Sir Humphry Davy, 1st Baronet FRS MRIA (17 December 1778 – 29 May 1829) was a British chemist and inventor. He is probably best remembered today for his discoveries of several alkali and alkaline earth metals, as well as contributions to the discoveries of the elemental nature of chlorine and iodine. He invented the Davy lamp, which allowed miners to enter gassy workings.
John (24 December 1167 – 19 October 1216) was King of England from 6 April 1199 until his death. He acceded to the throne as the younger brother of King Richard I, who died without issue. John was the youngest of five sons of King Henry II of England and Eleanor, Duchess of Aquitaine, and was their second surviving son to ascend the throne; thus, he continued the line of Plantagenet or Angevin kings of England.
King Arthur is a legendary British leader who, according to medieval histories and romances, led the defence of Britain against Saxon invaders in the early sixth century. The details of Arthur's story are mainly composed of folklore and literary invention, and his historical existence is debated and disputed by modern historians. The sparse historical background of Arthur is gleaned from various sources, including the Annales Cambriae, the Historia Brittonum, and the writings of Gildas.
Saint Piran or Perran (traditionally in Cornwall, saints are simply named, without this title) is an early 6th century Cornish abbot and saint, supposedly of Irish origin. He is the patron saint of tin-miners, and is also generally regarded as the patron saint of Cornwall, although Saint Michael and Saint Petroc also have some claim to this title. Saint Piran's Flag is a white cross on a black background. Saint Piran's Day is 5 March.
Vice Admiral William Bligh FRS RN (9 September 1754 – 7 December 1817) was an officer of the British Royal Navy and a colonial administrator. A notorious mutiny occurred during his command of HMS Bounty in 1789; Bligh and his loyal men made a remarkable voyage to Timor, after being set adrift by the mutineers in the Bounty's launch.
William Murdoch (sometimes spelled Murdock) (21 August 1754 – 15 November 1839) was a Scottish engineer and inventor. It is believed he Anglicised his name to Murdock when he moved to England. Murdoch was employed by the firm of Boulton and Watt and worked for them in Cornwall as a steam engine erector for ten years, spending most of the rest of his life in Birmingham. He was the inventor of gas lighting in the early 1790s and coined the term gasometer.
Robert Stephen Hawker (3 December 1803 – 15 August 1875), often known as Stephen Hawker, was an Anglican clergyman, poet, antiquarian of Cornwall, and reputed eccentric. He is best known as the writer of The Song of the Western Men, that includes the chorus line, And shall Trelawny die? There's 20,000 Cornish men shall know the reason why, which he published anonymously in 1825.
Richard of Cornwall (5 January 1209 – 2 April 1272) was Count of Poitou (from 1225 to 1243), Earl of Cornwall (from 1225) and German King (formally "King of the Romans", from 1257). One of the wealthiest men in Europe, he also joined the Sixth Crusade, where he achieved success as a negotiator for the release of prisoners, and assisted with the building of the citadel in Ascalon.
Piers Gaveston, 1st Earl of Cornwall (c. 1284 – 19 June, 1312) was the favourite, and possibly lover, of King Edward II of England. A Gascon by birth, Piers was the son of Sir Arnaud de Gabaston, a soldier in service to King Edward I of England, and of Claramonde de Marsan. Arnaud had been used as a hostage by Edward twice; on the second occasion, Arnaud escaped captivity, and fled to England with his son.
John Couch Adams (5 June 1819 – 21 January 1892) was a British mathematician and astronomer. Adams was born in Laneast, near Launceston, Cornwall and died in Cambridge. The Cornish name Couch is pronounced "cooch". His most famous achievement was predicting the existence and position of Neptune, using only mathematics. The calculations were made to explain discrepancies with Uranus's orbit and the laws of Kepler and Newton.
Alfred Leslie Rowse, CH, FBA, known professionally as A. L. Rowse and to his friends and family as Leslie, was a prolific Cornish historian. He is perhaps best known for his poetry about Cornwall and his work on Elizabethan England. He was also a Shakespearean scholar and biographer. He developed a widespread reputation for irascibility and intellectual arrogance.
Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch (21 November 1863 – 12 May 1944) was a British writer, who published under the pen name of Q. He is primarily remembered for the monumental Oxford Book Of English Verse 1250–1900 (later extended to 1918), and for his literary criticism. He guided the taste of many who never met him, including American writer Helene Hanff, author of 84 Charing Cross Road, its sequel, Q's Legacy, and the putatively fictional Horace Rumpole via John Mortimer, his literary amanuensis.
