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Themes Explorers and Adventurers Nobel Prize Winners
Actors/Actresses and Directors Famous People Places of Interest
Anglo-Saxons and Danes Historic Events Prime Ministers
Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty Inventors and Scientists Royal Consorts and Heirs
Artists and Architects Monarchs World Heritage Sites
Composers National Parks Writers and Poets


Lancashire lies in north-western England on the Irish Sea. In 1974 the two new counties of Merseyside and Greater Manchester were created out of parts of the county and Lancashire's southern border was transferred to Cheshire and the Furness area to the newly formed county of Cumbria. Both Merseyside and Greater Manchester have since been broken up into smaller authorities.

Towns include the county seat of Preston, the Victorian centre for the cotton industry at Manchester and the major port of Liverpool.

Lancashire was formerly the world centre for cotton manufacture.

Actors/Actresses and Directors
The thin half to Laurel and Hardy, Stan Laurel was born as Arthur Stanley Jefferson in Ulverston (then Lancashire) in 1890. He emigrated to the United States in 1910 on the same ship as Charlie Chaplin, for whom he had acted in England as an understudy. The partnership with Oliver Hardy began in 1926 and their 1932 short film The Music Box won an Academy Award. Full length feature films followed and their style was so successful that they survived the passing of silent movies.

The film and stage actor Sir Rex Harrison was born as Reginald Carey Harrison in 1908 in Houghton. He won an Academy Award for his role of Professor Henry Higgins in the 1964 film version of My Fair Lady, thus reprising the success of the Broadway production for which he had won a Tony Award in 1956.

Rex Harrison

Anglo-Saxons and Danes
Formed part of the kingdom of Northumbria which itself had been formed from the smaller kingdoms of Bernicia and Deira. Deira reached from the Humber in the south to the river Tees in the north. North of the Tees reaching as far as the Forth of Firth lay the kingdom of Bernicia of which Bamburgh was the capital.

Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty
The Forest of Bowland AONB was designated in 1963. The area is part of the Pennine mountain range and is divided between the counties of Lancashire in the west and Yorkshire in the east. Isolated upland fells and heather-covered moorland make up most of the area.

The Arnside and Silverdale AONB was designated in 1972 covering an area running down to the shores of Morecambe Bay and divided between the counties of Cumbria in the north and Lancashire in the south. The landscape includes valleys and woodlands and limestone hills which offer views out to the Kent Estuary and east to the Lake District.

Artists and Architects

L.S. Lowry was born as Laurence Stephen Lowry in Salford, Manchester in 1887, many of his paintings depicted the industrial landscapes of his native Lancashire.

L.S. Lowry

William Walton was born in Oldham in 1902. From 1949 he lived in Italy on the island of Ischia in the Bay of Naples. He died at La Mortella - his home on the island - in 1983.

William Walton

Explorers and Adventurers
Born in Manchester in 1892, John William Alcock with Arthur Whitten Brown navigating, became the first people to fly non-stop across the Atlantic Ocean in 1919. They took off from Newfoundland in Canada and crash-landed at Clifden, County Galway in Ireland. Alcock died later the same year in a plane crash in France.

John William Alcock

Famous People
The Suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst was born as Emmeline Goulden in Manchester in 1857. She lead the movement to win the right for women to vote. Shortly before her death in 1928 women were finally given equal voting rights with men.

Emmeline Pankhurst

Historic Events

Important Events
In 1819 the Peterloo Massacre took place at St Peter's Fields in Manchester when a mass meeting on parliamentary reform was forcibly broken up. Eleven people died.

Inventors and Scientists

Richard Arkwright was born in 1732 in Preston. He invented a mechanised spinning frame to produce cotton thread which revolutionised its production.

Richard Arkwright

Seen as the "father of atomic theory", the chemist John Dalton died in Manchester in 1844. His research had led him to describe colour blindness or "Daltonism" in 1794 and later to his ground-breaking work in atomic theory.

John Dalton

National Parks
In 1951 the Peak District became Britain's first National Park.

Nobel Prize Winners

The chemist Arthur Harden was born in Manchester in 1865. In 1929 he shared the Nobel Prize for Chemistry with the naturalised Swedish scientist Hans Euler-Chelpin for their research into the fermentation process.

