Cambridge Encyclopedia Vol. 69

Cambridge Encyclopedia

Sir George Gilbert Scott - Restorations

Architect, born in Gawcott, Buckinghamshire, SC England, UK. He studied in London, and influenced by Pugin became the leading practical architect of the British Gothic revival, responsible for the building or restoration of many ecclesiastical and civil buildings, such as the Albert Memorial (1862–3), St Pancras Station and Hotel in London (1865), and Glasgow University (1865). He became professo…

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Sir George Gipps - Early career, Governor of New South Wales, Return to England

Colonial administrator, born in Ringwould, Kent, SE England, UK. He served in the Royal Engineers before becoming Governor of New South Wales (1838–46). His policy of selling land by auction instead of the colonial office policy of a fixed price showed him to be an unpopular but farsighted opponent of land monopoly. Gippsland in Victoria is named after him. Sir George Gipps (1791 – 28 Fe…

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Sir George Grove

Musicologist, born in London, UK. He practised as a civil engineer, building lighthouses in Jamaica and Bermuda, then became secretary to the Society of Arts (1849), and secretary and director of the Crystal Palace Company (1852). His major work was as editor of the Dictionary of Music and Musicians (1878–89), and he also edited Macmillan's Magazine (1868–83) and contributed to biblical study. H…

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Sir George Newnes

Publisher and politician, born in Matlock, Derbyshire, C England, UK. He was educated at Shireland Hall, Warwickshire, and the City of London School. He founded Tit-Bits (1881), the Strand Magazine (1891), the Westminster Gazette (1873), Country Life (1897), the Wide World Magazine (1898), and others. He was MP for the Newmarket division (1885–95). Aside from his publishing activities, New…

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Sir George Oswald Browning Allen - External references

Cricketer, born in Sydney, New South Wales, SE Australia. He studied at Cambridge, and played for England in 25 Tests, including the 1932–3 Ashes series, when he refused to bowl ‘bodyline’. He led the 1936–7 Ashes party to Australia, and after retiring he became the most powerful figure at the MCC, effectively running Lord's for the best part of half a century. He is the only player to have ta…

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Sir George Robey

Comedian, born in Herne Hill, Kent, SE England, UK. He first appeared on the stage in 1891, made a name for himself in musical shows such as The Bing Boys (1916), and later emerged as a Shakespearean actor in the part of Falstaff. He was famous for his bowler hat, black coat, hooked stick, and thickly painted eyebrows. He was knighted in 1954. George Edward Wade (20 September 1869 – 29 No…

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Sir George Simpson

Explorer and administrator, born in Lochbroom, Highland, N Scotland, UK. He was governor of the territory belonging to the Hudson's Bay Co (1821–56), where he developed an unprecedented knowledge of the fur trade. In 1828 he made an overland journey around the world. Simpson's Falls and Cape George Simpson are named after him. He was knighted in 1841 for his contribution to Arctic discoveries. …

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Sir George Somers

English colonist, a founder of the South Virginia Company. In 1610 he was commander of a fleet of settlers which was shipwrecked on the Bermudas (originally known as the Somers Is), and claimed the islands for the British crown. Admiral Sir George Somers (1554-1610) was a British naval hero. Somers commanded several British ships between 1600 and 1602, including the HMS Vanguard…

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Sir George Williams

Social reformer, born in Dulverton, Somerset, SW England, UK. A wealthy draper, he made a hobby of temperance work, lay preaching, and teaching in ragged schools. In 1844 he founded the Young Men's Christian Assocation (YMCA). George Williams may refer to: …

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Sir Geraint (Llewellyn) Evans

Baritone, born in Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taff, S Wales, UK. He studied in London and on the European mainland, making his operatic debut at Covent Garden in 1948. He soon earned international fame, particularly in comic roles such as Mozart's Leporello, Verdi's Falstaff, and Wagner's Beckmesser. He was knighted in 1971, and retired from the operatic stage in 1984. Sir Geraint Llewellyn E…

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Sir Gerald du Maurier

Actor-manager, born in London, UK, the younger son of George du Maurier. He studied at Harrow, and left a business career for the stage, making his reputation in criminal roles, beginning with Raffles (1906). He became joint manager of Wyndham's Theatre (1910–25), and was knighted in 1922 for his services to the stage. He was manager of the St James's Theatre from 1926 until his death. Sir…

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Sir Gerald Templer - Life, Honours

British soldier. He trained at Sandhurst Military Academy, was commissioned in the Royal Irish Fusiliers, and served with them in World War 1. In World War 2 he became commander of the 6th Armoured Division. He was deputy (1948–50) then Chief of the Imperial General Staff (1955–8). As high commissioner and commander-in-chief in Malaya (1952–4), he frustrated the Communist guerrillas' offensive.…

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Sir Giles Gilbert Scott - Family, Qualification as an architect, Liverpool Cathedral, Other early work, Inter-war years, Signature buildings

Architect, born in London, UK, the grandson of George Gilbert Scott. He studied at Beaumont College, designed the Anglican cathedral in Liverpool (begun 1904), and was knighted after the consecration ceremony in 1924. He designed many public buildings, including the new Bodleian Library at Oxford (1936–46), the new Cambridge University Library (1931–4), Battersea Power Station (1932–4), and the…

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Sir Godfrey (Newbold) Hounsfield - Research, Biography, Further reading

Physicist, born in Newark, Nottinghamshire, C England, UK. He joined the RAF in 1939 and worked on radar, becoming an instructor at RAF Cranwell. He left in 1946, studied at Faraday House in London, and joined Electrical and Musical Industries (EMI) in 1951. He was head of the design team that developed the EMI-DEC 1100, the first British solid-state business computer, and made notable advances in…

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Sir Godfrey Kneller

Portrait painter, born in Lübeck, N Germany. He studied at Amsterdam and in Italy, went to London (1676), and was appointed court painter (1680). He was knighted (1692), and in 1715 made a baronet. His best-known works are his 48 portraits of the Whig ‘Kit-Cat Club’ (1700–17, National Portrait Gallery, London), and of nine sovereigns. Sir Godfrey Kneller, 1st Baronet (August 8, 1646–O…

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Sir Goldsworthy Gurney - Biography, Gurney's steam carriage, Publications, Further reading

Inventor, born in Treator, Cornwall, SW England, UK. He trained and practised as a surgeon, but became more interested in solving scientific problems. Inspired by Stephenson's Rocket, he built a steam-powered carriage which completed a return journey from London to Bath at an average speed of 15 mph. He opened a passenger service, but this drew much opposition from horse-coach operators, and was …

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Sir Gordon Richards

Jockey and trainer, born in Oakengates, Shropshire, WC England, UK. Between 1921 and 1954 he rode a record 4870 winners in Britain, and was champion jockey a record 26 times (1925–53). On 12 occasions he rode 200 winners in a season, and his 269 winners in 1947 remained a record until broken by Tony McCoy in 2002. He won 14 English Classics (1930–53), and rode 12 consecutive winners (1933), incl…

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Sir Gustav (Joseph Victor) Nossal

Immunologist, born in Bad Ischl, C Austria. He studied at the universities of Sydney and Melbourne, and was appointed research fellow at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (1957), deputy director (1961), and director (1965. He was also professor of medical biology at Melbourne University. In 1978 he gave the ABC's Boyer Lecture, entitled ‘Nature's Defences’. His discovery of…

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Sir Halford John Mackinder - Work and achievements, Enter the Nazis, The importance of Mackinder, Mackinder on geography

Geographer and politician, born in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, EC England, UK. He studied at Oxford, and laid the foundations of British academic geography there, and later at Reading and the London School of Economics. He held numerous senior university appointments, became an MP (1910–22), and was British high commissioner for South Russia (1919–20). Knighted in 1920, he became chairman of the…

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Sir Hans (Adolf) Krebs - The Führerbunker

Physiologist, born in Hildesheim, NC Germany. He began his research at Freiburg, but was forced to emigrate to England in 1933, where he continued his work at Cambridge, then at Sheffield (1935–54) and Oxford (1954–67). He shared the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1953 for his work on the nature of metabolic processes, the way living creatures obtain energy from food. He was knighted …

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Sir Hans Sloane

Physician, born in Killyleagh, Co Down, SE Northern Ireland, UK. He studied in London and in France, and settled in London as a physician, but spent 1685–6 in Jamaica, collecting a herbarium of 800 species. His museum and library of 50 000 volumes and 3560 manuscripts formed the nucleus of the British Museum. Sir Hans Sloane (1660–1753) was an Ulster-Scot collector and physician. …

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Sir Harold (Delf) Gillies - Books:

Plastic surgeon, born in Dunedin, New Zealand. He studied at Wanganui College and Cambridge. In 1920 he published his Plastic Surgery of the Face, which established this subject as a recognized branch of medicine. During World War 2 he was responsible for setting up plastic surgery units throughout the country, and was personally in charge of one at Park Prewett Hospital, Basingstoke. In 1957 he p…

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Sir Harold (George) Nicolson - Books, Quotation, Further reading

British diplomat, writer, and critic, born in Teheran, Iran, where his father was British chargé d'affaires. He studied at Oxford, and had a distinguished career as a diplomat, entering the service in 1909, and holding posts in Madrid, Constantinople, Teheran, and Berlin until his resignation in 1929, when he turned to journalism. In 1913 he married Vita Sackville-West, and later became National …

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Sir Harold Hobson

Dramatic critic, born in Thorpe Hesley, South Yorkshire, N England, UK. He studied at Oxford, and was an assistant literary editor (1942–7) before becoming drama critic (1947–76) of the Sunday Times. He was one of the most influential critics in Britain, championing many new playwrights, including Beckett, Pinter, and Stoppard. He was also drama critic of the Christian Science Monitor (1931–74)…

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Sir Harold Jeffreys

Geophysicist, astronomer, and mathematician, born in Fatfield, Tyne and Wear, NE England, UK. He studied at Cambridge, where he became reader in geophysics (1931–46) and professor of astronomy (1945–58). In a wide-ranging scientific career, he investigated the effect of radioactivity on the cooling of the Earth, and postulated that the Earth's core is liquid. He studied earthquakes and monsoons,…

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Sir Harold Kroto - Early life, Early work, Subsequent work, Awards and Honours

Chemist, born in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, EC England, UK. He studied at the University of Sheffield, moving to the University of Sussex in 1967. He shared the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1996 for his contribution to the discovery of fullerenes (1985). He was president of the Royal Society of Chemistry (2002–4), and creator of the Vega Science Trust (1994). In 2004, he announced that he was movin…

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Sir Harold Spencer Jones - Honours

Astronomer, born in London, UK. He studied at Cambridge, and became chief assistant to the Astronomer Royal at Greenwich (1913–23). He then served as astronomer at the Royal Observatory at the Cape of Good Hope (1923–33), before returning to Greenwich to become Astronomer Royal (1933–55). He organized an international project to determine Earth–Sun distance, using a close approach of the aster…

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Sir Harrison Birtwistle - Life, Style, Popular perception

Composer, born in Accrington, Lancashire, NW England, UK. He studied at the Royal Manchester College of Music and the Royal Academy of Music in London. While in Manchester he formed with other young musicians the New Manchester Group for the performance of modern music. In 1967 he formed the Pierrot Players with Peter Maxwell Davies; much of his work being written for them and for the English Oper…

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Sir Harry (Donald) Secombe - Singles, Albums

Comedian, singer, and media personality, born in Swansea, SC Wales, UK. A choir boy and office worker, he made his stage debut in 1946 before becoming a regular on the radio show Variety Bandbox (1947). An exuberant comic, he was a member of The Goons (1951–9), a radio show whose lunacy had a wide-reaching influence. Besides countless variety shows, his stage appearances include Humpty Dumpty (19…

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Sir Harry (MacLennan) Lauder - Early years, Entertainer, His works, Later years, After death, Further reading

Singer, born in Edinburgh, EC Scotland, UK. He started his career on the music-hall stage as an Irish comedian, but made his name as a singer of Scots songs, many of which were of his own composition, such as ‘Roamin' in the Gloamin'’. He was knighted in 1919 for his work in organizing entertainments for the troops during World War 1. Some of his biggest successes were in London's famous music h…

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Sir Harry (Ralph) Ricardo - Engines

Mechanical engineer, born in London, UK. He studied at Cambridge, where he designed and built several small petrol engines, and began to work on the problems of ignition, combustion, and detonation. He soon recognized the importance of the type of fuel in avoiding detonation or ‘knocking’, and this led to the use of octane numbers to measure the anti-knock properties of petrols. His improved des…

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Sir Harry Brookes Allen - Education, Career

Pathologist, born in Geelong, Victoria, SE Australia. He studied at Melbourne University, and became its Foundation professor of pathology (1906–24). On a visit to the UK in 1890 he persuaded the General Medical Council in London to recognize medical degrees conferred by Melbourne, pioneering the eventual wider recognition of colonial academic qualifications. Harry Brookes Allen, son of Th…

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Sir Henry (Hallett) Dale - Research, Biography

Physiologist, born in London, UK. He studied at Cambridge and London, and became director of the National Institute for Medical Research, London, in 1928. He discovered acetylcholine and histamine, and in 1936 shared the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for work on the chemical transmission of nerve impulses. Although Dale and his colleagues first identified acetylcholine in 1914 as a…

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Sir Henry (John) Newbolt - Works

Poet, born in Bilston, Staffordshire, C England, UK. He studied at Oxford, became a barrister, and published novels. He is best known, however, for his sea songs - Admirals All (1897), which contained ‘Drake's Drum’, The Island Race (1898), Songs of the Sea, and others. In World War 1 he was controller of telecommunications and an official war historian, and published The Naval History of the Gr…

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Sir Henry (O'Neal de Hane) Segrave - Grand Prix motor racing career, Land speed record, Water speed record led to his death

Motor-racing driver, born in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. He trained at Sandhurst Military Academy, and served in the Royal Flying Corps in World War 1. Wounded in 1916, he became technical secretary to the air minister. A leading post-war racing driver, he helped to design the Sunbeam car, in which he broke the land speed record at 203·9 mph, raising this to 231 mph in 1929. He was killed in his …

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Sir Henry Ayers - Overview, Legacy

Politician, born in Portsea, Hampshire, S England, UK. He emigrated to South Australia in 1841 and took up a post with the South Australia Mining Association, with which he was associated for 50 years. Elected in 1863 to the first Legislative Council for the state under responsible government, he was a member of the Council for 36 years, and premier on several occasions. Ayers Rock was named after…

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Sir Henry Bessemer - Bessemer process, Other inventions, External articles and references

Inventor and engineer, born in Charlton, Hertfordshire, SE England, UK. A self-taught man, he learned metallurgy in his father's type foundry, and made numerous inventions. In 1855–6, in response to the need for guns in the Crimean War (1853–6), he took out a series of patents covering an economical process in which molten pig-iron can be turned directly into steel by blowing air through it in a…