Robert James "Bob" Fitzsimmons (May 26, 1863 - October 22, 1917), an English boxer, made boxing history as the sport's first three-division world champion. He also achieved fame for beating Gentleman Jim Corbett, the man who beat John L. Sullivan. Nicknamed Ruby Robert or The Freckled Wonder, he took pride in his lack of scars, and appeared in the ring wearing heavy woollen underwear to conceal the disparity between his trunk and leg-development.
Admiral Edward Boscawen, PC, RN (19 August 1711 – 10 January 1761) was a British admiral and politician. Boscawen was the third son of Hugh Boscawen, 1st Viscount Falmouth. He entered the Royal Navy early, and, in 1739, distinguished himself at the taking of Porto Bello. Over his career, his aggressiveness in battle and many victories earned him the nicknames "Old Dreadnaught" and "Wry-necked Dick."
Richard Lower (1631 – 17 January 1691) was a British physician who played an important part in the development of medical science. He is most remembered for his works on transfusion and the function of the cardiopulmonary system. Lower was born in St Tudy, Cornwall and studied at Westminster School where he met John Locke, and Oxford, where he met Thomas Willis, founder of the Royal Society. He followed Willis to London, where he carried out research, some in partnership with Robert Hooke.
Richard Trevithick (13 April 1771 – 22 April 1833) was a British inventor and mining engineer. His most significant success was the high pressure steam engine and he also built the first full-scale working railway steam locomotive. On 21 February 1804 the world's first railway journey took place as Trevithick's unnamed steam locomotive hauled a train along the tramway of the Penydarren Ironworks, near Merthyr Tydfil in Wales.
Robert, Count of Mortain was the half-brother of William I of England. Robert was the son of Herluin de Conteville and Herleva of Falaise (who was also William's mother) and was full brother to Odo of Bayeux. The exact year of Robert's birth is unknown (perhaps ca. 1038), although it is generally thought that Odo was the elder of the two, and that Robert was probably not more than a year or so younger than his sibling: there is considerable doubt about the year of Odo's birth.
Sir Richard Grenville, 1st Baronet (or Granville) (1600–1658) was a Cornish Royalist leader during the English Civil War. He was the third son of Sir Bernard Grenville (1559–1636), and a grandson of the famous seaman, Sir Richard Grenville.
Michael Joseph (better known as Michael An Gof, where An Gof is Cornish for "blacksmith"; died 24 June 1497) and Thomas Flamank were the leaders of the Cornish Rebellion of 1497. The rebels marched on London to protest at King Henry VII's levying a tax to pay for an invasion of Scotland in retaliation for the Scots' support for the pretender Perkin Warbeck.
Earl of Mount Edgcumbe is a title in the Peerage of Great Britain. It was created in 1789 for George Edgcumbe, 3rd Baron Edgcumbe. The Edgcumbe family descends from Sir Piers Edgcumbe of Cotehele in Cornwall, who acquired the Mount Edgcumbe estate near Plymouth through marriage in the early 16th century. His descendant Richard Edgcumbe was a prominent politician and served as Paymaster-General of Ireland and as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.
Viscount Falmouth is a title that has been created twice, first in the Peerage of England, and then in the Peerage of Great Britain. The first creation came in the Peerage of England in 1674 for George FitzRoy, illegitimate son of King Charles II by Barbara Villiers. He was created Earl of Northumberland at the same time and in 1683 he was made Duke of Northumberland. However, he left no heirs, so the titles became extinct at his death in 1716.
Earl of St Germans, in the County of Cornwall, is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It was created in 1815 for John Eliot, 2nd Baron Eliot, with remainder to his younger brother the Hon. William Eliot and the heirs male of his body. He had earlier represented Liskeard in Parliament.
Thomas Flamank (executed 24 June 1497) was a lawyer from Cornwall who together with Michael An Gof led the Cornish Rebellion against taxes in 1497. He was the eldest son of Richard Flamank or Flammock of Boscarne, by Johanna or Jane, daughter of Thomas Lucombe of Bodmin (cf. Visitation of Cornwall, 1620, Harl. Soc. 71). The family is of great antiquity at Bodmin, having held the manor of Nanstallon in uninterrupted succession from the fourteenth to the nineteenth century (1817).