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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


Warwickshire lies in central England. In 1974 the new county of the West Midlands was formed from part of the county together with parts of Staffordshire and Worcestershire. The West Midlands has since been broken up into smaller authorities.

Towns include the county seat of Warwick and Stratford-upon-Avon.

Anglo-Saxons and Danes
The small kingdom of the Hwicce lay between the kingdoms of Mercia to the north and that of the West Saxons (Wessex) to the south.

Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty
The Cotswolds stretch over six counties, with a portion of their western end lying in Warwickshire. They became the country's largest AONB on its creation in 1966. The area is distinctive due to the underlying limestone rock which has created a unique landscape and habitat for plants and animals.

Famous People

Robert Catesby the leader of the Gunpowder Plot, was born at Lapworth in 1573. The plot to blow up Parliament and kill James I was foiled when Guy Fawkes was arrested in a cellar under Westminster Palace on November 5th 1605 where 36 barrels of gunpowder had been concealed. Catesby was shot dead in Staffordshire when he resisted arrest.

Gunpowder Plot Conspirators
Gunpowder Plot

Historic Events

Major Battles
In 1642 the Battle of Edgehill was the first of the battles which made up the English Civil Wars, a conflict between supporters of the monarchy and supporters of Parliament, lasting until the defeat of the future Charles II at the Battle of Worcester in 1651.

The Royalists under
Charles I had raised their standard at Nottingham and had begun their march on London. The Parliamentarians, led by the Earl of Essex, blocked their way meeting them at Edgehill where the two sides fought an inconclusive battle. The Royalists gave up their attempt to reach the capital and made their headquarters at Oxford, where it would remain for the rest of the war.

Charles I

Important Events
At Kenilworth Castle in 1327, Edward II was forced to abdicate in favour of his son Edward III.

Edward II

Inventors and Scientists
The Scottish engineer James Watt died at his home Heathfield Hall in Handsworth in Birmingham in 1819 and is buried nearby.

James Watt

In 1886 the physician Edward Bach was born in the village of Moseley near Birmingham. After studying medicine at University College Hospital in London he set up a practice in Harley Street but became disillusioned with medicine's concentration on the disease rather than the person suffering it. This disillusion led him to leave London and to search for new methods of healing he believed could be found in nature. This search culminated in the Bach Flower Remedies, a method of treating people's emotional state and not the illness, using extracts of flowers. The use of these remedies has since spread around the world.

Bach Centre

Nobel Prize Winners

The chemist Norman Haworth died in 1950 in Birmingham. In 1937 he had shared the Nobel Prize for Chemistry with the Swiss scientist Paul Karrer for their research into the structure of vitamin C.

Born as Dorothy Mary Crowfoot in Cairo in 1910 the crystallographer Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin died at Shipston on Stour in 1994. In 1964 she had become the first British woman to be awarded a Nobel science prize when she won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry.

Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin

The economist John R. Hicks was born in Warwick in 1904. In 1972 he was the first Englishman to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics which he shared with the American Kenneth J. Arrow.

The politician (and half-brother of the Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain) Austen Chamberlain was born as Joseph Austen Chamberlain in Birmingham in 1863. He shared the Nobel Prize for Peace with Charles G. Dawes in 1925 for their negotiating of the Locarno Pact.

Austen Chamberlain

Places of Interest

Kenilworth Castle

The University of Birmingham received its Royal Charter in 1900, bringing together two institutions: the Birmingham Medical School (founded 1828) and Mason Science College (founded 1875). It was one of the six civic universities founded in the country's new industrial centres which also included Leeds, Sheffield, Manchester, Liverpool 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
Earl of Wilmington Prime Minister from 1742-43, was born as Spencer Compton at Compton Wynyates House in Compton Wynyates in 1673.

Earl of Wilmington

Born as Arthur Neville Chamberlain in Edgbaston in Birmingham in 1869, Neville Chamberlain became Prime Minister from 1937-40. In the interests of peace Chamberlain followed a controversial policy of appeasement towards Adolf Hitler, signing the Munich Agreement in 1938 after the invasion of Czechoslovakia. When the policy failed he declared war on Germany a year later, but criticism of his leadership and early military defeats led him to stand down in 1940 in favour of Winston Churchill. Chamberlain died 6 months later.

Neville Chamberlain

I believe it is peace for our time.
(Speech from 10 Downing Street, September 1938)

Royal Consorts and Heirs

House of York
Anne Neville was born at Warwick Castle in 1456. In 1472 she married the future Richard III at Westminster Abbey and became Queen on his coronation in 1483. She died in 1485 before his short reign ended violently on the battlefield at Bosworth later that year.

Writers and Poets

William Shakespeare, was born in 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon. After spending many years in London he returned to his birthplace dying there in 1616. He is buried in the town.

William Shakespeare
Shakespeare -The Early Years
Shakespeare - The Later Years
Shakespeare Birthplace Trust
British Library - The Plays

Lord, what fools these mortals be!
A Midsummer Night's Dream (1595-96)

When sorrows come, they come not single spies,
But in battalions.

Hamlet (1601)

Who can control his fate?

Othello (1602-04)

Is mortals' chiefest enemy.

Macbeth (1606)

Come what come may,
Time and hour runs through the roughest day.

Macbeth (1606)

What's past is prologue.

The Tempest (1611)

The author of Middlemarch George Eliot was born as Mary Ann Evans in 1819 at Arbury near Nuneaton.

George Eliot

In every parting there is an image of death.
Scenes of Clerical Life (1858)

The poet Rupert Brooke was born in Rugby in 1887. He joined the Royal Navy at the outbreak of the First World War and died on a hospital ship moored off the Greek island of Skyros in 1915, where he is buried.

Rupert Brooke
First World War

Fish say, they have their stream and pond;
But is there anything beyond?
Heaven (1915)

The poet Philip Larkin was born in Coventry in 1922.

Philip Larkin Society

E.M. Forster author of Howards End and A Passage to India, died in Coventry in 1970.

E.M. Forster
Music and Meaning

She felt that those who prepared for all the emergencies of life beforehand may equip themselves at the expense of joy.
Howards End (1910)

If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country.

What I Believe - Two Cheers for Democracy (1951)

J.B. Priestley died at Alveston in 1984. He is buried at Hubbersholme in Yorkshire.

J.B. Priestley
J.B. Priestley Society

County Links Genealogy in England

Genealogy Links

Births, Marriages
and Deaths (BMD)
West Midlands
Family History Societies
Birmingham & Midland Society for Genealogy and Heraldry
Nuneaton & North Warwickshire
Record Offices
and Archives
Birmingham Archives
Historical Society
Dugdale Society
Warwickshire Local History Society
Online Parish Clerk