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Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman - Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman's Government, December 1905 - April 1908, Political offices

British statesman and prime minister (1905–8), born in Glasgow, W Scotland, UK. He studied at Glasgow and Cambridge, became a Liberal MP (1868), was chief secretary for Ireland (1884), war secretary (1886, 1892–5), Liberal leader (1899), and prime minister. A ‘pro-Boer’, he granted the ex-republics responsible government, and his popularity united the Liberal Party. He supported the Lib–Lab p…

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Sir Henry Cole - Biography, As Felix Summerly, Cole and the Exhibitions, Honors and Legacy, Further reading

Designer, writer, and civil servant, born in Bath, SW England, UK. He introduced the penny postage system and is one of several candidates cited as inventor of the adhesive stamp. Under his pseudonym he set up a firm for ‘art manufacture’, published illustrated children's books, and published the first Christmas card. He planned and largely organized the Great Exhibition of 1851 under the patron…

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Sir Henry Doulton

Pottery manufacturer, born in London, UK. He entered his father's pottery there, and in 1846 introduced stoneware drain pipes instead of flat-bottomed brick drains. In 1848 he started works near Dudley, later the largest in the world, and introduced fine porcelain ware in the 1880s, for which the company is better known. From the age of fifteen, he was actively employed in the pottery works…

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Sir Henry Harwood - Ranks

British naval commander. As commander of the South American division, he commanded the British ships at the Battle of the River Plate, in which the German pocket battleship Graf Spee was trapped in Montevideo, and later scuttled (Dec 1939). He was made commander-in-chief of the Mediterranean fleet in 1942. …

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Sir Henry Havelock (Allan) - Biography, Bibliography, Other

British soldier, born in Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, NE England, UK. He studied at Charterhouse and the Middle Temple, entered the army a month after Waterloo, and went out to India in 1823. He distinguished himself in the Afghan and Sikh wars, and in 1856 commanded a division in Persia. He led the relief of Cawnpore and Lucknow (1857). Major-General Sir Henry Havelock (April 5, 1795 – Nov…

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Sir Henry Hughes Wilson

British field marshal, born in Edgeworthstown, Co Longford, C Ireland. He served in Burma and the Boer War, was commander of the Staff College (1910–14), entered World War 1 as director of military operations (1914), and rose to be Chief of the Imperial General Staff (1918–22). He was knighted in 1919. He left the army in 1922 and became MP for North Down, but was assassinated by two Irish ex-se…

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Sir Henry Irving

Actor and theatre manager, born in Keinton-Mandeville, Somerset, SW England, UK. He went on stage in 1865, appeared in Sunderland, Edinburgh, Manchester, and Liverpool, and in 1866 made his London debut at the St James's Theatre. He transferred to the Lyceum (1871), where he achieved fame overnight with his appearance in The Bells, a melodrama adapted from Erckmann Chatrian's Le Juif polonais, and…

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Sir Henry Morgan - Early life, Loss of English support, Retirement, Trivia

Buccaneer, born in Llanrumney, S Wales, UK. Kidnapped as a child in Bristol and shipped to Barbados, he joined the buccaneers, leading many raids against the Spanish and Dutch in the West Indies and Central America. His most famous exploit was the sacking of Porto Bello and Panama (1671). Transported to London under arrest (1672) to placate the Spanish, he was subsequently knighted (1674) on the r…

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Sir Henry Morton Stanley - Trivia

Explorer and journalist, born in Denbigh, Denbighshire, NC Wales, UK. Abandoned as a child in a workhouse, in 1859 he went as cabin boy to New Orleans, where he was adopted by a merchant who bestowed his own name on the young man. In 1867 he joined the New York Herald, and as its special correspondent he travelled to Abyssinia and Spain. Instructed to ‘find Livingstone’ in Africa (1869), he left…

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Sir Henry Parkes

Australian statesman, born in Stoneleigh, Warwickshire, C England, UK. He emigrated to New South Wales in 1839, and became a well-known journalist in Sydney. A member of the colonial parliament in 1854, from 1872 he was five times premier of New South Wales. Knighted in 1877, he helped draft a constitution for a federated Australia (1891). Sir Henry Parkes GCMG (27 May 1815 – 27 April 189…

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Sir Henry Raeburn - Bibliography, People painted by Raeburn include the following

Portrait painter, born near Edinburgh, EC Scotland, UK. He first produced watercolour miniatures, then worked in oils. After his marriage to a wealthy widow, he studied in Rome (1785–7), then settled in Edinburgh, where he painted the leading members of Edinburgh society in a typically bold, strongly shadowed style. He was knighted in 1822. Sir Henry Raeburn (March 4, 1756 - July 8, 1823) …

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Sir Henry Rowley Bishop

Composer, born in London, UK. He exercised considerable influence in his lifetime with his glees and 88 operas, few of which have survived, though some songs from them have remained popular, including ‘Home, Sweet Home’. He was musical director at Covent Garden (1810–24), and received the first knighthood conferred upon a musician (1842). He held professorships at Edinburgh and Oxford. H…

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Sir Henry Savile

Scholar and courtier, born in Bradley, West Yorkshire, N England, UK. He studied at Oxford, became a fellow of Merton College, Oxford, was appointed warden of Merton in 1585, and provost of Eton in 1596. He translated part of the histories of Tacitus (1591) and the Cyropaedia of Xenophon. He also published the first edition of St John Chrysostom (1610–13). He helped Sir Thomas Bodley in the found…

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Sir Henry Tate

Sugar magnate, art patron, and philanthropist, born in Chorley, Lancashire, NW England, UK. He patented a method for cutting up sugar loaves (1872), came to London (1880), and rapidly made a large fortune from ‘Tate's cube sugar’. At Park Hill, Streatham, he formed a valuable collection of works by contemporary masters, which he offered to the nation on condition that the government should find …

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Sir Henry Walford Davies

Composer, organist, and broadcaster, born in Oswestry, Shropshire, WC England, UK. He became professor of music at Aberystwyth (1919–26), organist of St George's Chapel, Windsor (1927–32), and Master of the King's Music (1934–41). He was a prolific composer of religious music, and an influential educationist through his radio talks on music. Sir Henry Walford Davies, KCVO, OBE, (Septembe…

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Sir Henry Wotton

English diplomat, traveller, scholar, and poet, born in Boughton Malherbe, Kent, SE England, UK. He studied at Oxford, then travelled extensively. He became the confidant of Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex. On his friend's downfall (1601) he went to France, then to Italy, and was sent by Ferdinand, Duke of Florence, on a secret mission to James VI of Scotland. When James succeeded to the throne…

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Sir Herbert (Draper) Beerbohm Tree

Actor-manager, born in London, UK, the half-brother of Max Beerbohm. After a commercial education in Germany, he became an actor, took over the Haymarket Theatre (1887), and built His Majesty's Theatre (1897), where he rivalled Irving's productions at the Lyceum. He founded the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 1904, and scored a great success with the first production of Shaw's Pygmalion in 1914. …

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Sir Herbert Baker - Early life, South Africa, India, Other work

Architect, born in Cobham, Kent, SE England, UK. He designed Groote Schuur, near Cape Town, for Cecil Rhodes, the Union government buildings at Pretoria, and (with Edwin Lutyens) New Delhi in India. Other well-known buildings of his include the new Bank of England and South Africa House in London. Sir Herbert Baker (1862–1946) was the dominant force in South African architecture for two d…

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Sir Herbert Butterfield

Historian, born in Yorkshire, N England, UK. He studied at Peterhouse, Cambridge, where he later became fellow (1923–55) and master (1955–68), as well as lecturer (1930–44), professor of modern history (1944–63), and Regius professor (1963–8). He won initial recognition as a diplomatic historian with The Peace-Tactics of Napoleon 1806–8 (1929). His The Origins of Modern Science (1949) inaugu…

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Sir Herbert John Clifford Grierson

Critic and scholar, born in Lerwick, Shetland, NE Scotland, UK. He studied at King's College, Aberdeen, and at Oxford, and became professor at Aberdeen (1894–1915) and Edinburgh (1915–35), where he was also elected rector (1936–9). His books include Metaphysical Poets (1921), Milton and Wordsworth (1937), and Essays and Addresses (1940). …

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Sir Hermann Bondi - Early life, Theoretical work, Other work, Personal life

Mathematical physicist, astronomer, and cosmologist, born in Vienna, Austria. He studied at Cambridge, where he held academic posts (1945–54) after working for the British Admiralty during World War 2. He was appointed professor of mathematics at King's College, London (1954), director-general of the European Space Research Organisation (1967–71), chief scientific adviser, Ministry of Defence (1…

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Sir Hiram (Stevens) Maxim - Patents

Inventor and engineer, born in Sangerville, Maine, USA. He became a coachbuilder in an engineering works in Fitchburg, MA (1865), and from 1867 took out patents for a wide range of inventions, including electric lamps and gas equipment. An interest in automatic weapons took him to England in 1881, where he perfected the Maxim machine-gun in 1883. He also invented a pneumatic gun, a smokeless powde…

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Sir Howard Hodgkin

Painter, born in London, UK. He trained chiefly at Bath Academy of Art, where he later taught (1956–66). His highly personal style has not followed any of the major art movements of recent decades: though at first sight apparently abstract, his paintings are in fact representational, usually of interiors with people captured at a particular moment in time. In 1985 he won the Turner Prize for cont…

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Sir Hubert von Herkomer

Artist and film pioneer, born in Waal, S Germany. He studied art at Southampton, Munich, and the College of Art in South Kensington, and in 1870 settled in London. As well as painting, he worked as an engraver, wood-carver, ironsmith, architect, journalist, playwright, composer, singer, and actor. He was also a pioneer producer/director of British silent films, with his own studio at Bushey, Hertf…

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Sir Hugh (Maxwell) Casson

Architect, born in London, UK. He studied at Cambridge, and was professor of interior design at the Royal College of Art (1953–75). He directed the architecture of the Festival of Britain (1951), and was president of the Royal Academy (1976–84). He was knighted in 1952. Sir Hugh Maxwell Casson RA (23 May 1910 – 15 August 1999) was a British architect, interior designer, artist, and infl…

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Sir Humphrey Gilbert - Early life, Military career in Ireland, MP and Adventurer, Return to Ireland, Newfoundland, Legacy

English navigator, the half-brother of Sir Walter Raleigh. He served in Ireland (1566–70), and was made Governor of Munster. He then campaigned in Holland (1570–5), and in 1578 led an unsuccessful colonizing expedition to the New World. In a second attempt in 1583 he landed in Newfoundland, taking possession of it for the crown, and established a colony at St John's. Sir Humphrey Gilbert …

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Sir Humphry Davy - Electrochemistry work, Retirement and further work, Further electrochemistry studies, Death, Davy's Statue, Clerihew

Chemist, born in Penzance, Cornwall, SW England, UK. In 1795 he was apprenticed to a Penzance surgeon, and in 1797 took up chemistry. He investigated the respiration of gases, and discovered the anaesthetic effect of laughing gas. In 1801 he became a lecturer at the Royal Institution. His fame chiefly rests on his discovery that chemical compounds could be decomposed into their elements using elec…

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Sir Huw Wheldon - Joining WWII, After the War

Broadcaster, from Wales, UK, the son of Sir Wyn Wheldon. Partly educated in Germany, he fought in World War 2, and was awarded the MC in 1944. He joined the BBC in 1952, and was responsible for the seminal arts programme Monitor (1957–64), where the cultural life of the land was reviewed and illuminated with a rare passion and enthusiasm. He became head of documentaries and music programmes in 19…

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Sir Ian (Murray) McKellen - Theatre career, Mainstream success, Gay rights work, Awards, Selected stage and screen credits

Actor, born in Burnley, Lancashire, NW England, UK. He studied at Cambridge, and went on to appear in several repertory theatres before making his London debut in 1964. He joined the National Theatre in 1965, the touring Prospect Theatre Company in 1968, and with Edward Petherbridge founded the Actors' Company in 1972. He played many memorable parts for the Royal Shakespeare Company (1974–8), inc…

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Sir Ian Clunies Ross - Early career, Science administration, Honours

Veterinary scientist, born in Bathurst, New South Wales, SE Australia. He joined the newly formed [Australian] Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in 1926, but resigned upon being appointed Australian representative on the International Wool Secretariat (1937), where he served as chairman until 1940. That year he became professor of veterinary science at Sydney University. When the CSIR…

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Sir Ian Holm - Background, Career, Trivia, Filmography

Actor, born in Ilford, E Greater London, UK. He was a member of the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre Company at Stratford (1954–5), toured Europe with Laurence Olivier in Titus Andronicus, and returned to Stratford in 1957, where he achieved a major success playing Prince Hal, Henry V, and Richard III in The Wars of The Roses (1963–4). He won an award for his part in the film Chariots of Fire (1981,…

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Sir Isaac Newton - Biography, Religious views, Newton and the counterfeiters, Enlightenment philosophers, Newton's laws of motion

Physicist and mathematician, born in Woolsthorpe, Lincolnshire, EC England, UK. He studied at Cambridge. In 1665–6 the fall of an apple is said to have suggested the train of thought that led to the law of gravitation. He studied the nature of light, concluding that white light is a mixture of colours which can be separated by refraction, and devised the first reflecting telescope. He became prof…

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Sir Isaac Pitman - Quotes

Educationist, and inventor of a shorthand system, born in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, S England, UK. First a clerk, he became a schoolmaster at Barton-on-Humber, and at Wotton-under-Edge, where he issued his Stenographic Sound Hand (1837). Dismissed from Wotton because he had joined the New Jerusalem (Swedenborgian) Church, he established a Phonetic Institute for teaching shorthand in Bath (1839). In 1…

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Sir Isaac Wolfson

Businessman and philanthropist, born in Glasgow, W Scotland, UK. He quit school at 15 to become a salesman, joined Great Universal Stores as a buyer (1932), became managing director (1934), and greatly expanded the business, retiring as life-president (1987). In 1955 he set up the Wolfson Foundation for the advancement of health, education, and youth activities in the UK and the Commonwealth, and …

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Sir Isaiah Berlin - Life, His work, Trivia

Philosopher and historian of ideas, born in Riga, Latvia. Most of his academic career was at Oxford, where he became a fellow of All Souls (1932), professor of social and political theory (1957), and Master of Wolfson College (1966). His philosophical works included Karl Marx (1939), Historical Inevitability (1954), Two Concepts of Liberty (1959), and Vico and Herder (1976). Later works included T…

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Sir Jackie Stewart - Complete Formula One results

Motor-racing driver, born in Milton, West Dunbartonshire, W Scotland, UK. He started in 99 races, and won 27 world championship races between 1965 and 1973, a record until surpassed by Alain Prost in 1987. He was world champion in 1969 (driving a Matra), 1971, and 1973 (both Tyrrell). He retired at the end of 1973, and took up a career in broadcasting. He is also expert at clay pigeon shooting, an…

