable (artist)
  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (writer)
  • King Canute (King of England 1016-1035)
  • Frederick Delius (musician)
  • Boris Johnson (politician)
  • Jane Goodall
  • Robert Graves (poet)
  • Sir Alec Guinness (actor)
  • John Keats (poet)
  • Sir Douglas Haig (General)
  • Geoff Hamilton (gardener)
  • Len Hutton (sportsman)
  • David Hockney (artist)
  • Spike Milligan (comic)
  • Henry Moore (artist)
  • Robert Owen (social reformer, businessman)
  • Wilfred Owen (poet)
  • Fred Perry (sportsman)
  • Siegfried Sassoon (poet)
  • Mary Seacole (humanitarian)
  • Alan Titchmarsh (gardener)
  • Mary Whitehouse (critic of modern TV)
  • P.G.Wodehouse (writer)
  • Virginia Woolf (writer)
  • Mo Farah (athletics)

Legends of Great Briton

  • Robin Hood
  • King Arthur

Categories

  • Great Yorkshire People
  • Great English football players
  • Greatest English Cricket team of all time
  • People of First World War
  • Great British distance runners

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