With many buidlings and locations in Gloucester brimming with history, it is no surprise that the people have played equally pivotal roles in English history. Gloucester certainly has its fair share of famous characters (both real and fictional).
Hubert Cecil Booth (1871–1955), inventor of the vacuum cleaner.
Alastair Cook (b. 1984), England cricketer and One Day International captain.
Ivor Gurney (1890–1937), composer and poet.
William Ernest Henley (1849–1903), poet, critic, and editor – 1875 poem ‘Invictus’.
John Hooper (ca. 1495-1500 –1555) – Anglican Bishop of Gloucester who was martyred by Mary Tudor.
Edward Massey – Civil War commander of Gloucester garrison, Member of Parliament, Governor of Jamaica
Simon Pegg (b. 1970), actor, comedian, and writer.
Robert Raikes the Elder (1690–1757), 'the printer of Gloucester', founder of the Gloucester Journal, early pioneer of press freedom, buried in church of St Mary de Crypt.
Robert Raikes (1735–1811), English philanthropist and Anglican layman, noted for starting the Sunday schools movement.
Thomas Raikes (1741–1813), banker and merchant in London, who as Bank of England governor issued the first £1 and £2 English pound notes in 1797.
John Stafford Smith (1750–1836), composer of the Star Spangled Banner.
Sir Charles Wheatstone (1802–1875), physicist who developed the electric telegraph and was knighted by Queen Victoria for his work on the first transatlantic telgraph cable.
George Whitfield (1714–1770), Church of England minister and a leader in the Methodist movement.
Dick Whittington (1350–1401), Mayor of London from the famous story.
Jemmy Wood (1756–1836), legendary miser and owner of the Gloucester Old Bank.
Christopher Merrett (1615-1695) – created sparkling wine long before Champagne was invented.
Famous Gloucester Connections
Edward II - Buried in Gloucester Cathedral after he was murdered in Berkely Castle, his tomb became a popular attraction for pilgrims.
Henry III - The son of King John was crowned in Gloucester in 1216 and was a great patron of the city, providing cash and timber from royal forests to build Blackfriars and Greyfriars.
William Gladstone - the future Victorian Prime Minister spent his vacations from univeristy at his parents home in the Gloucester Spa area.
Nerva - the first of 'The Five Good Emperors' of Rome (96-98AD), the first to be elected by the Senate, he granted Glevum (Roman Gloucester) Colonia status. He was the adoptive father of the great Emperor Trajan.
Robert of Normandy - the eldest son of William the Conqueror, he unsuccessful in claiming the English throne, losing out to his younger brothers William Rufus and Henry. He was buried at Gloucester Cathedral.
Ivor Novello – famed songwriter who studied his craft at Gloucester Cathedral.
Beatrix Potter – wrote ‘The Tailor of Gloucester’, her personal favourite of all the books she had written.
Frank Whittle – developed the UK's first jet engine at the Rover factory near Gloucester.
Literary Characters Inspired by Real People from Gloucester
Ebeneezer Scrooge - Charles Dickens took inspiration from Gloucester's own legedary miser, Jemmy Wood, for the main character in A Christmas Carol.
Long John Silver - according to Robert Louis Stephenson's letters, he took inspiration for the famous pirate from his old friend William Ernest Henly, who had his left leg amputated below the knee.
The Tailor of Gloucester - Beatrix Potter was inspired to write the story after hearing about the real life mystery experienced by Gloucester tailor John Pritchard.