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Sir Jacob Epstein - Life, Work, Selected major pieces, Quotations

Sculptor, born in New York City, USA. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, moving to London, UK, in 1905, and becoming a British subject. Several of his symbolic sculptures, such as ‘Ecce homo’ (1934), resulted in accusations of indecency and blasphemy. He was an outstanding modeller of bronze portrait heads of celebrities and children. In the 1950s, his last two large works, ‘Chris…

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Sir James (Augustus Henry) Murray

Philologist and lexicographer, born in Denholm, Scottish Borders, SE Scotland, UK. A grammar school teacher (1855–85), his Dialects of the Southern Counties of Scotland (1873) established his reputation. The great work of his life, the editing of the Philological Society's New English Dictionary (later called the Oxford English Dictionary), was begun at Mill Hill in 1879, and completed in 1928 at…

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Sir James (Fownes) Somerville - Early career, European operations, 1939-1942, Indian Ocean, 1942-1944, Later career

British naval commander. As a radio communications specialist he served in the Dardanelles (1915) and in the Grand Fleet (1915–18). In the West Indies (1938–9), he was invalided home with suspected tuberculosis, but recalled to the active list in 1940. As vice-admiral in the Mediterranean, he sank the French ships at Oran (1940), shelled Genoa (1941), helped in the sinking of the Bismarck (1941)…

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Sir James (Henry) Craig

British soldier, born in Gibraltar. He joined the army at 15 and served with distinction in America, where he was wounded at Bunker Hill and helped capture Ticonderoga (1777). In 1795, as major-general, he took Cape Colony and served as its governor until 1797. He later became Governor-General of Canada (1807–11). James Craig may refer to: …

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Sir James (Hopwood) Jeans - Quotes

Astrophysicist and popularizer of science, born in Ormskirk, Lancashire, NW England, UK. He taught at Cambridge (1904–5, 1910–12) and Princeton (1905–9), where he was professor of applied mathematics, then became a research associate at Mt Wilson Observatory, Pasadena until 1944. He made important contributions to the theory of gases, quantum theory, and stellar evolution, and became widely kno…

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Sir James (Michael) Goldsmith - Business, Politics, Personal life

Businessman, publisher, and politician, born in Paris, France. His family left France at the beginning of World War 2, and he was educated in the UK, where after leaving school he built up a range of companies and developed a reputation as a charismatic, risk-taking financier. He lived both in France and the UK, and received a great deal of media attention for his flamboyant public and private liv…

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Sir James (Phillips) Kay-Shuttleworth

Physician and educationist, born in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, NW England, UK. He studied and practised medicine, married the heiress of the Shuttleworths of Gawthorpe, and assumed her surname (1842). As secretary to the committee of the Privy Council on Education he was instrumental in establishing a system of government school inspection. The pupil-teacher system originated with him, and he f…

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Sir James Black - Black in fiction

Pharmacologist, born in Uddingston, South Lanarkshire, WC Scotland, UK. He studied medicine at St Andrews, Scotland, then taught at various universities, becoming professor of analytical pharmacology at King's College, London (1984–93). His reasoning on how the heart's workload could be reduced led to the discovery of beta-blockers in 1964, and his deductions in 1972 on acid secretion in the stom…

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Sir James Chadwick - Early life, Research at Cambridge, Liverpool, Cambridge again

Physicist, born in Manchester, Greater Manchester, NW England, UK. He studied at Cambridge, and in Berlin under Geiger. He then worked at the Cavendish Laboratory with Rutherford, investigating the structure of the atom, and discovered the neutron (1932), for which he received the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1935. He led the UK's work on the atomic bomb in World War 2, and was knighted in 1945. …

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Sir James Clark Ross

Polar explorer, born in London, UK. He discovered the north magnetic pole in 1831, then commanded an expedition to the Antarctic seas (1839–43), where the Ross Barrier, Sea, and Island are named after him. He was knighted in 1843. Sir James Clark Ross (April 15, 1800 – April 3, 1862), was a British naval officer and explorer. He explored the Arctic with his uncle Sir John Ross and Sir Wi…

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Sir James Dewar

Chemist and physicist, born in Kincardine, Fife, E Scotland, UK. He studied chemistry at Edinburgh, and in 1875 became professor at Cambridge. Two years later he also became professor at the Royal Institution, London, where he lived, lectured, and pursued a wide range of experimental research; he visited Cambridge rarely. In the 1870s he invented the Dewar flask (or thermos flask), using it in his…

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Sir James Galway - Trivia, Further reading

Flautist, born in Belfast, NE Northern Ireland, UK. He studied in London and Paris, and played in various orchestras in London and in the Berlin Philharmonic (1969–75). He became a soloist in 1975, and has since followed a highly successful solo career, playing on a solid gold flute of remarkable tonal range. He published an autobiography in 1978, and was involved in a TV series, James Galway's M…

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Sir James Hall

Geologist, born in Dunglass, East Lothian, E Scotland, UK. He studied at Cambridge and Edinburgh, sought to prove in the laboratory the geological theories of his friend and mentor James Hutton, and so founded experimental geology, artificially producing many of the igneous rocks of Scotland. James Hall may refer to: …

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Sir James Lighthill

Fluid dynamicist and applied mathematician, born in Paris, France. Educated at the University of Cambridge, in 1943 he joined the National Physical Laboratory where he worked on supersonic aerodynamics. He later moved to the University of Manchester before becoming director of the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Farnborough (1959). In 1964 he took up a post at Imperial College, London, then in 1969 …

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Sir James Paget - Life, Works, Source

Physician and pathologist, born in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, E England, UK. One of the founders of modern pathology, he studied at St Bartholomew's Hospital, London, where he became full surgeon in 1861. He discovered the cause of trichinosis, and described the breast cancer known as Paget's disease, and the bone disease osteitis deformans known as Paget's disease of the bone. He was one of the pio…

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Sir James Swinburne

British scientist, ‘the father of British plastics’. He was a pioneer in the plastics industry, and the founder of Bakelite Ltd. His research on phenolic resins resulted in a process for producing synthetic resin, but his patent for this was anticipated (by one day) by the Belgian chemist, Leo Baekeland. Sir James Swinburne (February 28, 1858-March 30, 1958) was a British electrical engin…

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Sir James Thornhill

Baroque painter, born in Melcombe Regis, Dorset, S England, UK. He executed paintings for the dome of St Paul's, Blenheim, Hampton Court, and Greenwich Hospital, and founded a drawing school, where Hogarth (who became his son-in-law) was one of his pupils. In 1718 he was made history painter to the king. Knighted in 1720, he became an MP in 1722. Sir James Thornhill (25 July 1675 or 1676 - …

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Sir James Young Simpson - Career, Obstetrical Anaesthesia, Victo Dolore, Reference

Obstetrician, born in Bathgate, West Lothian, EC Scotland, UK. He trained in Edinburgh, graduated as a doctor in 1832, and became professor of midwifery in 1840. Regarded as one of the founders of modern obstetrics and gynaecology, he discovered the anaesthetic properties of chloroform, introduced it as an anaesthetic in 1847, and was the first to use it in labour. He was created a baronet in 1866…

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Sir Jeremy (Israel) Isaacs

Television executive, born in Glasgow, W Scotland, UK. He studied at Oxford, and became a producer with Granada Television on such current affairs series as What the Papers Say and All Our Yesterdays (1958–63). He later worked on BBC's Panorama (1965), and at Thames Television (1968–78), where he produced The World at War (1975). Later programmes include Ireland: a Television History (1981) and …

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Sir John (Carew) Eccles

Physiologist, born in Melbourne, Victoria, SE Australia. He studied at Melbourne and Oxford, became director of the Kanematsu Institute of Pathology at Sydney (1937), and was professor of physiology at Otago University (1944–51), then at Canberra (1951–66). In 1968 he moved to the State University of New York at Buffalo. A specialist in neurophysiology, he was knighted in 1958, and shared the 19…

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Sir John (Clifford) Mortimer - Bibliography

Playwright, novelist, and barrister, born in London, UK. He studied at Oxford, was called to the bar in 1948, and became a QC in 1966, participating in several celebrated civil cases. He became known as a dramatist with his one-act play The Dock Brief (1957). An autobiographical play, A Voyage Round My Father (1970), was filmed for television in 1982. He has made notable translations, especially o…

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Sir John (Cowdery) Kendrew - Early life, Crystallography, Crystal structure of myoglobin, Later career

Biochemist, born in Oxford, Oxfordshire, SC England, UK. He studied at Bristol and Cambridge, where he became a fellow (1947–75), and carried out research into the chemistry of blood. He was co-founder (with Max Perutz) and deputy chairman of the Medical Research Council unit for molecular biology at Cambridge (1946–75). He discovered the structure of the muscle protein myoglobin (1957), and was…

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Sir John (Frank Charles) Kingman

British academic. He studied at Cambridge, where he became a fellow of Pembroke College, and taught mathematics. He was professor at the University of Sussex (1966–9) and at Oxford (1969–85), before becoming Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bristol in 1985. His books include The Algebra of Queues (1966) and Mathematics of Genetic Diversity (1980), but his name became more generally known as …

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Sir John (Giovanni Battista) Barbirolli - Early years 1899-1937, Conductor of New York Philharmonic 1937-1942

Conductor and cellist, born in London, UK of French and Italian parents. He served in World War 1, played in several leading string quartets (1920–4), and succeeded Toscanini as conductor of the New York Philharmonic (1937). He returned to England as permanent conductor (1943–58) of the Hallé Orchestra in Manchester, later becoming its principal conductor (1959–68). In 1939 he married oboist E…

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Sir John (Grenfell) Crawford

Economist and administrator, born in Sydney, New South Wales, SE Australia. He studied at Sydney University, and held various senior positions in agricultural and rural economics, including director of the [Australian] Commonwealth Bureau of Agricultural Economics (1945–50). He held the chair of economics at the Australian National University, Canberra (1960–7), was Vice-Chancellor there (1968–…

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Sir John (Henry) Harvey-Jones

Industrial executive, born in Kent, SE England, UK. He trained at Dartmouth Naval College, and served in the navy until 1956. He joined ICI as a work study officer in 1956, rose to be chairman (1982–7), and was largely responsible for reshaping the company. He has since become more well known to the general public through the TV series Troubleshooter (1990, 1992, 1995), where he was invited to vi…

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Sir John (Kenneth) Tavener - Biography, Selected recordings

Composer, born in London, UK. He studied at the Royal Academy of Music, London (1961–5), and has been professor of music at Trinity College of Music since 1969. His music is predominantly religious, and includes the cantata The Whale (1966), Ultimos ritos (1972, Last Rites) for soloists, chorus, and orchestra, and a sacred opera Therese (1979). In 1994 he co-published Ikons: Meditations in Words …

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Sir John (Knewstub Maurice) Rothenstein - Works

Art historian, born in London, UK, the son of Sir William Rothenstein. He studied at Oxford and London, taught in the USA (1927–9), and became director of Leeds and Sheffield city art galleries (1932–8). He was then appointed director and keeper of the Tate Gallery, retiring in 1964. His many works on art include Modern English Painters (1952–73), and his autobiography (3 vols, 1965, 1966, 1970…

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Sir John (Lewis Ernest Watts) Mills - Life and career, Family, Death, Major films, Stage performances

Actor and director, born in Felixstowe, Suffolk, E England, UK. He first appeared on stage in 1929, becoming a popular actor in light comedies and musicals in the 1930s. He was best known as a film star, appearing in many patriotic war films as well as such epics as Scott of the Antarctic (1948), The Colditz Story (1954), and Oh! What a Lovely War (1969). For two generations of film audiences he r…

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Sir John (Marks) Templeton - Biography

Investment counsellor and philanthropist, born in Winchester, Tennessee, USA. He studied at Yale and went as a Rhodes Scholar to Balliol College, Oxford. He became an executive with a petroleum prospecting firm, the National Geophysical Co of Dallas and New York (1937–40), and formed his own investment house, Templeton, Dobbrow & Vance, Inc (1940–65). He then established Templeton Growth Fund, a…

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Sir John (Philip William) Dankworth

Jazz musician, composer, and arranger, born in London, UK. He trained at the Royal Academy of Music, London, and has been a leading figure in the British popular music and jazz scene since the 1950s. An accomplished saxophonist, and bandleader since 1953, he has also composed works for combined jazz and symphonic ensembles, such as The Diamond and the Goose (1981) for choir and orchestra, and film…

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Sir John (Robert) Kerr - Kerr's career, Kerr as Governor-General, The 1975 crisis, The dismissal, Further reading

Lawyer and administrator, born in Sydney, New South Wales, SE Australia. He studied at the University of Sydney, was admitted to the bar in 1938, and became a QC in 1953. He was made Chief Justice of New South Wales in 1972, and was appointed Governor-General of Australia in 1974. In 1975, his actions as governor-general made Australian constitutional history: the Coalition opposition had refused …

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Sir John (Robert) Vane

Biochemist, born in Tardebigg, Worcestershire, WC England, UK. He studied chemistry and pharmacology at Birmingham (1946) and Oxford universities, then taught at Yale (1953–5), the Institute of Basic Medical Sciences in London (1955–61), and the University of London (1961–73). He was appointed group research and development director with the Wellcome Research Laboratories in Beckenham, Kent (19…

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Sir John (William Frederic) Nott

British statesman and merchant banker, born in Bideford, Devon, SW England, UK. He studied at Cambridge, entered the House of Commmons in 1960 as Conservative member for St Ives, Cornwall, and was a junior Treasury minister in the government of Edward Heath (1972–4). In Margaret Thatcher's administration he was trade secretary (1979–81), and then defence secretary (1981–3), his period of office…

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Sir John Adams - Early Life, Politics, Continental Congress, Thoughts on Government, Declaration of Independence, Constitutional ideas, Vice Presidency

British nuclear physicist, and founder member of CERN, Geneva. He went from school in London into the Siemens Research Laboratory in Woolwich, then worked on wartime radar development. At Harwell he engineered the world's first major post-war accelerator (the 180 MeV cyclotron) in 1949. At CERN he engineered the 25 GeV proton synchroton (1954), and became director-general there in 1960. In 1961 …

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Sir John Ambrose Fleming - Early years, Notable achievements, External articles

Physicist, born in Lancaster, Lancashire, NW England, UK. He studied at London and Cambridge, and became professor of electrical engineering at University College London (1885–1926). He invented the thermionic valve, and was a pioneer in the application of electricity to lighting and heating on a large scale. He was knighted in 1929. Fleming was born in Lancaster and educated at the Univer…

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Sir John Bagot Glubb - Honours, Family

British soldier, born in Preston, Lancashire, NW England, UK. He trained at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, served in World War 1, and became the first organizer of the native police force in the new state of Iraq (1920). In 1930 he was transferred to British-mandated Transjordan, organizing the Arab Legion's Desert Patrol, and became Legion Commandant (1939). He had immense prestige among t…

