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11 Londoners who changed the world who you probably never heard of; The little known Londoners who made waves around the world.

Byline: Ian Molyneaux

If you ask people for the greatest Londoners ever they will probably reel off the same similar names.

Unsurprisingly top of the list you will most probably findDavid Attenborough,David Bowieor even Queen Elizabeth II.

This is certainly not an attempt to discredit the fine men and women who are popular with the public, but sometimes the norm can be so dull.

There are in fact dozens of people born and bred in London who have remained relatively unknown, but whose feats can equally match those of the most loved figures from the capital.

Here are the unsung London heroes from over the past five centuries.

Born in: City of London

Charles Pearson was solicitor to theCity of Londonand also had a stint as an MP.

He published pamphlets and campaigned for an underground train system to help alleviate the capitals congestion.

Pearson never lived to see the opening of the Metropolitan Line but his widow was granted a [pounds sterling]250 per year annuity recognising his pivotal influence.

Born in: Marylebone

Lovelace is recognised as one of the world's first computer programmers.

The daughter of the poet Lord Byron, she was mainly known for her work on Charles Babbage's proposed mechanical general purpose computer.

Born in: Notting Hill

Born inNotting HillFranklin was a chemist and crystallographer whose research led to leaps in the understanding of DNA structures.

In 2015 Nicole Kidman played the part of Franklin in a production of ' Photograph 51' at the Noel Coward Theatre.

Dorothy Lawrence

Born in: Hendon

Lawrence was a journalist who became renowned for disguising herself as a man so she could become a soldier during theFirst World War.

She used a home made corset including cotton wool to bulk out her shoulders and went by the name of Private Dennis Smith.

During her time on the front line she worked digging tunnels for the Royal Engineers who were laying mines.

Her exploits were seen as embarrassing for the British Army and her writings were heavily censored by the war department.

Mary Quant

Born in: Blackheath

Quant is a fashion designer who is seen as one of a handful of designers that were responsible for the evolution of the mini-skirt and hotpants.

She is synonymous with the progressive and liberalising movement in the 1960's in which London was the centre of culture and fashion.

Francis Ronalds house

Born in: City of London

Ronalds created the first electric telegraph and was considered by some as the first electrical engineer.

He was a mere 28-years-old when he created the electric telegraph and used his own garden to conduct the experiments.

David Edward Hughes

Born in: London

Hughes was a British-American inventor who was born in England but emigrated to USA when he was a child.

In 1855 he invented the Type Printing Telegraph which was used everywhere by the Western Union Telegraph Company.

He moved back toLondonin 1857 where he created a carbon microphone while trying to make improvements to the recently invented telephone.

William Henry Perkin

Born in: London

Perkin was a chemist who discovered the first synthetic organic dye.

Before Perkin made his discovery the dyes used to colour clothing were all natural and took a lot of work.

Through his research and experiments Perkin enabled the world of fashion to revolutionise.

William Camden

Camden authored the first book which mapped out and described the landscape of Great Britain and Ireland.

The book was called 'Britannia' and published in Latin in 1586.

The publication was was not only recognised in Britain but across Europe too.

Camden spent most of his life inBexleyheathand there is even a pub named after him there.

Jeremy Bentham

Bentham is seen as the founder of modern utilitarianism - the ethical theory of right and wrong.

Bentham said: "The said truth is that it is the greatest happiness of the greatest number that is the measure of right and wrong."

Londoners are often seen as rude and uncaring but Bentham essentially started the idea of doing right from wrong.

Born in:Hoxton

In 1810 Durand was granted a patent for the idea of preserving food in tinned cans.

It was said that Durand was given the idea by Philippe de Girard who is seen as the uncredited inventor of preserving food using tin cans.

However, Durand did mention in his patent application that he had been given the idea by someone else.

Perhaps lacking passion for his project he sold the patent on to two other Englishman who went on to provide preserved food to the British army.


Credit: (C) 2013 UKTV/Jonathan Ford

David Attenborough comes from Isleworth and is often voted as the greatest Londoner in polls

Credit: London Transport Museum

Q38 stock at Earls Court station in 1939

Credit: Ann Ronan Picture Library / Heritage Images

The world's first computer programmer Ada Lovelace, after whom the school is named

Credit: Johan Persson

Nicole Kidman as Rosalind Franklin in Photograph 51 (Johan Persson)
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Copyright 2019 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Get West London (Watford, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 6, 2019
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