Hitchin has more than its fair share of famous sons and daughters. Here are just a few: –
George Chapman: – A friend of Shakespeare, Chapman was the first person to translate Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey into English. His house is in Tilehouse Street.
Samuel Lucas: – Brewer and talented amateur painter. Much of his work is in the collection of North Hertfordshire Museum.
Joseph Lister: – The young Lister went to school at Isaac Brown’s Academy, now the Lord Lister on Queen Street. He was a schoolmate of William Ransom. He pioneered the use of antiseptics in surgery, saving countless lives.
Frederick Landseer Maur Griggs: – Fellow of the Royal Academy. Widely considered one of Britain’s finest etchers
Sir Henry Wood: – The founder of The Proms lived for much of his later life in North Hertfordshire and his funeral was held in St Mary’s Church.
Mary Angela Dickens: – A novelist and journalist of the late Victorian and Edwardian eras, and the oldest grandchild of the novelist Charles Dickens. She lived in Hitchin in her latter years and is buried in Hitchin Cemetery.
Jill Grey: – Jill worked at Bletchley Park and was PA to Sir Frank Whittle in the USA after the war. A nationally recognised authority on children’s literature, she amassed a collection of over 35,000 books and objects relating to education and childhood and launched a successful campaign to obtain listed building status for the Hitchin British Schools.
Frank Edward Young VC: – 2nd Lieutenant Frank Young was awarded the Victoria Cross, posthumously, for ‘most conspicuous bravery, determination and exceptional devotion to duty on 18th September 1918.
‘He was last seen fighting hand to hand against a considerable number of the enemy.’
Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother: – St Paul’s Walden Bury, was the childhood home of the Queen Mother and the young Princess Elizabeth visited Hitchin Town regularly as a child.
Valerie Singleton: – Blue Peter presenter from 1962 – 1972
Graham Poll: – Former Premier League Football referee.
Jack Wilshere: – Arsenal and England Footballer
James Bay: – Chart-topping singer-songwriter and guitarist