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Sir John Bennet Lawes

Agriculturist, born in Rothamsted, Hertfordshire, SE England, UK. From his experiments with plants and crops on his estate developed the artificial fertilizer industry. He set up a factory at Deptford Creek in 1842 for the manufacture of his ‘superphosphate’. Even more important than this commercial enterprise was his research into agriculture. Aided by his partner Sir (Joseph) Henry Gilbert (18…

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Sir John Betjeman - Life, Work, Bibliography, Other sources

Poet, broadcaster, and writer on architecture, born in London, UK. He studied at Magdalen College, Oxford, but left university without a degree. He began to write for the Architectural Review and became general editor of the Shell Guides (1934). His first collection of verse was Mount Zion; or In Touch with the Infinite (1933). Other collections include New Bats in Old Belfries (1945), A Few Late …

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Sir John Cheke

Humanist and scholar, born in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, EC England, UK. Fellow of St John's College, Cambridge from 1529, he adopted the doctrines of the Reformation, and was appointed the first Regius professor of Greek at Cambridge (1540). In 1554 he was appointed tutor to the Prince of Wales (later Edward VI), whose accession secured him a seat in parliament (1547) and a knighthood (1552). Aft…

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Sir John Everett Millais - Life and work, Other notable work

Painter, born in Southampton, Hampshire, S England, UK. He studied at the Royal Academy from the age of 11, and became a founder member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, his works in this style including the controversial ‘Christ in the House of His Parents’ (1850, Tate, London). His later works were largely portraits, and some landscapes, and he also became well known for his woodcut illustrat…

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Sir John Fastolf

English soldier, born in Caister, Norfolk, E England, UK. He distinguished himself at Agincourt (1415), and still more at the ‘Battle of the Herrings’ (1429), so called because he formed a laager of herring barrels, and beat off a whole French army. He was accused of cowardice at Patay (1429), but later cleared of the charge. His Norfolk life is mirrored faithfully in the Paston Letters. His ide…

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Sir John Franklin - Early life, Final expedition, Popular culture, List of Franklin search expeditions

Arctic explorer, born in Spilsby, Lincolnshire, EC England, UK. He joined the navy at 14, and was present at the Battles of Copenhagen (1801) and Trafalgar (1805). Knighted in 1829, he became Governor of Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) (1834–45). He then commanded an expedition to discover the Northwest Passage, but his ships were beleaguered by thick ice in the Victoria Strait, and he and his crew …

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Sir John Gilbert

Painter and illustrator, born in London, UK. Mainly self-taught, he began to exhibit in oil and watercolour in 1836. Known as ‘the Scott of painting’ he is remembered for his illustrations of Shakespeare, Scott, Cervantes, and other authors, and for his woodcut illustrations in the Illustrated London News. John Gilbert may refer to: …

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Sir John Harington - Life, Image, Quotes, Bibliography

Courtier and writer, born in Kelston, Somerset, SW England, UK. From Cambridge he went to the court of his godmother, Elizabeth I. His wit brought him into much favour, which he endangered by the freedom of his satires. He is remembered as the metrical translator of Ariosto's Orlando Furioso (1591). His other writings include Rabelaisian pamphlets, epigrams, and The Metamorphosis of Ajax (1596), c…

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Sir John Hawkshaw

Civil engineer, born in Leeds, West Yorkshire, N England, UK. He was a mining engineer in Venezuela (1831–4), chief engineer of the Manchester and Leeds Railway (1845–50), and consulting engineer (1850) in the construction of Charing Cross and Cannon Street stations and bridges, and of the Inner Circle underground railway in London. He designed the Narmada bridge in India, was engineer for the A…

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Sir John Hindmarsh - Places named after John Hindmarsh

British naval officer and administrator, probably born in Chatham, Kent, SE England, UK. He served in the Navy (1796–1815), before being appointed the first governor of South Australia. The vagueness of Hindmarsh's powers led him into conflict with the resident commissioners, which set the tone for his period of office, and he was recalled to London in 1838. He was restored to favour two years la…

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Sir John Lyons

Linguist, born in Manchester, Greater Manchester, NW England, UK. He studied at Cambridge, taught at London (1957–61) and Cambridge (1961–4), then became professor of linguistics at Edinburgh (1964–76) and Sussex (1976–84), and Master of Trinity Hall, Cambridge (1984– ). A specialist in semantics and linguistic theory, his major publications include Semantics (2 vols, 1977), Language, Meaning…

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Sir John Major - Early life, Political career, Summary of time as Prime Minister, Media representation, Honours, Titles and honours

British statesman and prime minister (1990–7), born in London, UK. He had a career in banking before becoming Conservative MP for Huntingdonshire in 1979. He entered Margaret Thatcher's government as a junior minister in 1981, and rose to become Treasury chief secretary under Chancellor Nigel Lawson in 1987. Thereafter, having caught the eye of the prime minister, his progress was spectacular. In…

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Sir John Monash - Further reading

Australian soldier, born in Melbourne, Victoria, SE Australia. He studied at Scotch College and Melbourne University, practised as a civil engineer, and also held a commission in the Australian Citizen Force (1887). He commanded the 4th Australian Brigade at Gallipoli (1914–15), the 3rd Australian Division in France (1916), and the Australian Corps as lieutenant-general (1918). Recognized as one …

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Sir John Moore

British soldier, born in Glasgow, W Scotland, UK. From 1794 he served in many countries in Europe and in the West Indies, but is remembered for his command of the English army in Spain (1808–9), where he was forced to retreat to Coruña. There he defeated a French attack, but was mortally wounded (as recounted in the poem by Wolfe). John Moore is the name of: Clergy: …

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Sir John Morris-Jones

Scholar, poet, and teacher, born in Llandrygarn, Anglesey, NW Wales, UK. He studied at Oxford, and became the first professor of Welsh at the University College of North Wales, Bangor. His devotion to the Welsh language and literature, through teaching and writing, helped restore classical standards to Welsh poetry. Works include A Welsh Grammar, Historical and Comparative (1913), Cerdd Dafod (192…

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Sir John Oldcastle

Lollard leader and knight of England, born in Hereford, Herefordshire, WC England, UK. After serving in the Scottish and Welsh wars, and becoming an intimate of Henry V when Prince of Wales, he was tried and convicted on charges of heresy in 1413. He escaped from the Tower, and conspired with other Lollards to capture Henry V at Eltham Palace, Kent, and take control of London. The rising was abort…

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Sir John Richardson

Naturalist and explorer, born in Dumfries, Dumfries and Galloway, SW Scotland, UK. A surgeon in the Royal Navy (1807–55), he served in the Arctic expeditions of Parry and Franklin (1819–22, 1825–7), and the Franklin search expedition of 1848–9. He wrote Fauna Boreali-Americana (1829–37) and Ichthyology of the Voyage of HMS Erebus and Terror (1844–8), and made major contributions to the knowl…

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Sir John Ross

British naval officer, and Arctic explorer, born at Balsaroch, Dumfries and Galloway, SW Scotland, UK. In 1818 he led an expedition, including his nephew Sir James Clark Ross and Sir Edward Sabine, in search of the Northwest Passage. In 1829–33 he led another such expedition with Sir Felix Booth (1775–1850), during which he discovered and named Boothia Peninsula, King William Land, and the Gulf …

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Sir John Soane - Selected list of architectural works

Architect, born in Goring, Oxfordshire, SC England, UK. He trained in London, visited Italy (1777–80), held several government posts, and became professor of architecture at the Royal Academy (1806). His designs include the Bank of England (1792–1833, now rebuilt), and Dulwich Picture Gallery (1811–14). His house at Lincoln's Inn Fields has become a museum. Soane was born in Goring-On-Th…

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Sir John Stainer - Incomplete list of works, Bibliography

Composer, born in London, UK. At 16 he was organist at St Michael's College, Tenbury, then served as organist at St Paul's (1872–88). He founded the Musical Association (1874), was knighted in 1888, and became professor of music at Oxford (1889–1901). He wrote cantatas and church music, notably The Crucifixion (1887). As a composer Stainer produced abundant sacred music of varying quality…

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Sir John Tenniel

Artist, born in London, UK. Self-trained, he became known as a Punch cartoonist (from 1851) and book illustrator, notably in his work for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and Through the Looking-glass (1872). He was knighted in 1893. Sir John Tenniel (February 28, 1820 – February 25, 1914) was an English illustrator. He drew many topical cartoons and caricatures for Pun…

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Sir John Vanbrugh - Early life, Political activism and the Bastille, Public life, Legacy

Playwright and Baroque architect, born in London, UK. He became a leading spirit in society life, scored a success with his comedies The Relapse (1696) and The Provok'd Wife (1697), and became a theatre manager with Congreve. As architect, he designed Castle Howard, Yorkshire (1699–1726), and Blenheim Palace (1705–20). He became comptroller of royal works in 1714, and was knighted the same year.…

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Sir Jonah Barrington

Judge, politician, and memorialist, born in Abbeyleix, Co Laois, SC Ireland. He studied at Trinity College, Dublin, was called to the Irish bar in 1788, and became MP for various constituencies. He became involved in intricate political manoeuvres and was gradually overwhelmed by debts, resulting in his disgrace and dismissal in 1830. After settling in France, he wrote The Rise and Fall of the Iri…

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Sir Jonathan (Wolfe) Miller - Early life, The Fringe and beyond, 1970-2000, 2000-present, Honours, Parodies and representations

Actor and director, born in London, UK, He qualified as a doctor at Cambridge, and his career has combined medical research with contributions to stage and television. He came to public attention as part of the Beyond the Fringe team (1961–4), and in 1962 he directed John Osborne's Under Plain Cover at the Royal Court, which led to work in New York City, and an associate directorship of the Natio…

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Sir Jonathan Hutchinson - Life, Works, Source

Surgeon, born in Selby, North Yorkshire, N England, UK. He became surgeon at the London hospital (1859–83) and professor of surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons (1879–83). He is best known for his lifelong study of syphilis; Hutchinson's incisors (notched front teeth) are characteristic of congenital syphilis, which he first described. He was knighted in 1908. Sir Jonathan Hutchinson …

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Sir Joseph (Dalton) Hooker - Early years, Civil War, Final years and legacy

Botanist and traveller, born in Halesworth, Suffolk, E England, UK. He studied at Glasgow University, and eventually succeeded his father as director of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew (1865). He was a friend of Darwin, and supported Darwin's theory of evolution. He went on several expeditions which resulted in works on the flora of New Zealand, Antarctica, and India, as well as his Himalayan Jou…

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Sir Joseph (George) Ward - Early life, Early political career, First premiership, Leader of the Opposition, Second premiership, Trivia

New Zealand statesman and prime minister (1906–12, 1928–30), born in Melbourne, Victoria, NE Australia. He established a successful business in New Zealand, and entered parliament in 1877. Noted for his social welfare measures, he created the world's first ministry of public health (1901) and the National Provident Fund (1910), and made provision for widows' pensions (1911). He was knighted in 1…

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Sir Joseph (Wilson) Swan - Early life, Electric light, Edison collaboration, Photography

Physicist and chemist, born in Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, NE England, UK. He became a manufacturing chemist, patented the carbon process for photographic printing in 1864, and invented the dry plate (1871) and bromide paper (1879). In 1860 he invented an electric lamp which anticipated Edison's by 20 years, and in 1879 demonstrated a lamp which considerably improved on Edison's patent model. He wa…

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Sir Joseph Banks - Early life, Newfoundland and Labrador, Endeavour voyage, Legacy, Bibliography

Botanist, born in London, UK. He studied at Oxford, and in 1766 made a voyage to Newfoundland collecting plants. He then accompanied James Cook's expedition round the world in the Endeavour (1768–71). In 1778 he was elected president of the Royal Society, an office he held for 41 years. An important patron of science, he founded the African Association, and the colony of New South Wales owed its …

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Sir Joseph Lyons

Businessman, born in London, UK. He first studied art, and invented a stereoscope before joining with three friends to establish a teashop in Piccadilly. He became head of one of the largest catering businesses in Britain - J Lyons and Co Ltd. Joseph Aloysius Lyons (15 September 1879 – 7 April 1939), Australian politician, tenth Prime Minister of Australia. Lyons was born in C…

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Sir Joseph Norman Lockyer - Publications

Astronomer, born in Rugby, Warwickshire, C England, UK. As a clerk in the War Office (1857–75) he detected and named helium in the Sun's chromosphere (1868), a generation before William Ramsay found it on Earth. He worked in the government science and art department (1875–90), started and edited Nature (1869–1920), and was professor of astronomical physics at the Royal College of Science (1908

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Sir Joseph Paxton - The glass houses, Crystal Palace, Later career, Further reading

Gardener and architect, born near Woburn, Bedfordshire, SC England, UK. He was a working gardener to the Duke of Devonshire, at Chiswick and Chatsworth, where he remodelled the gardens, and built the conservatory and lily house. He designed a revolutionary building of prefabricated sections of cast-iron and glass for the Great Exhibition of 1851 (nicknamed ‘the Crystal Palace’), which he re-erec…

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Sir Joseph Rotblat - Early Life, The Manhattan Project, Work on nuclear fall-out, Peace work, Later work

Physicist and anti-nuclear weapons activist, born in Warsaw, Poland. Educated in Poland, he moved to Liverpool University in 1939, then participated in the atomic bomb project in the USA. After the war, he became a British citizen, working first at Liverpool (1945–9) then at St Bartholomew's Hospital, London (1950–76), and devoted himself to the peaceful application of nuclear physics, chiefly i…

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Sir Joseph Whitworth - Early life and career, Inventions, Death, Books

Engineer and machine-tool manufacturer, born in Stockport, Greater Manchester, NW England, UK. After working as a mechanic for some years, he began to make his own machine tools, exhibited them at the Great Exhibition of 1851, and quickly gained a reputation for their quality and accuracy. He established standard screw threads and the equipment for forming and gauging them, and developed a method …

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Sir Joshua Reynolds

Portrait painter, born in Plympton, Devon, SW England, UK. He studied art in London, and also in Rome (1749–52), then established himself in London, and by 1760 was at the height of his fame as a portrait painter. His works include ‘Dr Samuel Johnson’ (c.1756, National Portrait Gallery, London) and ‘Sarah Siddons as the Tragic Muse’ (1784, San Marino, CA). He became the first president of the…

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Sir Julian (Sorell) Huxley - Early life, Academic life, UNESCO, Humanism, Eugenics, Public life and science popularisation

Biologist, born in London, UK, the grandson of T H Huxley. He studied at Oxford, became professor of zoology at London (1925–7) and at the Royal Institution (1926–9), and was secretary to the Zoological Society of London (1935–42). He applied his scientific knowledge to political and social problems, formulating a pragmatic ethical theory based on the principle of natural selection. He was the …

