Cotswolds Claims to Fame - Famous residents

Cotswold highwayman: Captain James Hind.The 17th Century highwayman Captain James Hind (1616-1652), a Royalist rabble rouser during the English Civil War, came from Chipping Norton.
Sometimes referred to as John Hind, he is said to have only robbed Parliamentarians. His partner Thomas Allen was captured when they attempted but failed to rob Oliver Cromwell.
He also robbed John Bradshaw, president of the High Court of Justice for the trial of King Charles I.
When finally caught during the Protectorate, Hind was charged with treason rather than highway robbery because of his expressed Royalist loyalty. He was hanged, drawn and quartered in 1652 at Worcester.


The Cotswold village of Little Barrington produced one of the most famous stonemasons of the 17th Century.
Thomas Strong was described by Sir Christopher Wren, who appointed him chief contractor of St Paul's Cathedral, as the best builder in the country.
 

The prophetess Joanna Southcott lived in Blockley in later life.Joanna Southcott (1750-1814), a self-described religious prophetess, was born in Devon but spent the last 10 years of her life at a secret retreat in the Cotswolds.
The farmer's daughter was originally of the Church of England but about 1792, she became persuaded she possessed supernatural gifts, and wrote and dictated prophecies in rhyme, gaining a large following.
From 1804 until her death in 1814 Southcott lived at Rock Cottage in Blockley, and the movement did not end with her death in 1814.
Her followers, referred to as Southcottians, are said to have numbered over 100,000 at one time, but declined greatly by the end of the 19th Century.
A devout Southcottian, Miss Alice Seymour bought Rock Cottage in 1917 and turned it into a centre of the Southcottian Sect.
Southcottians came to visit this shrine from all parts of the world until a disastrous fire at Rock Cottage in 1971.


Lord John Russell, the one-time Stroud MP who went on to become British Prime Minister. From 1837 to 1841, Stroud's MP was Lord John Russell of the Whig party who was later to become Prime Minister.
Russell was an important politician, responsible for passing Acts of Parliament such as the Public Health Act of 1848, but he is mainly remembered as one of the chief architects of the Reform Act 1867 which gave the vote to every urban male householder, not just those of considerable means. This resulted in the electorate being increased by 1.5 million voters.
Lord Russell is remembered in Stroud by two street names, John Street and Russell Street, as well as in the name of the Lord John public house.

 
John Sankey, the distinguished judge and politician, was born in the Cotswolds.Moreton-in-Marsh's most distinguished son was the lawyer, judge and Labour politician John Sankey (1866-1948).
Born at Wellington House, Moreton, in 1866, Sankey went on to serve as Lord Chancellor of Great Britain from 1929 to 1935.
He was famous for many of his judgments in the House of Lords and gave his name to the Sankey Declaration of the Rights of Man (1940). He was knighted in 1914.


Peter Waals (1870-1937), the renowned Dutch-born cabinet maker, lived most of his life in the Cotswolds where he worked alongside some leading members of the Arts and Crafts movement.
After working for Ernest Gimson at workshops in Cirencester and Sapperton, in the early 1920s, Waals set up his own workshop at Chalford where he employed many skilled craftsmen, including Norman Jewson.
Many examples of Waals' own work, and that produced by other craftsmen in his workshop, can be found in Christ Church, Chalford. They include the organ gallery, the chancel screen and the lectern.
Waals died in May 1937, and lies buried in the churchyard at Chalford. A disastrous fire in his workshops in 1938 ended his widow's attempts to continue production there.Man of many talents: Cheltenham-born Edward Wilson.


Edward Wilson, the explorer who perished with Captain Scott in the 1912 expedition to South Pole, was born in Cheltenham.
Wilson, who was born in 1872 in Montpellier Terrace, was also a renowned physician, natural historian, painter and ornithologist.
He qualified in medicine in 1900 and the next year was appointed junior house surgeon at Cheltenham General Hospital.
In September 2013 the Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum was renamed 'The Wilson' in his honour.
Wilson's statue on the Promenade in Cheltenham, modelled by Scott's widow Kathleen, was unveiled in 1914 by Arctic explorer Sir Clements Markham.


A family of remarkable sisters who dominated the front pages of British tabloid newspapers for a period of the 20th Century had their family home in the Cotswolds.
The Mitford Sisters achieved notoriety for their controversial, but stylish lives as young people, then for their public political divisions between communism and fascism
Five of the sisters - Unity, Pam, Diana, Nancy and Jessica - lived at Batsford Park, just outside Moreton-in-Marsh, between 1916 and 1919.
With the high cost of living at Batsford proving prohibitive, the family moved to Asthall Manor in Swinbrook, a few miles over the Oxfordshire border, where the sixth sister, Deborah, was born.
The five eldest Mitford sisters pictured in 1935: Jessica, Nancy, Diana, Unity and Pamela.Their father, David Freeman-Mitford, 2nd Baron Redesdale, then built a new large house for his family near Swinbrook, which was named after the village.
The Mitford sisters were regarded as funny, glamorous, intelligent, beautiful, and quirky. But their individual fates were very different.
Diana married the British fascist leader Sir Oswald Moseley, was interned during the Second World War and eventually moved to Paris. Their children became eminent in various fields from literature to Formula One motor racing.
Jessica, an avowed Communist, moved to the USA and wrote Hons and Rebels, an account of her upbringing. She became an acclaimed investigative journalist.
Unity became a devoted fascist after meeting Oswald Mosley and in 1933 she went to Germany, where she befriended Hitler. She died at the age of 33 of meningitis.
Nancy was a successful novelist, her works including The Pursuit of Love (1945), Love in a Cold Climate (1949) and The Blessing (1951), featuring characters based on her family, which have been serialised on television.
Pamela married a wealthy research spectroscopist and Oxford professor and settled in Gloucestershire in comparative obscurity.
Deborah became the Duchess of Devonshire through her marriage to Lord Andrew Cavendish, second son of the 10th Duke of Devonshire, and she helped to re-establish Chatsworth as one of the 'Treasure Houses of England'. A close friend of the Prince of Wales, Deborah became the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire in 2004, when her son inherited the dukedom upon the death of her husband.
The sisters' only brother, Peter, was killed in action in the Second World War.
The daughters were the subject of a song, The Mitford Sisters, by Luke Haines and a musical, The Mitford Girls, by Caryl Brahms and Ned Sherrin.
In the churchyard at Swinbrook are the graves of Nancy, Unity, Diana and Pamela.
The public fascination with the Mitford Sisters continues to this day and media interest was rekindled when Deborah, the youngest and last surviving of the Mitford sisters, died on September 24, 2014, aged 94.
 

Brian Trubshaw (1924-2001), who was the first British pilot to fly Concorde, lived in the Cotswolds in his later years.
Born in Liverpool and raised in the Welsh town of Llanelli, Trubshaw served in the RAF during the Second World War.
During a 30-year career with Vickers Armstrongs, where he rose to the position of chief test pilot, Trubshaw shot to public attention when he first flew Concorde on April 9, 1969, on a flight from Filton to its test base at RAF Fairford in the Cotswolds.
Trubshaw loved cricket, golf and equestrianism and he was for some years a fence judge at the Badminton Horse Trials.
He died peacefully in his sleep, aged 77, at his home in Tetbury in 2001.
© Loving The Cotswolds. 2017.