List of people from Plymouth

People from the English city of Plymouth are known as Plymothians or less formally as Janners.[1] The definition of Janner is described as a person from Devon, deriving from Cousin Jan (the Devon form of John), but more particularly in naval circles anyone from the Plymouth area.[2] The Elizabethan navigator, Sir Francis Drake was born in nearby town of Tavistock and was the mayor of Plymouth.[3] He was the first Englishman to circumnavigate the world and was known by the Spanish as El Draco meaning "The Dragon" after he raided many of their ships.[4] He died of dysentery in 1596 off the coast of Puerto Rico.[5] In 2002 a mission to recover his body and bring it to Plymouth was allowed by the Ministry of Defence.[6] Antarctic explorers Robert Falcon Scott and Frank Bickerton both lived in the city.[7][8] Many artists have orginated in Plymouth. Joshua Reynolds, the famous 18th century portrait painter and the first President of the Royal Academy was born in Plympton, and more recently artists have included Beryl Cook whose paintings depict the culture of Plymouth[9] and Robert Lenkiewicz, whose paintings looked at themes such as: vagrancy, sexual behaviour and suicide, lived in the city from the 1960s until his death in 2002.[10] In addition, George Passmore of Turner Prize winning duo Gilbert and George was born in the city.[11] Famous politicians Michael Foot and David Owen are from Plymouth and notable athletes include swimmer Sharron Davies,[12] diver Tom Daley,[13] dancer Wayne Sleep,[14] and footballer Trevor Francis.[15] Other past residents include composer Ron Goodwin,[16] comedienne Dawn French[17] and journalist Angela Rippon.[18]

Notable Plymothians

Image Name Born Died Notability Notes
1590 or later Marcus Gheeraerts, Sir Francis Drake Buckland Abbey, Devon.jpg Sir Francis Drake 1540 1596 First English person to circumnavigate the world He was born in Tavistock and was the mayor of Plymouth. He died of dysentry off the coast of Panama and was slipped overboard inside a lead casket.[19]
William Cookworthy William Cookworthy 1705 1780 Pharmacist/Industrialist Born in Kingsbridge, Devon. Pioneered porcelain manufacture in Plymouth.[20][21]
Major-General Sir George Arthur.jpg Sir George Arthur, 1st Baronet 1784 1854 Colonial governor Spent most of his time in British colonies.[22]
Jonathan Nash Hearder 1809 1876 Electrical engineer Born and died in Plymouth. Notable for the development of the induction coil.[23]
Scott of the Antarctic crop.jpg Robert Falcon Scott 1868 1912 Antarctic explorer Died in central Antarctica. His body was found eight months later.[7]
Isaac Foot 1880 1960 President of the Liberal Party He was president in 1947.[24]
Frank Bickerton 1889 1954 Antarctic explorer He moved to Plymouth at the age of six and lived there until 1920.[8]
Robert Victor Walling 1890 1976 Soldier, journalist, and poet Born and educated in Plymouth. In peacetime he worked as a journalist with Plymouth based newspaper The Western Daily Mercury. He was also a member of Gorseth Kernow.[25]
Michael Foot 1913 2010 Leader of the Labour Party Son of Isaac Foot.[26]
Duncan Scott-Ford 1921 1942 Merchant seaman Hung during World War II for treachery to the Germans.[27]
Beryl Cook 1926 2008 Comical artist Born in Epsom, Surrey.[9]
Kate Nesbitt c. 1988 (age 22–23) Alive Medical Assistant in the Royal Navy Raised in Whitleigh, the first female recipient of the Military Cross in the Royal Navy, for bravery during the War in Afghanistan in March 2009.[28]
Tom Daley (diver), October 2008.jpg Tom Daley 21 May 1994 (1994-05-21) (age 17) Alive Olympic diver BBC Sports Personality of the Year Young Personality in 2007.[29]
Louis Emanuel 1819 c1889 Composer, bandmaster, music director at Vauxhall Gardens (London) The Desert (text by J F Smith), The Diana Waltz, The syren & friar. Duett (text by William Jones, 1847)

