people included here were either born in Britain, died in Britain,
became British citizens, became Prime Minister of Britain or ascended
the British throne.
Yorkshire-born film actor Charles Laughton
died in Los Angeles, California in 1962. On moving to Hollywood he
achieved fame early, winning an Academy Award for the 1933 film The
Private Life of Henry VIII. He went on to star in such classics
as the 1935 version of Mutiny on the Bounty and Stanley Kubrick's
Spartacus in 1960. His 1955 directorial debut The Night
of the Hunter was also a critical success. In 1950 he became a
Laurel, the English half to Laurel
died in Santa Monica, California in 1965. 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.
English film director Alfred Hitchcock
died in Los Angeles, California in 1980. After making his early films
in Britain he moved to Hollywood in 1939 where his 1940 film Rebecca
won an Academy Award for Best Picture. He went on to make some
of cinema's greatest thrillers including Rear Window, North
by Northwest and Psycho with many of Hollywood's leading
actors and actresses.
in Bristol in
England Hollywood actor Cary
Grant died in Davenport, Iowa in 1986. He arrived in the USA in
1920 and after working in theatre moved to Hollywood where he made
his film debut in 1932. He appeared in many classic comedies opposite
Hollywood's leading actresses, also working with Sir Alfred Hitchcock
in some of his most successful films. In 1970 he was awarded an honorary
London-born comedian Bob
Hope died at Toluca Lake, California in 2003 a few months after
his 100th birthday.
1779 - whilst on his third world voyage - Captain
James Cook was killed on Kealakekua Beach in Hawaii by natives.
He had left England in 1776 with the aim of finding a route from the
Pacific around the north coast of Alaska and Canada.
Captain Cook Society
Webb died in 1883 attempting to be the first person to swim
across the rapids of the Niagara River just below the Niagara Falls
on the US-Canadian border. He had been born in Dawley in Shropshire
in 1848 and in 1875 had become the first person to swim the English
Channel when he swam from Dover to Cap Gris Nez in France.
preacher George Whitefield
died near Boston, Massachusetts in 1770. It was while studying at
Oxford that he had become involved with John Wesley and his brother
Charles, who in 1729 had set up a religious group called the "Oxford
Methodists". This would be the beginnings of Methodism
which Whitefield and the Wesley brothers later founded. Originally
a movement within the Church of England, the Methodists were eventually
forced to separate and form their own church. Whitefield toured the
United States many times to preach and it was on his eighth trip that
Astor was born in Danville, Virginia in
1879. In 1919 she became the first woman to sit in the House of Commons
when she became MP for the city of Plymouth in Devon.
in Scotland in 1835 Andrew Carnegie emigrated
to America with his family in 1848. He was to become one of the richest
people in history through iron and steel after which he spent the
rest of his life donating money to philanthropic projects. He returned
to live in Scotland in 1901, taking up residence at Skibo Castle,
Sutherland but died in 1919 in Lenox, Massachusetts.
The English-born chemist Joseph
in 1840 in Northumberland, Pennsylvania. As a clergyman in Leeds in
Yorkshire he had begun studying chemistry in the 1760s an interest
which would make him a pioneer in the field and one of the discoverers
of oxygen. His scientific views often clashed with his religious role
and his writings led to many seeing him as an atheist, triggering
controversy on several occasions. After a mob attacked his house he
decided to move to London and then in 1794 emigrated to the USA, where
he lived in a more tolerant climate.
Consorts and Heirs
House of Windsor
1892 Wallis Simpson,
future wife of Edward
VIII, was born as Bessie Wallis Warfield at Blue Ridge Summit
in Pennsylvania. Edward abdicated in 1936 in order to marry
T.S. Eliot see Nobel
Norfolk-born political writer Thomas
Paine died on his farm at New Rochelle, New York in 1809. He had
written many controversial books including The Rights of Man and
The Age of Reason which had caused him to fall foul of the
ruling classes in England, France and the U.S.
It is necessary to the happiness of man that
he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in
believing, or in disbelieving, it consists in professing to believe
what one does not believe.
The Age of Reason (1794)
author Henry James was born in New
York City, New York in 1843. He lived in England from 1876 until his
death in London in 1916 and was buried in the land of his birth in
Live all you can; it's a mistake not to. It
doesn't so much matter what you do in particular, so long as you have
your life. If you haven't had that, what have you had?
The Ambassadors (1903)
English-born novelist Frances Hodgson Burnett
died in Plandome, New York in 1924. She had emigrated with her family
to America in 1865 where she wrote many books including The Secret
1935, five years after his death in France, the ashes of D.H.
Lawrence were interred on a property in Taos, New Mexico where
he had spent time in the 1920s.
Don't you find it a beautiful clean thought,
a world empty of people, just uninterrupted grass, and a hare sitting
Women in Love (1920)
Plath was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1932. In 1959 she settled
in Devon, having married the poet Ted Hughes in 1956. They had met
in England at Cambridge where they had both studied.
Is there no way out of the mind?
1932 the English suspense writer Edgar Wallace
died in Hollywood, California whilst working on the screenplay to
He was buried in Little Marlow in Buckinghamshire.
Welsh poet Dylan
Thomas died whilst on a visit to New York City, New York
in 1953. He was buried in Laugharne, Carmarthenshire his home since
Light breaks where no sun shines;
Where no sea runs, the waters of the heart
Push in their tides.
breaks where no sun shines (1934)
as I was young and easy under the apple boughs
About the lilting house and happy as the grass was green.
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Not Go Gentle into that Good Night (1952)
English author of Brave New World Aldous
Huxley emigrated to the USA in 1937 settling in California.
He died in Los Angeles on the 22nd November 1963, the same day as
the American President John F. Kennedy and the author C.S. Lewis.
He was buried at Compton in Surrey.
"I say," Helmholtz exclaimed solicitously,
" you do look ill, John!"
"Did you eat something that didn't agree with you?" asked
The Savage nodded. "I ate civilization."
Brave New World (1932)
of the principal functions of a friend is to suffer (in a milder and
symbolic form) the punishments that we should like, but are unable,
to inflict upon our enemies.
Brave New World (1932)
The end cannot justify the means, for the
simple and obvious reason that the means employed determine the nature
of the ends produced.
Ends and Means (1937)
chronicler of life in 1930s Berlin, emigrated to the USA with W.H.
Auden in 1939, both writers becoming U.S. citizens in 1946. Isherwood
died in Santa Monica, California in 1986.
Isherwood with W.H. Auden and Stephen Spender