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Sir Julius Vogel - Life after politics

New Zealand statesman and prime minister (1873–5, 1876), born in London, UK. He emigrated to Australia in 1852, and became a journalist. Moving to New Zealand in 1861, he was elected to parliament (1863), and became colonial treasurer (1869) and prime minister. He is best known for the large-scale public works he initiated with the help of loans he skilfully arranged with the British government. …

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Sir Karl (Raimund) Popper - Life, Popper's philosophy, Influence

Philosopher, born in Vienna, Austria. He studied at Vienna University, where he associated with the ‘Vienna Circle’ of philosophers, though he was strongly critical of their logical positivism. In 1935 he published his first book on scientific methodology, Die Logik der Forschung (1934, The Logic of Scientific Discovery), which stressed the importance of ‘falsifiability’ as a defining factor o…

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Sir Keith (Jacka) Holyoake - Early life, Early political career, Premierships, Governor-General

New Zealand statesman and prime minister (1957, 1960–72), born near Pahiatua, New Zealand. He joined the Reform Party (later the New Zealand National Party), and served in the House of Representatives (1932–8). Re-elected in 1943, he became deputy leader of the National Party in 1946, and deputy prime minister in 1949. He was president of the UN Food and Agriculture Conference (1957). On the ret…

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Sir Keith Sinclair - Bibliography

Historian and author, born in Auckland, New Zealand. He taught history at the University of Auckland (1947–86), and established New Zealand history as an object of scholarly study in its own right, rather than as a branch of British imperial history. Among his books are A History of New Zealand (1954) and Half Way Round the Harbour (1993). Sir Keith Sinclair KBE (December 5, 1922—June 20…

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Sir Kenelm Digby - Early life and career, Catholicism and Civil War, Character and works, Note, Further reading

Diplomat, scientist, and writer, born in Gayhurst, Buckinghamshire, SC England, UK. He was brought up a Catholic, studied at Oxford, but left to travel abroad. In Madrid he met Prince Charles (1623), and on returning to England was knighted and entered his service. During the Civil War he was imprisoned by the parliament (1642–3), and had his estates confiscated. After the Restoration, he was cha…

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Sir Kenneth (Arthur Noel) Anderson

British soldier, born in India. He trained at Sandhurst Military Academy, and was commissioned into the Seaforth Highlanders. In World War 1 he served in France (1914–16), then fought under Allenby in Palestine (1917–18). In World War 2 he fought at Dunkirk (1940), and was commander of the 1st British Army in North Africa (1942–3), capturing Tunis (1943). He later became Governor-General of Gib…

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Sir Kenneth MacMillan - Early life, Choreography, Reference

Ballet dancer, choreographer, and ballet company director, born in Dunfermline, Fife, E Scotland, UK. He joined the Sadler's Wells Theatre Ballet in 1946, and began to choreograph in 1953. He directed the Berlin Opera (1966–9), and was artistic director of the Royal Ballet (1970–7), becoming its principal choreographer in 1977. His works include Romeo and Juliet (1965), Manon (1974), and Mayerli…

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Sir Kingsley (William) Amis - Biography, Science fiction, James Bond

Novelist and poet, born in London, UK. He studied at Oxford, and became a lecturer in English literature at Swansea (1948–61) and a fellow of Peterhouse, Cambridge (1961–3). He achieved huge success with his first novel, Lucky Jim (1954), the story of a comic anti-hero in a provincial university; Jim appeared again as a small-town librarian in That Uncertain Feeling (1955), and as a provincial a…

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Sir Laurens (Jan) van der Post - Early years, War years, Rise to fame, Later years, Controversy, Selected works, Movies

Writer and philosopher, born in Philippolis, C South Africa. He served with the commandos in World War 2, and was captured by the Japanese. On his return to South Africa he made several voyages of exploration to the interior. He wrote novels, but was best known for his books in the mixed genre of travel, anthropology, and metaphysical speculation. These include Venture to the Interior (1951), The …

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Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema - Alma-Tadema and Hollywood

Painter of Classical-genre paintings, born in Dronrijp, The Netherlands. He studied at the Antwerp Academy of Art, and came to specialize in subjects from Greek, Roman, and Egyptian antiquity. He achieved great popularity with such Classical idyllic scenes as ‘Tarquinius Superbus’ (1867) and ‘The Conversion of Paula’ (1898). He was a painstaking technician and spared no expense. For ‘The Rose…

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Sir Leander Starr Jameson - Early Life and Family, The Jameson Raid, Later political career, Biographies, portraits and honours

British colonial statesman, born in Edinburgh, EC Scotland, UK. After studying in London, he met Cecil Rhodes at Kimberley diamond mines (1878), and became involved in Rhodes' plan to extend British rule in Africa. He was made administrator for the South Africa Company at Fort Salisbury (1891), and won enormous popularity. During the troubles at Johannesburg between the Uitlanders and the Boer gov…

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Sir Lennox (Randall Francis) Berkeley - Biography, Key works, Selected recordings

Composer, born in Boars Hill, Oxfordshire, SC England, UK. A pupil of Nadia Boulanger, his early compositions, the largest of which is the oratorio Jonah (1935), show the influence of his French training. Later works, notably the ‘Stabat Mater’ (1947), the operas Nelson (1953) and Ruth (1956), and the orchestral Windsor Variations (1969) and Voices of the Night (1973), have won him wide recognit…

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Sir Leslie Stephen - Works

Scholar and critic, born in London, UK. He studied at King's College, London, and Trinity Hall, Cambridge, where he became a fellow in 1864. He was ordained, but left the Church in 1870. He helped to found the Pall Mall Gazette, and was editor of the Cornhill Magazine (1871–82). He launched the English Men of Letters series with a biography of Samuel Johnson (1878). The History of English Thought…

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Sir Leslie Ward

Caricaturist and portrait painter, born in London, UK. Educated at Eton and the Royal Academy, he became the regular caricaturist for Vanity Fair (1873–1909), picturing a wide selection of notable persons. He wrote Forty Years of ‘Spy’ (1915), and was knighted in 1918. After seeing a caricature of Professor Owen by Ward, Sir John Millais introduced Ward to Thomas Gibson Bowles - the foun…

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Sir Lewis (Bernstein) Namier

Historian, born near Warsaw, Poland. He moved to England in 1906, studied at Oxford, and took British nationality. He became professor of modern history at Manchester (1931–52), creating a school of history in which the emphasis was on the detailed analysis of events and institutions, particularly parliamentary elections, so as to reveal the motivation of the individuals involved in them. One of …

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Sir Lewis Morris

Poet and barrister, born in Carmarthen, Carmarthenshire, SW Wales, UK. He studied at Oxford, and became a lawyer. His main literary works were Songs of Two Worlds (3 vols, 1871–5), followed in 1876 by The Epic of Hades. Much of his verse and drama draws on incidents in Welsh history and mythology. In the later stages of his career he campaigned for the fostering of higher education in Wales and t…

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Sir Ludovic (Henry Coverley) Kennedy - Early life and Naval career, Journalism and broadcasting, Writing, Politics, Campaigning, Trivia

Broadcaster and writer, born in Edinburgh, EC Scotland, UK. He studied at Oxford, and served in the navy in World War 2, before becoming a librarian, lecturer, and later editor of the BBC's First Reading (1953–4). On television, he introduced Profile (1955–6), was an ITN newscaster (1956–8), hosted This Week (1958–60), and contributed to the BBC's Panorama (1960–3). He contested the Rochdale …

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Sir Magdi (Habib) Yacoub

Surgeon, born in Cairo, Egypt. He studied at Cairo University, taught at Chicago, and moved to Britain (1962) where he became a consultant cardiothoracic surgeon at Harefield Hospital (1969–2001) and director of medical research and education (from 1992 ). He was appointed professor at the National Heart and Lung Institute in 1986, and is one of the leading developers of the techniques of heart a…

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Sir Malcolm (Henry) Arnold - Biography, Works (partial catalog), Selected recordings, Source

Composer, conductor, and musician, born in Northampton, Northamptonshire, C England, UK. He studied at the Royal College of Music (1938–40), won the Mendelssohn Prize for composition (1948), and was principal trumpet player with the London Philharmonic Orchestra for two years (1946–8). He became known for his film scores, such as Hobson's Choice (1954), The Inn of the Sixth Happiness (1958), Whi…

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Sir Malcolm (Leslie) Rifkind - Early life, Political career, Out of office, Re-election, Publications

British Conservative statesman, born in Edinburgh, EC Scotland, UK. He studied at Edinburgh, was called to the bar in 1970, and was elected an MP in 1974. After a ministerial post in the Foreign and Commonwealth office (1983–6), he became secretary of state for Scotland (1986–90), transport (1990–2), defence (1992–5), and foreign secretary (1995–7). He lost his seat in the 1997 general electi…

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Sir Malcolm (Stanley) Bradbury - Bibliography (incomplete), Quote

Writer and critic, born in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, N England, UK. He studied at Leicester, and taught there at the university, before becoming professor of American studies at the University of East Anglia in 1970. The travels and travails of an academic have provided material for several of his novels, such as Eating People is Wrong (1959), Stepping Westward (1965), The History Man (1975, als…

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Sir Malcolm Campbell - Grand Prix career, Land speed record, Water speed records, Death, Awards

Land and water speed-record contestant, born in Chislehurst, Kent, SE England, UK. He held both speed records from 1927 onwards. In 1935 he became the first man to break 300 mph on land with 301·1292 mph at Bonneville Salt Flats, UT. In 1939 he achieved his fastest speed on water with 141·74 mph. He called all his cars and boats Bluebird, after the symbol of unattainability in the play of tha…

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Sir Marc Isambard Brunel

Engineer and inventor, born in Hacqueville, NW France. He fled from the French Revolution in 1793, going first to the USA, where he was architect and chief engineer in New York. He settled in England in 1799, constructed many public works, and solved many of the problems of underwater tunnelling. His main achievement was the 460 m/503 yd Thames Tunnel from Rotherhithe to Wapping (1825–43). He w…

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Sir Mark Oliphant - Early years, Cavendish Laboratory, University of Birmingham, Legacy

Nuclear physicist, born in Adelaide, South Australia. He studied there and at Cambridge, where he did valuable work on the nuclear disintegration of lithium. Professor at Birmingham (1937), he designed and built a 60-in cyclotron. He worked on the atomic bomb project at Los Alamos (1943–5), but later strongly argued against the US monopoly of atomic secrets. He became Australian representative of…

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Sir Martin Frobisher - Introduction, Early life, The first voyage in search of the Northwest Passage, The second voyage

Navigator, born in Altofts, West Yorkshire, N England, UK. He made several attempts to find the Northwest Passage to Cathay (1576–8), reaching Labrador and Hudson Bay. Frobisher Bay is named after him. In 1585 he commanded a vessel in Drake's expedition to the West Indies, and in 1588 he was knighted for his services against the Armada. He was mortally wounded at the siege of Crozon, near Brest. …

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Sir Martin Ryle - Honours

Radio astronomer, born in Brighton, East Sussex, SE England, UK, the nephew of Gilbert Ryle. He studied at Oxford, and worked from 1945 on radio physics at the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge, becoming professor of radio astronomy (1959–82). His development of interferometers for radio astronomy enabled him to survey the most distant radio sources. In 1961 he challenged the then-popular steady-st…

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Sir Matthew (Clive) Pinsent

Rower, born in Dorset, S England, UK. He studied at Eton and Oxford, where he was a member of the University Boat Race team. He made his rowing debut at senior international level in 1989, and in 1990 teamed up with Steve Redgrave for the coxless pairs. His many honours include eight gold medals in the World Championship Coxless Pairs (1991, 1993–5, 1997–9, 2002) and Olympic gold Coxless Pairs (…

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Sir Maurice (Vincent) Wilkes - Publications

Computer scientist, born in Dudley, West Midlands, C England, UK. He studied at Cambridge, directed the Mathematical (later Computer) Laboratory at Cambridge (1946–80), and became known for his pioneering work with the EDSAC (Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator). Around this machine, operational and providing a computing service from May 1949, Wilkes built the world's first computing se…

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Sir Max (Edgar Lucien) Mallowan

Archaeologist, born in London, UK. He studied Classics at Oxford, and was apprenticed to Leonard Woolley at Ur (1925–31), where he met novelist Agatha Christie, whom he married in 1930. He excavated for the British Museum at Arpachiyah, Chagar Bazar, and Tell Brak (1932–8). As professor of W Asiatic archaeology at London University (1947–60), he excavated in the Near East, principally at Nimrud…

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Sir Menzies Campbell - Early life, Political career, Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Beliefs, Honours, Offices Held

British politician, born in Glasgow, W Scotland, UK. He studied law at Glasgow University (1962–5) and at Stanford University, CA (1966–7), and also excelled in athletics, competing in the 1964 Olympic Games and the 1966 Commonwealth Games. He was called to the Scottish Bar in 1968 and was made QC in 1982. Entering politics, he was elected MP for North East Fife in 1987, and for the Liberal Demo…

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Sir Michael (Elias) Balcon

Film producer, born in Birmingham, West Midlands, C England, UK. He entered the film industry in 1921, and founded Gainsborough Pictures in 1928. In 1931 he took charge of production at Gaumont–British Pictures, where he made The Thirty-Nine Steps (1935). After a brief period working for MGM in Hollywood, he became executive producer for Ealing Films (1938–59), and is remembered for a string of …

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Sir Michael (Francis) Atiyah - Biography, Career

Mathematician, born in London, UK. He studied at Trinity College, Cambridge (1952), lectured at Cambridge and Oxford, became professor of mathematics at Oxford (1963–9), and was appointed Master of Trinity College, Cambridge in 1990. He has worked on algebraic geometry, algebraic topology, index theory of differential operators, and the mathematics of quantum field theory, where he has been parti…

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Sir Michael (John) Gambon - Biography, Personal life, Selected filmography, Other activities

Actor, born in Dublin, Ireland. He joined the National Theatre for its inaugural season in 1963, returning to it in 1978 after appearances in repertory at Birmingham and elsewhere. He played for the Royal Shakespeare Company (1982–3), and has made several television appearances, notably in the title role of Dennis Potter's play The Singing Detective (1986, BAFTA), Longitude (2000, BAFTA), and Ste…

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Sir Michael (Kemp) Tippett - Biography, Music, Works

Composer, born in London, UK. He studied at the Royal College of Music, London, and became director of music at Morley College (1940–51). His oratorio, A Child of Our Time (1941), reflecting the problems of the 1930s and 1940s, won him wide recognition. A convinced pacifist, he was imprisoned for three months as a conscientious objector during World War 2. He scored a considerable success with hi…

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Sir Michael (Murray) Hordern - Early life, On stage, Film and television, Later years, Bibliography

