Famous Victorians

Lots of changes took place during the Victorian era (1837 to 1901), and many people made important contributions to Victorian society in a wide variety of different ways.

Follow the links to learn more about some of these famous Victorians:

Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria ruled the United Kingdom from 1837 to her death in 1901, and it is her reign that gives its name to the Victorian era.

Prince Albert

Prince Albert was the consort to Queen Victoria from 1840 (the year of their marriage) until his death in 1840.

Florence Nightingale

Florence Nightingale was a nurse during the Crimean War, and she was also involved in social reform. She was known as The Lady with the Lamp.

Mary Seacole

Was a British-Jamaican nurse during the Crimean War, and she set up the famous British Hotel.

Lord Shaftesbury

Lord Shaftesbury was a politician and an important social reformer.

Joseph Lister

Joseph Lister was a scientist and surgeon. He is best known for developing anitseptic surgery techniques.

Louis Pasteur

Louis Pasteur was a chemist and microbiologist. He is best known for developing vaccines for cholera, rabies, and anthrax.

Robert Peel

Rober Peel was twice Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1834-1835 and 1841-1846).

Robert Louis Stevenson

Robert Louis Stevenson was an author famous for writing Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

Lewis Carroll

Louis Carroll was an author famous for writing Alice’s Adventure’s in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.

William Morris

William Morris was a textile designer, author, and a poet. He is associated with the Arts and Crafts Movement.

Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin was a biologist. In his On the Origin of Species book, he laid out his theory of evolution.

Dr Barnardo

Thomas John Barnardo was a philanthropist who founded Barnardo’s homes for poor and deprived children. 

Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens was an author. He is famous for writing books such as Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol, David Copperfield, A Tale of Two Cities, and Great Expectations.

Arthur Conan Doyle

Arthur Conan Doyle was an author famous for writing the Sherlock Holmes books.

Charles Kingsley

Charles Kingsley was an author and poet. He is best known for writing The Water-Babies.

Robert Koch

Robert Koch was a famous physician and microbiologist. He is famous for discovering the causes of cholera, tuberculosis, and anthrax.

David Livingstone

David Livingstone was a famous explorer.

Isambard Kingdom Brunel

Isambard Kingdom Brunel was a famous engineer, and one of the key figures of the Industrial Revolution.

Alexander Graham Bell

Alexander Graham Bell was an inventor. He famously patented the first telephone and founded the American Telephone and Telegraph Company.

Grace Darling

Grace Darling was a lighthouse keeper’s daughter. she is famous for rescuing survivors from the wrecked Forfarshire ship.

Charles Babbage

Charles Babbage was an engineer, mathematician, and inventor. He is best known for developing the first mechanical computer.

John Cadbury

John Cadbury was the founder of the Cadbury chocolate business based in Birmingham.

Rowland Hill

Rowland Hill was an inventor and social reformer. He is best known for reforming the postal service and introducing the Uniform Penny Post.

Mary Anning

Mary Anning was a famous fossil collector and paleontologist.

Elizabeth Fry

Elizabeth Fry was an important social reformer. She was known as the Angle of Prisons because of the improvements she brought about to prison conditions and the treatment of inmates.

James Starley

James Starley was an inventor, and he is best known for his bicycle and tricycle designs.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Alfred Tennyson was a famous poet. His most well-known poems include The Lotos-Eaters, Morte d’Arthur, The Charge of the Light Brigade and The Lady of Shalott.

Michael Faraday

Michael Faraday was a scientist who contributed to our understanding of electromagnetism and electrochemistry.

Gregor Mendel

Gregor Mendel was a scientist and mathematician. He is famous for creating the science of genetics.

Captain Webb

Captain Webb was the first person known to have swum the English Channel. He achieved this feat in 1875 and it took him about 22 hours.

Click here to see all of our Victorian resources.

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