East Anglia Notable People

East Anglia Media City

Through its history, East Anglia has been associated with radical politics, nonconformist religion, political dissent and liberalism. It has also produced notable people particularly in the arts.


Famous names include:


Rev John Abbs (1810-1888) Author of Twenty-Two Years Missionary Experience in Travancore.


Louisa Swell Abbs (1811-1872) Founded girls boarding school in Travancore, India, also establishing the lace-making embroidery industry.


Michael Andrews (1928-1995) Painter.


Carol Barnes (1944-2008) Journalist & Broadcaster, born in Norwich.


Elizabeth Bentley (1767-1839) Author who lived in St Stephen's Square, Norwich.


Billy Bluelight (1849 [1863]-1949) Pseudonym of William Cullum, folk-hero known for racing against steam pleasure boats.


George Borrow (1803-1881) Writer and Traveller.


Sir Thomas Browne (1605-1682) Medical Doctor, Polymath, Scholar, Encyclopaedist and Philosopher.


Edith Cavell (1865-1915) From Swardeston and executed by a German firing squad in World War 1.


William Calthorpe who purchased Erpingham Manor in 1447.


John Crome (1768-1821) Joseph Stannard (1797-1830) and John Sell Cotman (1782-1842) established The Norwich School of Painters.


William Crotch (1775-1847) Composer, Artist and Teacher. Norwich's Mozart.


William Cuningham, Elizabethan Physician, Cartographer and Astrologer.


Sir Thomas Erpingham (1357-1428) Officer in the Battle of Agincourt.


Pablo Fanque (1796-1871) First black Circus Proprietor.


Elizabeth Fry (1780-1845) Prison Reformer and Quaker.


Charles Suckling Gilman (1807-1888) Businessman and Philanthropist.


Sir Charles Rackham Gilman (1833-c1910) Son of above and Businessman and Politician.


Robert Green (1558-1592) Dramatist.


Joseph John Gurney (1788-1847) Banker and Philanthropist.


Richard Lewis Hearne (1908-1979) Mr Pastry, Actor and Comedian.


Louisa Gurney Hoare (1784-1836) Diarist.


Sir Vyvyan Holt (1887-1960) Diplomat.


William Jackson Hooker (1785-1865) Botonist.


Robert William Bilton Hornby (1821-1884) Deacon at Norwich.


Julian of Norwich, Christian Mystic.


Robert Kett (Executed 1549) Norwich's Robin Hood.


Alfred Lungley (1905-1989) Awarded George Cross 1935.


Louis Marchesi (1898-1968) Founder of the Round Table.


James Martinue (1805-1900) Philosopher.


Harriet Martinue (1802-1876) Sister of the above and Author.


Bernard Matthews (1930-2010) Businessman.


Sir John Mills (1908-2005) Actor.


Thomas Morley (1558-1602) Organist.


R H Mottram (1883-1971) Novelist and Lord Mayor.


Admiral Horatio Nelson attended the Norwich School.


Amelia Opie (1769-1853) Author and Quaker.


Matthew Parker (1504-1575) Archbishop of Canterbury and the original 'Nosey Parker.'


William H Scott (1863-1938) Electrical Engineer.


Edmund Sheffield (1521-1549) Killed during Kett's Rebellion.


Tony Sheridan (1940-2013) Musicians who had the Beatles back him in Germany.


John Palgrave Simpson (1807-1887) Playwright.


George Skipper (1856-1948) Architect.


Sir James Edward Smith, Botonist.


William Smith (1756-1835) Whig and Abolitionist.


Contemporary Names Associated with East Anglia

Ed Balls, Labour MP, born in Norwich.


Diana Burrell, Composer, born in Norwich.


Martin Burgess, Builder of the Gurney Clock in the Mall.


Tanya Burr, Makeup Artist.


Michael Chandler, Author, Historian, Broadcaster.


Charles Clarke, Ex-Labour MP.


Samantha Chapman, Makeup Artist.


Cathy Dennis, Singer/Songwriter, born in Norwich.


Ralph Firman, Former Formula One Driver.


Stephen Fry, Comedian and Author.


Mike Gascoyne, Automative Engineer


Trisha Goddard, Chat Show Host.


Andy Green OBE, Lad Speed Record Holder.


Jake Humphrey, TV Presenter.


Myleen Klass, Singer, Model and Presenter.


Britani Knight, Professional Writer.


Mark Larwood, Actor and Comedian.


Ian McEwan, Author.


Jane Manning, Opera Soprano.


Professor Sir Paul Nurse, 2001 Noble Prize winner in Physiology.


Bet Orton, Award-Winning Singer/Songwriter.


Steve Osborne, Musician and Record Producer.


Ronan Park, Came 2nd in Britain's Got Talent 2011.


David Perry, Norwich Puppet Man.


Emma Pooley, British Olympic Silver Medalist.


Philip Pullman, Writer.


Colin Self, Contemporary Artist.


Dame Delia Smith, Celebrity Chef and majority owner of Norwich City F.C.


Chris Sutton, Football Player.


Stella Vine, Artist.


Tim Westwood, BBC Radio 1 Rap DJ.

Famous People from East Anglia


Boudica (d. 60 or 61), queen of the Iceni tribe, who famously led an uprising against the Roman Empire


St Edmund (841-869), king of East Anglia, martyr and first patron saint of England


Cardinal Thomas Wolsey (1471-1530), influential statesman under Henry VIII


Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658), military and political leader, Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland


Samuel Pepys (1633-1703), naval administrator and politician


Sir Robert Walpole (1676 -1745), regarded as the first British prime minister


Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788), portrait and landscape painter


Thomas Paine (1737-1809), pamphleteer, revolutionary, radical, inventor, and intellectual


Thomas Clarkson (1760-1846), abolitionist and leading campaigner against the slave trade in the British Empire


John Constable (1776-1837), Romantic painter


Robert FitzRoy (1805-1865), pioneering meteorologist and captain of HMS Beagle during Charles Darwin's famous voyage


Elizabeth Garrett Anderson (1836-1917), Britain's first female physician and mayor


Octavia Hill (1838-1912), social reformer


John Strutt, Lord Rayleigh (1842-1919), physicist and Nobel Prize winner


Dame Millicent Fawcett (1847-1929), suffragist and early feminist


Sir Henry Royce (1863-1933), co-founder of the Rolls-Royce company


Edith Cavell (1865-1915), WWI nurse and humanitarian


Howard Carter (1874-1939), archaeologist who discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun


John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946), one the most influential economists of the 20th century


Benjamin Britten (1913-1976), composer, conductor, violist and pianist


Richard Attenborough actor, director, producer, and entrepreneur


John Fowles (1926-2005), novelist and essayist


Bernie Ecclestone (b. 1930), president and CEO of Formula One Management & Administration


Sir Harold Kroto (b. 1939), chemist and Nobel Prize winner


Jeffrey Archer (b. 1940), author and politician


Stephen Hawking (b. 1942), theoretical physicist


John Major (b. 1943-), former Prime Minister


Jack Straw (b. 1946), Labour politician (served as Home Secretary, Foreign Secretary, Lord Privy Seal, Secretary of State for Justice, etc.)


Sir James Dyson (b. 1947), industrial designer and founder of the Dyson company (vacuum cleaners)


Douglas Adams (1952-2001), author, comic radio dramatist, and musician


Diana, Princess of Wales (1961-1997)


Ralph Fiennes (b. 1962), Hollywood actor


Jamie Oliver (b. 1975), celebrity chef





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