Actor, born in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, SE England, UK. He studied at Brighton College, and made his professional debut in 1937 after a spell in amateur dramatics. Despite being a popular actor for 20 years, he only became a major London star with his appearance in John Mortimer's The Dock Brief. A formidable classical actor, he appeared as Malvolio at The Old Vic (1954), as Jonathan Miller's K…

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Sir Michael (Owen) Edwardes - Biography

British business executive, born in South Africa. He studied at Rhodes University, and joined the Chloride Group of companies in Africa in 1951. He first worked in Britain in 1966, as commercial director then as general manager of Chloride's smallest subsidiary, Alkaline Batteries. He developed a reputation for rescuing ailing companies, and in 1977 was challenged to rescue British Leyland from co…

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Sir Michael (Scudamore) Redgrave

Actor, born in Bristol, SW England, UK. He studied at Cambridge, became a teacher, and began his acting career at the Liverpool Playhouse in 1934. His many notable stage performances included Richard II (1951), Prospero (1952), Antony (1953), and Uncle Vanya (1962), and he also had a distinguished film career, starting with his appearance in Hitchcock's The Lady Vanishes (1938). He was knighted in…

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Sir Michael Caine - Awards, Academy Awards and Nominations, Filmography

Film actor, born in London, UK. He spent many years as a struggling small-part actor in a variety of media, before winning attention for his performance as an aristocratic officer in Zulu (1963). His stardom was consolidated with roles such as down-at-heel spy Harry Palmer in The Ipcress File (1965) and its two sequels, and as the Cockney Romeo in Alfie (1966). Later films include Sleuth (1972), C…

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Sir Monier Monier-Williams

Sanskrit scholar, born in Mumbai (Bombay), W India. He studied at London and Oxford universities, became professor of Sanskrit at Haileybury (1844–58), master at Cheltenham (1858–60), and professor of Sanskrit at Oxford (1860). He was knighted in 1886 at the opening of the Indian Institute, which was established mainly through his energy, and completed in 1896. His books include Sanskrit grammar…

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Sir Moses (Haim) Montefiore - Life, Leader, Anecdotes

Philanthropist, born in Livorno, W Italy. He retired with a fortune from stockbroking in 1824, and from 1829 was prominent in the struggle for Jewish equality. After long exclusion and repeated re-election, he was admitted sheriff of London in 1837. Between 1827 and 1875 he made seven journeys to Palestine in the interests of his oppressed co-religionists in Poland, Russia, Rumania, and Damascus. …

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Sir Muirhead Bone

Artist, born in Glasgow, W Scotland, UK. Although he studied architecture, he was self-taught as an artist. His work, which has been likened technically to that of Piranesi, combines meticulous realism with a strong sense of composition, and his subject matters range from the architectural to portraiture and landscape. During his long career he made over 500 etchings, drypoints, and lithographs, b…

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Sir Nevill F(rancis) Mott - Early life, Academic career, Accomplishments, Family

Physicist, born in Leeds, West Yorkshire, N England, UK. He studied at Cambridge, and became a lecturer and fellow there, working with Ernest Rutherford. He later became professor at Bristol, and in 1954 at Cambridge. He shared the 1977 Nobel Prize for Physics for his independent work on the electronic properties of disordered materials. He was influential in showing how to model the complexity of…

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Sir Neville Marriner

Conductor, born in Lincoln, Lincolnshire, EC England, UK. He studied at the Royal College of Music and the Paris Conservatory, played violin with the London Philharmonia and the London Symphony Orchestra, then turned to conducting. He has held posts with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (1968–77), the Minnesota Orchestra (1979–86), and the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra (1984–9). Since 195…

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Sir Nicholas Bacon

English statesman, born in Drinkstone, Suffolk, E England, UK. He attained high legal offices which, as a Protestant, he lost under Mary I. Following the accession of Elizabeth I (1558), he was made Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, and along with Cecil was given the management of Church affairs. A staunch anti-Catholic, he was an implacable enemy of Mary, Queen of Scots. His son was Francis Bacon. …

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Sir Nicholas Throckmorton - Early years, Tudor Successions, Elizabeth's court, Family and legacy

English diplomat. He fought at Pinkie (1547), was knighted in 1547, and became ambassador to France and Scotland. In 1569 he was imprisoned for promoting the scheme to marry Mary, Queen of Scots, to the Duke of Norfolk, but soon released. His daughter, Elizabeth Throckmorton, married Sir Walter Raleigh. His nephew, Francis Throckmorton (1554–84) was executed for planning a conspiracy to overthrow…

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Sir Nigel (Barnard) Hawthorne - Filmography

Actor, born in Coventry, West Midlands, C England, UK and brought up in Cape Town, South Africa. He made his British theatrical debut in 1951 and his first West End appearence in Talking to You (1962). He worked extensively in theatre, including award-winning performances in Privates On Parade (1978, SWET and Clarence Derwent awards), Shadowlands (1989, Tony) and The Madness of George III (1991, O…

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Sir Nikolaus (Bernhard Leon) Pevsner - The Buildings of England, The Buildings of Scotland, The Buildings of Wales, The Buildings of Ireland

Art historian, born in Leipzig, EC Germany. He was lecturer in art at Göttingen University until the Nazis came to power (1933), when he fled to Britain and became an authority on English architecture. He wrote the enormously popular book, An Outline of European Architecture (1942), and became art editor of Penguin Books (1949). He produced the monumental series for Penguin Books, The Buildings o…

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Sir Ninian (Martin) Stephen

Judge, born in England, UK. His schooling was undertaken in Edinburgh, London, and Switzerland, before he moved to Melbourne as a teenager. He studied law at the University of Melbourne, served in World War 2, and became a QC in 1966. He was a justice of the Victoria Supreme Court (1970–2) and the High Court of Australia (1972–82). Appointed Governor-General of Australia in 1982, he retired from…

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Sir Noel (Pierce) Coward - Early life, Success, World War II, Later works, Private life, Popular culture, Filmography

Actor, playwright, and composer, born in London, UK. An actor from the age of 12, his first play, written with Esme Wynne, was produced in 1917. Among his many successes were The Vortex (1924), Hay Fever (1925), Private Lives (1930), and Blithe Spirit (1941), all showing his strong satirical humour, and his gift for witty dialogue. He wrote the music as well as the lyrics for most of his works, in…

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Sir Norman (Everard) Brookes - Grand Slam record

Tennis player, born in Melbourne, Victoria, SE Australia. He went to Wimbledon in 1905, winning the all-comers' singles title, and returned the following year to win the singles, doubles, and mixed doubles titles. He won again at Wimbledon in 1914, and played Davis Cup tennis until 1921, captaining six winning teams. He was knighted in 1939. Sir Norman Everard Brookes (born November 14, 187…

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Sir Norman Angell - Writings by Angell

Writer and pacifist, born in Holbeach, Lincolnshire, EC England, UK. He wrote The Great Illusion (1910) and The Great Illusion, 1933 (1933) to prove the economic futility of war even for the winners. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1933. Sir Ralph Norman Angell Lane (December 26, 1872 – October 7, 1967) was an English lecturer, writer, and Member of Parliament for the Labour Party…

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Sir Norman Hartnell

Fashion designer and court dressmaker, born in London, UK. He studied at Cambridge, then started his own business in 1923, receiving the Royal Warrant in 1940. He was president of the Incorporated Society of London Fashion Designers (1946–56). His work included costumes for leading actresses, wartime ‘utility’ dresses, the Women's Royal Army Corps uniform, and Princess Elizabeth's wedding and c…

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Sir Norman Wisdom - Early life, Film career, Later career, A "Norman Wisdom moment", Popularity in Albania, Retirement, Filmography

Comedian, born in London, UK. He made his stage debut in 1946, and appeared in variety, concert parties, and summer seasons throughout Britain as an inadequate but well-meaning character in ill-fitting clothes. He made his film debut as a slapstick comedian in Trouble in Store (1953), followed by a string of successes including Man of the Moment (1955), There Was a Crooked Man (1960), and What's G…

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Sir Oliver (William Hargreaves) Leese

British soldier. He won the DSO in World War 1, and in 1939 became deputy chief-of-staff of the British Expeditionary Force in France. In 1942 he was promoted lieutenant-general, commanded an army corps from El Alamein to Sicily, where he succeeded Montgomery as commander of the Eighth Army, and in November 1944 commanded an army group in Burma. He was appointed Lieutenant of the Tower of London i…

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Sir Oliver Joseph Lodge - Career, Accomplishments, Notes and references

Physicist, born in Penkhull, Staffordshire, C England, UK. He studied at the Royal College of Science and at University College London, and in 1881 became professor of physics at Liverpool. In 1900 he was appointed first principal of the new university at Birmingham. A pioneer of radio-telegraphy, his early experiments showed that radio-frequency waves could be transmitted along electric wires (18…

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Sir Osbert Lancaster - Selected publications

Cartoonist, writer, and theatrical designer, born in London, UK. He studied at Oxford and the Slade School of Art, London. His lifelong passion was architecture, and he worked on Architectural Review (1932), writing and illustrating humorous articles. He began drawing pocket-sized front-page cartoons for the Daily Express in 1939, creating Lady Maudie Littlehampton and friends. He was knighted in …

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Sir Oswald (Ernald) Mosley - Family and early life, Elected MP, Crossing the floor, Office, Fascism, Internment, Post-war politics

Politician, born in London, UK. He was successively a Conservative, Independent, and Labour MP, and a member of the 1929 Labour government. He resigned from Labour and founded the New Party (1931). Following a visit to Italy, he joined the British Union of Fascists, of which he became leader, and which is remembered for its anti-Semitic violence in the East End of London and its support for Hitler…

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Sir Ove (Nyquist) Arup - Honours, External Links

Civil engineer, born of Danish parents in Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, NE England, UK. He studied philosophy and engineering in Denmark before moving to London in 1923. He became increasingly concerned with the solution of structural problems in Modernist architecture, and was responsible for the structural design of Coventry Cathedral and St Catherine's College, Oxford. He later evolved th…

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Sir Owen Willans Richardson

Physicist, born in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, N England, UK. He studied at Cambridge, and at the Cavendish Laboratory he began his work on thermionics, a term he coined to describe the phenomenon of the emission of electricity from hot bodies; for this work he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1928. He was appointed professor of physics at King's College, London (1914), and was Yarrow rese…

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Sir Patrick (Alfred Caldwell) Moore - Biography, Other interests and popular culture

Amateur astronomer, writer, broadcaster, and musician, born in Pinner, NW Greater London, England, UK. He was educated at home due to childhood illness. He is best known as the enthusiastic and knowledgeable presenter of the long-running BBC television programme The Sky at Night (1957– ). He is an accomplished xylophone player, and has composed several works, including Perseus and Andromeda (1975…

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Sir Patrick (Michael) Leigh Fermor - Early travels, World War II, Post war, Later years, Books

English travel writer. He was involved in resistance operations in the Balkans during World War 2. He spent 18 months in Crete as a British agent, and kidnapped the German General Kreipe, which became the theme of the later film Ill Met By Moonlight (1957). He is best known for two books, A Time of Gifts (1977), and Between the Woods and the Water (1986), recounting a leisurely walk from Rotterdam…

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Sir Patrick Geddes

Biologist, sociologist, and pioneer of town planning, born in Perth, Perth and Kinross, E Scotland, UK. He studied at University College London. A disciple of Darwin, he wrote The Evolution of Sex (1889) while he was professor of botany at Dundee (1889–1914). He became more interested in sociology and the development of human communities, and wrote City Development (1904) and Cities in Evolution …

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Sir Patrick Manson - Publications

Physician, born in Old Meldrum, Aberdeenshire, NE Scotland, UK. He practised medicine in China (1871), and in Hong Kong (1883) started a school of medicine that became the University of Hong Kong. He became medical adviser to the Colonial Office, and in 1899 helped to found the London School of Tropical Medicine. He received his nickname from his pioneer work with Sir Ronald Ross, being the first …

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Sir Peter (Alexander) Ustinov - Biography, Trivia, Quote, Reference

Actor and playwright, born in London, UK of White Russian parents. He first appeared on the stage in 1938, and after army service in World War 2 worked in films as an actor, writer, and producer, and in broadcasting as a satirical comedian. A prolific playwright, his works include The Love of Four Colonels (1951), Romanoff and Juliet (1956), and Overheard (1981). He made over 50 films, including S…

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Sir Peter (Brian) Medawar - Early years, Early research, Outcome of Research, Achievements

Zoologist and one of the world's leading immunologists, born in Rio de Janeiro, SE Brazil. He studied zoology at Oxford, was appointed professor of zoology at Birmingham University (1947–51) and professor of comparative anatomy at University College London (1951–62), where he pioneered experiments in the prevention of rejection in transplant operations. He was director of the National Institute …

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Sir Peter (Courtney) Quennell

Biographer, born in Bickley, SE Greater London, UK. He studied at Oxford, became professor of English at Tokyo for a year, then returned to London as a writer. Author of several books of verse and a novel, and editor of the Cornhill Magazine (1944–51), he is best known for his many biographical studies, including those of Byron (1935, 1941), Ruskin (1949), Shakespeare (1963), and Pope (1968). He …

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Sir Peter (Henry) Buck - Biography, Music, Disturbance on a flight

Maori scholar and writer, born in Urenui, New Zealand. He practised medicine, was an MP (1909–14), served in World War 1, then became an anthropologist. In 1927 he joined the Bishop Museum in Honolulu, Hawaii, and was director there from 1936 until his death. He was knighted in 1946. Peter Lawrence Buck (born December 6, 1956 in Berkeley, California) is the guitarist and co-founder, along …

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Sir Peter (Levin) Shaffer

Playwright, born in Liverpool, Merseyside, NW England, UK. He studied at Cambridge, and worked as a librarian and music critic before the immediate success of his first play, Five Finger Exercise (1958–60). This was followed by the comedies The Private Ear (filmed 1966) and The Public Eye (filmed 1972), both produced at the Globe in 1962. The Royal Hunt of the Sun (1964) was the first National Th…

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Sir Peter (Markham) Scott

Artist, ornithologist, and broadcaster, born in London, UK, the son of Robert Falcon Scott. An Olympic sportsman (dinghy sailing), he served in the navy in World War 2. He began to exhibit his paintings of bird scenes in 1933, and after the war led several ornithological expeditions (Iceland, 1951, 1953; Australasia and the Pacific, 1956–7). In 1946 he founded the UK's wetland conservation charit…

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Sir Peter (Neville Luard) Pears

Tenor, born in Farnham, Surrey, SE England, UK. He was organ scholar at Oxford, then studied singing at the Royal College of Music (1933–4). He toured the USA and Europe with Benjamin Britten, and in 1943 joined Sadler's Wells. After the success of Peter Grimes (1945), he joined Britten in the English Opera Group, and was co-founder with him of the Aldeburgh Festival (1948). Knighted in 1978, he …

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Sir Peter (Reginald Frederick) Hall - Selected productions

