Top Ten Britons

In 2002, the British Public voted for the greatest Britons in history. This is the top ten:

1. Winston Churchill (1874 – 1965)
Winston Churchill

Twice Prime Minister of the UK, most notably during World War II. Churchill was also a famous wit and writer, and winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature.

2. Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1806 – 1859)
Isambard Kingdom Brunel

Engineer during the Industrial Revolution.

3. Diana, Princess of Wales (1961 – 1997)
Diana Spencer

Princess known for her charity work.

4. Charles Darwin (1809 – 1882)
Charles Darwin

Biologist famous for his book ‘Origin of Species’ in which he promoted the ‘Theory of Evolution’.

5. William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616)
William Shakespeare

England’s most famous playwright and poet, famous for works such as ‘Hamlet’, ‘Romeo and Juliet’, ‘MacBeth’, and ‘King Lear’.

6. Sir Isaac Newton (1642 – 1727)
Isaac Newton

Physicist and mathematician who discovered the laws of gravity and motion.

7. Queen Elizabeth 1 (1533 – 1603)
Elizabeth I

‘The Virgin Queen’ who was on the throne when the Spanish Armada was defeated. Elizabeth’s reign coincided with a time of British dominance and cultural flourishing.

8. John Lennon (1940 – 1980)
John Lennon

Singer, songwriter and guitarist for The Beatles, before a solo career.

9. Horatio Nelson (1758 – 1805)
Horatio Nelson

Naval commander who beat Napoleon’s navy at the Battle of Trafalgar. His statue stands on ‘Nelson’s Column’ in London’s Trafalgar Square.

10. Oliver Cromwell (1599 – 1658)
Oliver Cromwell

Republican who became Lord Protector (de facto leader of England) when the British royal family was removed from 1649 to 1660.