Arthur Harden

The chemist Norman Haworth was born as Walter Norman Haworth in Chorley in 1883. In 1937 he shared the Nobel Prize for Chemistry with the Swiss scientist Paul Karrer for their research into the structure of vitamin C.

The biochemist Richard L.M. Synge was born as Richard Laurence Millington Synge in Liverpool in 1914. In 1952 he shared the Nobel Prize for Chemistry with A.J.P. Martin for their research into protein structure.

The Canadian biochemist Michael Smith was born in Blackpool in 1932. In 1956 he emigrated to Canada and in 1993 shared the Nobel Prize for Chemistry with the American Kary B. Mullis.

One of the pioneers of nuclear physics the physicist J.J. Thomson was born as Joseph John Thomson in the Cheetham Hill area of Manchester in 1856. In 1906 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics for his revolutionary discovery of the electron. In 1937 his son George was also awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics. The Thomsons were one of only 5 fathers and sons to have received the award.

J.J. Thomson

The physicist Charles Glover Barkla was born in Widnes in 1877. In 1917 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics for his research into X-rays.

Physiology or Medicine
The biochemist Rodney R. Porter was born as Rodney Robert Porter in Newton-le-Willows in 1917. In 1972 he shared the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine with the American Gerald M. Edelman for their work on antibodies.

Places of Interest

The University of Manchester received a Royal Charter in 1880 as the Victoria University of Manchester. It was created from Owens College (founded 1851) and in 2004 merged with the city's other university - UMIST - whose roots go back to 1824. It was the first of the six civic universities founded in the country's new industrial centres which also included Leeds, Sheffield, Liverpool, Birmingham and Bristol. This new generation of "redbrick" universities (to be followed by more throughout the 20th century) were the first to be founded in England after those at Oxford, Cambridge, Durham and London.

The University of Liverpool received its Royal Charter in 1903 having been founded in 1881 as University College Liverpool. It was one of the six civic universities founded in the country's new industrial centres which also included Leeds, Sheffield, Manchester, Birmingham and Bristol. This new generation of "redbrick" universities (to be followed by more throughout the 20th century) were the first to be founded in England after those at Oxford, Cambridge, Durham and London.

Prime Ministers
Prime Ministers
The Prime Minister in 1834-35 and 1841-46, Robert Peel was born at Chamber Hall in Bury in 1788. He created London's police force whose members were nicknamed "Bobbies" after him.

Robert Peel

The Earl of Derby, three times Prime Minister in 1852, 1858-59 and 1866-68, was born as Edward Stanley in 1799 at the ancestral home of Knowsley Hall in Prescot. He died at the house in 1869 and is buried in St Mary's in the village of Knowsley.

Earl of Derby

Prime Minister four times in 1868-74, 1880-85, 1886 and 1892-94, William Ewart Gladstone was born in Rodney Street in Liverpool in 1809. In 1892 Gladstone became the oldest ever Prime Minister when at the age of 83 he formed his fourth government.

William Ewart Gladstone

Swimming for his life, a man does not see much of the country through which the river winds.
(Diary, 1868)

Born to Welsh parents in Chorlton-upon-Medlock, Manchester in 1863, David Lloyd George was Britain's last Liberal Prime Minister, governing from 1916-22.

David Lloyd George

The world is becoming like a lunatic asylum run by lunatics.
(Observer, 1933)

World Heritage Sites

Six areas of the Historic docks and the City of Liverpool were designated a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO in 2004. In the 18th and 19th centuries Liverpool was one of the major trading ports in the world.

The site was delisted by the UNESCO in 2021.

Writers and Poets
The American novelist Frances Hodgson Burnett was born as Frances Eliza Hodgson in Manchester in 1849. She emigrated with her family to America in 1865 where she later wrote many books including The Secret Garden.

Frances Hodgson Burnett

The poet Matthew Arnold died in Liverpool in 1888.

Matthew Arnold

Is it so small a thing
To have enjoyed the sun,
To have lived light in the spring,
To have loved, to have thought, to have done.
Empedocles on Etna (1852)

The novelist Beryl Bainbridge was born in Liverpool in 1934.

Beryl Bainbridge

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