Theatre, opera, and film director, born in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, E England, UK. He studied at Cambridge, where he produced and acted in more than 20 plays. After working in repertory and for the Arts Council, he became artistic director of the Elizabethan Theatre Company (1953), director (1955–6) of the London Arts Theatre, and formed his own company, The International Playwrights' Theatre (1…

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Sir Peter Lely

Painter, born in Soest, The Netherlands. He studied in Haarlem before settling in London in 1641 as a portrait painter. He was patronized by Charles I and Cromwell, and in 1661 was appointed court painter to Charles II, for whom he changed his style of painting. His ‘Windsor Beauties’ series is collected at Hampton Court, and the 13 Greenwich portraits, ‘Admirals’ are among his best works. He …

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Sir Peter Mansfield

Physicist, born in London, England, UK. He left school at 15 to work in a printing shop and later joined the army. He studied for his A levels at night-school and entered Queen Mary College, University of London, gaining his PhD in 1962. After various academic posts he became professor of physics at Nottingham University (1979). In 2003 he shared the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine with Pau…

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Sir Peter Maxwell Davies - Davies's music

Composer, born in Manchester, Greater Manchester, NW England, UK. He studied at Manchester, Rome, and Princeton, and was composer-in-residence at the University of Adelaide in 1966. He founded and co-directed the Pierrot Players (1967–70) and was founder/artistic director of The Fires of London (1971–87). A prolific composer, his works include Taverner (1972) and three other operas, Eight Songs …

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Sir Philip Sidney - Works, Influence (An Apology for Poetry), Significance (Apology), On Method (Apology)

Poet, statesman, soldier, and courtier, born in Penshurst, Kent, SE England, UK. He studied at Oxford, and perhaps also at Cambridge, then travelled in Europe (1572–5). He gained Elizabeth I's displeasure when he advised her against a projected marriage plan, and in 1580 left the court. Knighted in 1583, he was sent to Holland to assist in the struggle against Spain, and was fatally wounded at Zu…

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Sir Philip Vian - External references

British naval commander. He trained at the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth. During World War 2, he led a daring rescue of 300 British seamen held on board the German supply ship Altmark (1940), and played a leading role in the destruction of the German battleship Bismarck (1941). As commander of the 15th Cruiser Squadron in the Mediterranean fleet, he distinguished himself with his skilful handling…

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Sir Ralph (David) Richardson - Background, Career, Selected filmography

Actor, born in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, SWC England, UK. He made his debut at the Little Theatre, Brighton (1921), and gained an early reputation with the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, which he joined in 1926. His association with the Old Vic Company commenced in 1930, and he was asked to lead its post-war revival. His many stage appearances include West of Suez (1971), The Cherry Orchard (197…

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Sir Ralph Abercromby - Biography

Soldier and hero of the Napoleonic Wars, born in Menstrie, Clackmannanshire, C Scotland, UK. He went to Rugby School, studied law at Edinburgh and Leipzig, served in Europe in the Seven Years' War (1756–63), and was MP for Clackmannanshire (1774–80). He led successful operations against the French in St Lucia and Trinidad (1795–6), and also led the successful amphibious operation of the Anglo-T…

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Sir Ralph Freeman

Civil engineer, born in London, UK. He studied at the City and Guilds of London Institute, and joined (1901) the firm of consulting engineers which in 1938 became Freeman, Fox & Partners, specializing in the design of steel bridges. His first notable design was for Sydney Harbour Bridge, a construction of 500 m/1670 ft span (1932). He was later involved with his partner Sir Gilbert Roberts in th…

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Sir Ranulph (Twisleton-Wykeham-) Fiennes - Soldier, Adventurer, Author, Politician, Recognition

Explorer and expedition leader, born in Windsor, S England, UK. Educated at Eton, he served with the Royal Scots Greys and the SAS. He was the leader of several expeditions, from hovercraft on the White Nile (1969) to the Transglobe (1979–82), tracing the Greenwich Meridian across both Poles. With Michael Stroud he completed the first unsupported crossing on foot of the Antarctic in 1993, coverin…

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Sir Raymond (William) Firth - Works

Social anthropologist, born in Auckland, New Zealand. He studied there and under Bronislaw Malinowski at the London School of Economics. From 1929 he carried out fieldwork on the island of Tikopia in the Solomon Is and wrote nine books on the island people, beginning with We, the Tikopia (1936). He spent two years at Sydney University before returning to the London School of Economics (1932–68), …

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Sir Redvers (Henry) Buller - Actions leading to award of VC, Life, Second Boer War and Buller's sacking

British soldier, born in Crediton, Devon, SW England, UK. He saw active service in the war with China (1860), the Red River expedition (1870), the Ashanti War (1874), the Kaffir War (1878), and the Zulu War (1879), where his rescue of fellow-soldiers in action at Inhlobane won him the VC. He was chief-of-staff in the 1st Boer War (1881), and was commander-in-chief in the 2nd Boer War (1899–1900),…

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Sir Rex Harrison - Awards

Actor, born in Huyton-with-Roby, Lancashire, NW England, UK. He reached the London stage by 1930, and had his first leading film role in Storm in a Teacup (1937). His charming, somewhat blasé style attracted many star comedy parts, such as in Blithe Spirit (1945), The Constant Husband (1958), and My Fair Lady (1964, Oscar). Sir Reginald Carey "Rex" Harrison (b. Harrison was bor…

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Sir Richard (Charles Hastings) Eyre

Theatre, film, and television director, born in Barnstaple, Devon, SW England, UK. He studied at Cambridge, and became associate director of the Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh (1967–70), then director of productions (1970–2). He was artistic director of the Nottingham Playhouse (1973–8), then producer of the BBC Television Play for Today series (1978–81). Associate director of the National Theatre,…

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Sir Richard (Charles Nicholas) Branson - Life and career, Business exploits, Television, film, and print, Politics, Controversy, Honours

Businessman, born in Sharnley Green, Surrey, SE England, UK. He launched a mail-order business in discount records in 1969, opening his first shop in London in 1971, under the name Virgin. This was followed by a series of highly successful business enterprises, including a recording company, various retailing operations, the travel company Voyager Group (1980), the airline Virgin Atlantic (1984), …

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Sir Richard (Francis) Burton - Early acting career, Hollywood and later career, Personal life, Academy Awards nominations, Selected filmography, Stage career

Explorer and language expert, born in Torquay, Devon, SW England, UK. He studied in Europe and Oxford, where he was expelled in 1842. In 1856 he set out with Speke on the journey which led to the discovery of L Tanganyika (1858), and afterwards travelled in North America, holding consular posts in Fernando Pó, Santos, Damascus, and Trieste. He wrote over 80 volumes on the sociology and anthropolo…

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Sir Richard (John) Hadlee - Test record, Nottinghamshire career, Canterbury career, Bowling style, Batting style

Cricketer, born in Christchurch, New Zealand. He started his first-class career with Canterbury in 1971–2, and made his Test debut in 1973. A right-arm fast bowler, and a left-handed batsman, he also played for Nottinghamshire and Tasmania. New Zealand's best all-round cricketer, he took 431 Test wickets (passing Ian Botham's record of 383) and scored 3124 Test runs. He retired in 1990, when he w…

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Sir Richard (Thomas Dyke) Acland

British politician. He studied at Oxford, entered parliament in 1931, but resigned from the Liberals to found, with J B Priestley, the Common Wealth Party (1942). Consistent with its advocacy of public ownership on moral grounds, he gave away his Devon family estate to the National Trust. He became a Labour MP in 1945, but resigned in 1955 in protest against Labour support for Britain's nuclear de…

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Sir Richard Arkwright - Birth, Textiles, Personal life, Trivia

Inventor of mechanical cotton-spinning, born in Preston, Lancashire, NW England, UK. He became a barber in Bolton, later (with John Kay) devoting himself to inventions in cotton-spinning. In 1768 he set up his celebrated spinning-frame in Preston - the first machine that could produce cotton thread of sufficient strength to be used as warp. He introduced several mechanical processes into his facto…

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Sir Richard Grenville - Early life, Career, New World, Final command, Trivia

English naval commander, a cousin of Sir Walter Raleigh. He fought in Hungary and Ireland (1566–9), was knighted c.1577, and in 1585 commanded the seven ships carrying 100 English colonists to Roanoke Island, NC. In 1591, as commander of the Revenge, he fought alone against a large Spanish fleet off the Azores, dying of wounds on board a Spanish ship. Grenville was born at Clifton House an…

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Sir Richard John Griffith

Geologist and civil engineer, born in Dublin, Ireland. He studied civil engineering in London and Edinburgh, returned to Ireland in 1808, and became mining engineer to the Royal Dublin Society in 1812 and a government inspector of mines. He published a geological map of Ireland in 1835. As commissioner of valuations after the Irish Valuation Act of 1827 he created Griffith's valuations for country…

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Sir Richard Rodney Bennett - Biography, Music, Selected works

Composer, born in Broadstairs, Kent, SE England, UK. He studied at the Royal Academy of Music, London, and in Paris under Pierre Boulez. Well known for his music for films, he has also composed operas, orchestral works, chamber music, and experimental works for one and two pianos. Some of his music uses the 12-tone scale, and his interest in jazz has prompted such works as Jazz Calendar (1963) and…

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Sir Richard Steele

Essayist, playwright, and politician, born in Dublin, Ireland. He studied at Oxford, and joined the army, but gave it up to become a writer. He wrote three successful comedies, and in 1707 became editor of the London Gazette. He is best known for the satirical, political, and moral essays which formed much of the content of the new periodicals the Tatler (1709–11), which he founded, and the Spect…

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Sir Ridley Scott - Career, Trademarks, DVD, Trivia, Filmography

Film director, born in South Shields, Tyne and Wear, NE England, UK. He graduated from set designing to directing episodes of television series, such as Z Cars, and also commercials, before making his first feature film The Duellists (1977). Later films include Alien (1979) and Blade Runner (1982), and he received an Oscar nomination for Thelma and Louise (1991). He acted as both producer and dire…

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Sir Robert (David) Muldoon - Youth, Early career, Prime Minister, Later life, Legacy, Trivia

New Zealand statesman and prime minister (1975–84), born in Auckland, New Zealand. He served as an infantryman in World War 2 before becoming an accountant and president of the New Zealand Institute of Cost Accountants. He was first elected to parliament (as a National Party MP) in 1960, and after five years as minister of finance became deputy prime minister. From 1974 he was Party leader and Le…

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Sir Robert (John le Mesurier) McClure

Explorer, born in Wexford, Co Wexford, SE Ireland. He joined the navy in 1824, and served in an expedition to the Arctic in 1836. He was with the Franklin expedition (1848–9), and again in 1850, when he commanded a ship that penetrated E to the coast of Banks Land, where he was icebound for nearly two years. Rescued by another ship which had travelled from the W, he thus became the first person t…

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Sir Robert (Laird) Borden - Early life and career, Supreme Court appointments, Bibliography

Canadian statesman and prime minister (1911–20), born in Grand Pré, Nova Scotia, SE Canada. He practised as a barrister, became leader of the Conservative Party (1901), overthrew Laurier's Liberal government over the issue of reciprocity with the USA (1911), and became prime minister. He organized Canada for war, and was influential in arranging a separate Canadian membership in the League of Na…

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Sir Robert (Murray) Helpmann - Early years, Career, Personal life, Further reading

Dancer, actor, and choreographer, born in Mount Gambier, South Australia, Australia. He made his debut in Adelaide in 1923, studied with Pavlova's touring company in 1929, and in 1931 moved to Britain to study under Ninette de Valois. He was first dancer of the newly founded Sadler's Wells Ballet (1933–50) and its principal choreographer (1943–50), and became known for his dramatic roles in de V…

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Sir Robert Bruce Cotton - Selected manuscripts

Antiquary, born in Denton, Northamptonshire, C England, UK. He studied at Cambridge, and at Cotton House in Westminster accumulated books, manuscripts, and coins dispersed by the dissolution of the monasteries. James I created him a baronet in 1611, and frequently consulted him. He was returned to parliament in 1604, and from c.1620 identified himself with the constitutional opposition to the crow…

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Sir Robert Hermann Schomburgk

Explorer and surveyor, born in Freyburg am der Unstrut, EC Germany. He went to the USA in 1829, and surveyed Anegada, one of the British Virgin Is (1831). Sent by the Royal Geographical Society to explore British Guiana (1835), he discovered the giant Victoria Regia lily. He was employed to draw the Schomburgk line marking the boundary of British Guiana (1841–3). Knighted on his return in 1844, h…

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Sir Robert Peel - Biography, Early political career, Home secretary, Second term as Prime Minister (1841-1846)

British statesman and prime minister (1834–5, 1841–6), born near Bury, Greater Manchester, NW England, UK. He studied at Oxford, and became a Tory MP in 1809. He was made secretary for Ireland (1812–18), where he displayed a strong anti-Catholic spirit, and was fiercely attacked by O'Connell, earning the nickname ‘Orange Peel’. As home secretary (1822–7, 1828–30), he carried through the Cat…

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Sir Robert Robinson

Chemist, born near Chesterfield, Derbyshire, C England, UK. He studied at Manchester University, and taught at Sydney, Liverpool, St Andrews, Manchester, London, and Oxford universities, becoming Waynflete professor at Oxford (1930–55). He is particularly noted for his work on plant pigments, alkaloids, and other natural products, and in the development of penicillin. Knighted in 1939, he was pre…

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Sir Robin Day

Journalist and broadcaster, born in London, UK. After service in the Royal Artillery (1943–7), he studied law at Oxford (1947–51) and was called to the bar in 1952. He became a freelance broadcaster in 1954, working first at ITN (1955–9), then joining the BBC's Panorama, which he presented from 1967 to 1972. He brought an acerbic freshness to interviewing techniques, and proved a formidable inq…

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Sir Robin Philipson

Painter, born in Broughton-in-Furness, Cumbria, NW England, UK. He studied at Edinburgh College of Art, where he later became head of drawing and painting (1960–82). Like many Scottish artists of his generation, he handled paint freely and colours boldly, but always retained a precise figurative element in his work. He was president of the Royal Scottish Academy (1973–83). Sir Robin Phili…

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Sir Roger (George) Moore - Biography, Publications

Film star, born in London, UK. An art school student of painting, he made his film debut as an extra in 1945, and appeared in small roles on stage and in films prior to army service. He appeared on Broadway in A Pin to See the Peepshow (1953) and in the Hollywood film The Last Time I Saw Paris (1954). On television he won stardom as the action-man hero of such series as Ivanhoe (1958), The Alaskan…

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Sir Roger (Gilbert) Bannister - Education, The 4-minute-mile, Bannister vs Landy, Training anecdote, Legacy

Athlete and neurologist, born in Harrow, NW Greater London, UK. He studied at Oxford, and completed his medical training at St Mary's Hospital, London, in 1954. At an athletics meeting at Iffley Road, Oxford, on 6 May 1954, he became the first man to run the mile in under 4 minutes (3 min 59·4 s), with the help of pacemakers. He competed in the 1952 Olympics, finishing a disappointing fourth in…