See also


  1. ^ "Anger over slave trader pub name". The BBC. 2008-03-27. Retrieved 2008-11-16. 
  2. ^ Tawney, Cyril (1987). Grey Funnel Lines: Traditional Song & Verse of the Royal Navy, 1900-1970. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. ISBN 978-0710212702. 
  3. ^ "Sir Francis Drake". The BBC. Retrieved 2008-12-03. 
  4. ^ Rasor, Eugene (2004). English/British Naval History to 1815: A Guide to the Literature. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 190. ISBN 0313305471.,M1. Retrieved 2008-09-02. 
  5. ^ "Sir Francis Drake (c.1540 - c.1596)". The BBC. Retrieved 2008-08-31. 
  6. ^ "Mission to rescue Drake's body". The BBC. 2001-11-12. Retrieved 2008-08-31. 
  7. ^ a b "Robert Falcon Scott". The BBC. Retrieved 2008-08-31. [dead link]
  8. ^ a b "Antarctic explorer Frank Bickerton". The BBC. Retrieved 2008-06-08. 
  9. ^ a b "Painter Beryl Cook dies aged 81". The BBC. 2007-05-28. Retrieved 2008-06-08. 
  10. ^ "Controversial artist". The BBC. 2008-01-30. Retrieved 2008-08-31. 
  11. ^ "Gilbert & George Britannica Online Encyclopaedia". Britannica Online Encyclopaedia. Retrieved 2008-11-31. 
  12. ^ "New centre to honour Plymouth Olympian Sharron Davies". Plymouth City Council. 2007-03-14. Retrieved 2008-08-31. 
  13. ^ "Thomas Daley Biography". The British Olympic Association. Retrieved 2007-02-12. 
  14. ^ "About Sleep". Wayne Sleep's website. Retrieved 2008-08-31. 
  15. ^ "Englishmen Abroad: Trevor Francis". The FA. 2003-07-07. Retrieved 2008-08-31. [dead link]
  16. ^ "Plymouth's movie maestro". The BBC. 2008-01-30. Retrieved 2008-08-31. 
  17. ^ Museum of Broadcast Communications
  18. ^ "The talented Angela Rippon". This Is Hampshire. 2000-08-19. Retrieved 2008-08-31. 
  19. ^ "Sir Francis Drake". The BBC. Retrieved 2009-10-28. 
  20. ^ Mackenna, F. S. (1947) Cookworthy's Plymouth and Bristol Porcelain
  21. ^ Penderill-Church, John (1972) William Cookworthy 1705-1780: a study of the pioneer of true porcelain manufacture in England. Truro: Bradford Barton
  22. ^ Lewers, Alan George (1980). Sir George Arthur, Bart, 1784-1854. Melbourne University Press. ISBN 0522841953. Retrieved 2008-07-19. 
  23. ^ Hearder, Ian G. (September 2004). "Hearder, Jonathan Nash (1809–1876)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved April 7, 2010. 
  24. ^ Goodman, Stanley (2004), ‘Foot, Isaac (1880–1960)’, rev. Mark Pottle, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, May 2007 accessed 12 June 2008
  25. ^ Who was who among English and European authors, 1931-1949. An Omnigraphics book Gale composite biographical dictionary series; no. 2. Gale Research Co. 1978. ISBN 0810300407. 
  26. ^ Chavda, Jayant (4 March 2007). "Michael Foot 1980-1983". The Labour History Group. Retrieved 2008-11-19. 
  27. ^ Stratford, Stephen. "British Military & Criminal History in the period 1900 to 1999: Duncan Scott-Ford". Stephen's Study Room. Retrieved 3 May 2010. 
  28. ^ "Navy woman awarded Military Cross". BBC News. 2009-09-11. Retrieved 28 November 2009. 
  29. ^ "Thomas Daley Biography". The British Olympic Association. Retrieved 2008-05-31. 

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