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Sir Roger Newdigate

Antiquary, born in Arbury, Warwickshire, C England, UK. He was MP for Middlesex (1741–77) and Oxford University (1750–80). He built up a famous collection of antiquities, and endowed the Newdigate Prize for English verse at Oxford, winners of which have included John Ruskin, Matthew Arnold, Laurence Binyon, and John Buchan. Sir Roger Newdigate, 5th Baronet (May 30, 1719 – November 23, 1…

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Sir Roger Penrose - Career, Physics and consciousness, Awards, Books

Mathematical physicist, born in Colchester, Essex, SE England, UK. He studied at University College London, and Cambridge. From 1956 he held posts at several British and American universities before taking an appointment at Birkbeck College, London, in 1964. In 1973 he became Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford. His research interests span topology and gravitation. In 1…

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Sir Roland (Algernon) Penrose - Biography, Audio recording

Painter, connoisseur, and art collector, born in London, UK. He studied at Cambridge, lived in Paris (1922–35), and began to collect Cubist and Surrealist art. In 1936 he organized the International Surrealist Exhibition in London, and in 1947 founded the Institute of Contemporary Arts. His friendship with Picasso led to his writing the standard biography (1958) and organizing a major exhibition …

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Sir Ronald Ross - Reference

Physician, born in Almora, NE India. He studied medicine at St Bartholomew's Hospital, London, then joined the Indian Medical Service (1881–99). He became professor of tropical medicine at Liverpool, and directed the Ross Institute for Tropical Diseases from 1926. He received the 1902 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for his work on the life cycle of the malaria parasite, discovered by Lave…

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Sir Ross Macpherson Smith

Aviator, born in Semaphore, Adelaide, South Australia. The most decorated pilot of the Australian Flying Corps, which he joined in 1916, he was the first pilot to fly over Jerusalem, when he took T E Lawrence to meet Sharif Nazir. After the war he flew a Handley-Page bomber from Cairo to Kolkata (Calcutta), a record distance of nearly 2400 mi, to survey an air route from England to Australia. In …

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Sir Rowland Hill

Educator, inventor, and postal reformer, the originator of penny postage, born in Kidderminster, Worcestershire, WC England, UK. He became a teacher, and helped to found the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (1826). He invented a rotary printing press (1833). In his Post-office Reform: its Importance and Practicability (1837), he advocated a low and uniform rate of postage, to be prepa…

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Sir Roy (Colin) Strong - Selected books

Art historian and museum director, born in London, UK. He studied at Queen Mary College, London, and at the Warburg Institute, and became assistant keeper at the National Portrait Gallery, London in 1959, and its director in 1967. He was director of the Victoria and Albert Museum (1974–87), has produced numerous books, and wrote and presented the BBC television series Royal Gardens (1992). He was…

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Sir Roy Welensky - In his youth

Rhodesian statesman, born in Harare (formerly Salisbury), Zimbabwe (formerly Southern Rhodesia). A railway worker and trade unionist, he was elected to the Legislative Council of Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) in 1938, knighted in 1953, and from 1956 to its break-up in 1963 was prime minister of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland (now Malawi). His handling of the constitutional crisis in 195…

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Sir Sacheverell Sitwell - Works

Poet and art critic, born in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, N England, UK, the brother of Edith and Osbert Sitwell. He was educated at Eton, served in the army, then travelled in Spain and Italy, where he began to write books on art and architecture, such as Southern Baroque Art (1924). His many volumes of poetry cover a period of over 30 years, from The People's Palace (1918) to An Indian Summer (…

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Sir Samuel (White) Baker

Explorer, born in London, UK. In 1860 he undertook the exploration of the Nile sources, meeting Speke and Grant at Gondokoro in 1863. In 1864 Baker reached the inland sea into which the Nile flows, and named it Albert Nyanza (now L Mobutu Sese Seko). His books include Eight Years Wandering in Ceylon (1855) and The Nile Tributaries of Abyssinia (1867). He was knighted in 1866. Sir Samuel Whi…

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Sir Samuel Bentham

Inventor and naval architect, born in London, UK, the brother of Jeremy Bentham and father of George Bentham. For nearly 20 years he devoted his energies to building up Britain's naval strength during the critical period of the Napoleonic Wars. His campaign against corruption and maladministration in the Admiralty dockyards aroused such bitterness that in 1812 he was forced to resign, though not b…

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Sir Samuel Cunard

Ship-owner, born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, SE Canada. He succeeded early as a merchant and shipowner, and emigrated to Britain in 1838. For the new steam rail service between Britain and America, he joined with George Burns in Glasgow and David McIver in Liverpool to found (1839) the British and North American Royal Mail Steam Packet Company, later known as the Cunard Line. With a British governmen…

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Sir Samuel Romilly - Sources

Lawyer and law reformer, born in London, UK. Called to the bar in 1783, he served as chancellor of the county palatine of Durham (1805–15). Appointed solicitor general in 1806, he entered parliament and was knighted in the same year. He worked to reduce the severity of English criminal law, notably to end capital punishment for minor felonies, and his efforts contributed to reforms carrried out a…

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Sir Sandford Fleming - Early life, Railway surveyor, Inventor of standard time, Later life, Trivia

Civil engineer and scientist, born in Kirkcaldy, Fife, E Scotland, UK. He went to Canada in 1845, and became chief engineer of the Inter-colonial Railway (1867–76) and of the Canadian Pacific Railway (1872–80). He surveyed several famous routes, including Yellowhead and Kicking Horse passes. After retiring from the railways he developed a scheme for a telegraph communication system for the Briti…

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Sir Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan - Philosophy, Works

Indian philosopher, statesman, and president (1962–7), born in Tiruttani, Chennai (formerly Madras), SE India. He studied at Madras, taught at Mysore and Calcutta universities, and became professor of Eastern religions and ethics at Oxford (1936–52). In 1946 he was chief Indian delegate to UNESCO, becoming its chairman in 1949. A member of the Indian Assembly in 1947, he was Indian ambassador to…

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Sir Sean Connery - Biography

Film actor, born in Edinburgh, EC Scotland, UK. After a succession of jobs, his powerful physique won him a role in the chorus line of the London stage production of South Pacific (1951). Sporadic film work followed, although there were more significant opportunities in television drama, particularly Requiem for a Heavyweight (1956). In 1963 he was cast in Dr No as Ian Fleming's secret agent James…

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Sir Seretse Khama - Childhood and education, Marriage and exile, Return to politics, Presidency, Further reading

Botswana statesman and president (1966–80), born in Serowe, E Botswana (formerly Bechuanaland). He studied at Oxford, became a lawyer, and after marrying an Englishwoman, Ruth Williams, in 1948, was banned from the chieftainship and the territory of the Bamangwato. Allowed to return as a private citizen in 1956, he became active in politics, and was restored to the chieftainship in 1963. He becam…

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Sir Shane Leslie - Education, Adult life, Family

Writer, born in Glaslough, Co Monaghan, NE Ireland. He studied at Paris and Cambridge universities, visited Russia in 1907, and became friendly with Tolstoy. He became a Roman Catholic in 1908, and unsuccessfully contested Londonderry in 1910. He published poems of some quality, and produced a much praised analysis of the pre-war generation in The End of a Chapter (1916). He is also known for his …

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Sir Sidney (Robert) Nolan

Painter, born in Melbourne, Victoria, SE Australia. Largely self-taught, he took up full-time painting in 1938 and made his name with a series of ‘Ned Kelly’ paintings begun in 1946, following this with an ‘explorer’ series. He first went to Europe in 1950, and although he has worked in Italy, Greece, and Africa, he remains best known for his Australian paintings. He also designed the Covent G…

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Sir Sidney Kidman

Pastoralist, born near Adelaide, South Australia. He left home at the age of 13, with five shillings in his pocket and riding a one-eyed horse. In 1886 he bought his first grazing station, and 30 years later he controlled lands greater in area than the whole of England. The ability to move stock to well-watered areas in times of drought, and selling in the best markets, enabled him to withstand th…

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Sir Simon (Denis) Rattle - Early life, UK career, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Music, Personal life, Discography

Conductor, born in Liverpool, Merseyside, NW England, UK. He studied at the Royal Academy of Music, London, won the Bournemouth International Conducting Competition at the age of 17, and made his London debut at both the Royal Albert and Festival Halls in 1976. He was assistant conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (1977–80), then joined the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra as pri…

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Sir Squire Bancroft - Publications

Actor-manager, born in London, UK. He made his debut at Birmingham (1861), and in 1867 married Marie Wilton (1840–1921), a distinguished actress. From 1865 to 1880 the Prince of Wales's Theatre witnessed their triumphs in a wide range of comedies, and until 1885 they were successful lessees of the Haymarket. He was knighted in 1897. Sir Squire Bancroft (May 14, 1841 - April 19, 1926), born…

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Sir Stanley Matthews - Biography, Trivia

Footballer, born in Hanley, Staffordshire, C England, UK. He started his sporting career with Stoke City in 1931, before a controversial transfer to Blackpool in 1947. Medals eluded him until 1953, when he played a significant role in the Football Association Cup Final. He returned to Stoke in 1961, and continued to play First Division football until after he was 50. He played for England 54 times…

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Sir Stephen (Harold) Spender - Early life, The war years, Late life, Sexuality, Selected bibliography, Further reading

Poet and critic, born in London, UK. He studied at Oxford, and became one of the group of modern poets with Auden and Day-Lewis in the 1930s. His many poetic works include Poems from Spain (1939), Ruins and Visions (1942), and The Generous Days (1971). His Collected Poems, 1928–85 were published in 1985. He was co-editor of Horizon (1939–41) and Encounter (1953–67), co-founder of Index on Censo…

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Sir Stirling Moss - Racing Career, Family

Motor-racing driver, born in London, UK. He won many major races in the 1950s, including the British Grand Prix (twice), the Mille Miglia, and the Targa Florio. He never won a world title, though he was runner-up to Fangio (1955–7) and to Mike Hawthorn (1958). He won 16 races from 66 starts (1951–61). A bad crash at Goodwood in 1962 ended his career. He then became a journalist and broadcaster, …

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Sir Surendranath Banerjea - Early life, Political career, Later career

Indian politician and journalist, born in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), E India. A fervent nationalist, he founded the Calcutta Indian Association in 1876 and was editor of The Bengali newspaper (1879–1921). He was one of the initiators of the Indian National Congress, but subsequently broke with Congress because of its extremism. Sir Surendranath Banerjee (November 10, 1848 – August 6, 1…

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Sir Terence (Mervyn) Rattigan - Life and career

Playwright, born in London, UK. He studied at Oxford, and scored a great success with his comedy French Without Tears (1936). Several later works were acclaimed, notably The Winslow Boy (1946), The Browning Version (1948), Separate Tables (1954), and Ross (1960). He was knighted in 1971. Sir Terence Mervyn Rattigan (June 10, 1911 – November 30, 1977) was one of England's most important 20…

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Sir Terence (Orby) Conran

Designer and businessman, born in Esher, Surrey, SE England, UK. He founded and ran the Habitat Company (1971), based on his own success as a furniture designer and the virtues of good design and marketing. He has since been involved in the management of several related businesses and has won many design awards. Among his design projects is the shopping complex and VIP lounge for the Swarovski Cry…

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Sir Terry Frost

Painter and teacher, born in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, C England, UK. After World War 2 he attended evening classes at Birmingham Art College, then moved to St Ives, Cornwall. His first abstract paintings date from 1949. He held various teaching posts, and became professor of painting at Reading University (1977–81), then emeritus professor there. A major retrospective of his work, ‘Terry Fr…

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Sir Thomas (Francis) Wade

English diplomat and scholar, born in London, UK. After a short career as a soldier, including active service in China, he became a member of the diplomatic corps in China and was the British ambassador in Beijing (1871–83). In 1888 he was appointed the first professor of Chinese at Cambridge, holding this post until 1895. Among his works is the Peking Syllabary (1859), in which his own system of…

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Sir Thomas (Masterman) Hardy - Biography, Novels, Poetry, Works

British naval officer, born in Portisham, Dorset, S England, UK. He was closely associated with Nelson, whom he served as flag-captain at the Battle of Trafalgar (1805). He was First Sea Lord (1830), and from 1834 was governor of Greenwich Hospital. He was promoted vice-admiral in 1837. Thomas Hardy, OM (2 June 1840 – 11 January 1928) was an English novelist, short story writer, and poet …

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Sir Thomas (Octave Murdoch) Sopwith

Aircraft designer and sportsman, born in London, UK. He won a prize for the longest flight across the English Channel in 1910, and founded the Sopwith Aviation Co in 1912, building many of the aircraft used in World War 1, such as the Sopwith Camel. Chairman of the Hawker-Siddeley Group from 1935, and president from 1963, he was knighted in 1953. Sir Thomas Octave Murdock Sopwith, CBE (Janu…

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Sir Thomas Beecham - Biography, Personal Life, Repertoire, Recordings, "Lollipops", Quotations, Honours, Death and afterwards

Conductor and impresario, born in St Helens, Merseyside, NW England, UK. He studied at Oxford, travelled extensively, and began his career as conductor with the New Symphony Orchestra in 1906. He soon branched out as a producer of opera, introducing British audiences to Diaghilev's Russian ballet. He was principal conductor (1932) and artistic director (1933) of Covent Garden, and in 1943 was cond…

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Sir Thomas Bodley - Biography, The Bodleian Library, Publications

Scholar and diplomat, born in Exeter, Devon, SW England, UK. He studied languages and divinity at Geneva, where his Protestant family had been forced to take refuge during the persecutions of Mary I, but in 1558 went to Magdalen College, Oxford, and was appointed Greek lecturer at Merton College (1564). In the service of Queen Elizabeth I he was ambassador to Denmark, France, and Holland. In 1587 …

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Sir Thomas Browne - Biography, 1671 Knighthood to death, Literary influence, On America, Portraits of Sir Thomas Browne

Writer and physician, born in London, UK. He studied at Oxford, then travelled in Ireland, France, and Italy, and settled in Norwich (1637). His greatest work is his earliest, the Religio medici, written about 1635 - a confession of faith, revealing a deep insight into the mysteries of the spiritual life. His other works include Pseudodoxia epidemica (1646), Hydriotaphia; Urn Burial (1658), and th…

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Sir Thomas Cavendish

Navigator, and circumnavigator of the globe, born near Ipswich, Suffolk, E England, UK. He shared in Sir Richard Grenville's expedition to Virginia (1585). In 1586 he sailed with three ships for the Pacific, returning by the Cape of Good Hope to England in 1588, and was knighted. A second expedition (1591) ended in disaster, and he died off Ascension. Sir Thomas Cavendish (or Candish) (1555…

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