Sunday, 27 May 2012

Famous of Wolverhampton

Button Gwinnet
Born in 1735 lived in Wolverhampton, married a local girl and sailed for America in 1762 to become a planter in Georgia. As delegate to the Continental Congress in 1776 he became one of fifty-six signatories of the Declaration of Independence.

His signature, being very rare, has become much sought after. He signed a register after his daughter was christened at Wolverhampton, and also the minute book of the charity school. The latter has since found its way to America.
Johnathan Wild
Self-styled Thief-taker of Great Britain and Ireland he was indigenous to Wolverhampton (born 1683, baptised 6 June same year at St Peter's) and lived there until 1709 when he moved to the capital.

Today he would be known as an informer but was himself an extremely active criminal leading gangs of thieves and handling stolen goods, only escaping conviction due to his usefulness to the authorities. In the end his luck ran out and he was executed at Tyburn 24 May 1725.

As a grisly postscript his skeleton was later exhumed and passed to the Royal College of Surgeons who were studying the origin of criminal tendencies as related to physical types.

The Gunpowder Plot
Two of the plotters: Robert Catesby, the leader, and Thomas Percy were sheltered in Holbeche House near Dudley. They were traced there by the sheriff of Worcester's men and shot dead as they tried to escape. They were lucky, the men involved in hiding them: Thomas Smart and John Holyhead of Rowley Regis, were tried in Wolverhampton and given a traitor's execution on High Green (now Queen's Square) on or around 27 January 1606.

Charles I and II
Prior to the first major battle of the English Civil War, Edgehill on 23 October 1642, Charles I came to Wolverhampton on 15 October in order to collect troops and revenue; he stayed at a house on the site of the Mander Centre.

With him journeyed 16,000 troops who did not acquit themselves well stealing the lead off the church roof and engaging in other general rowdiness. King Charles and Prince Rupert, a brilliant soldier, returned on several occasions after that, the last one being 16 June 1645.

Charles II, after an unsuccessful bid in 1651 to reclaim the throne at Worcester on the 3 September, disguised himself as a peasant and hid in a priest hole in Mosley Old Hall home of Mr Whitgreave (now the property of the National Trust). He stayed three days before leaving for Bentley Hall Cannock and from there to a ship to carry him to France. He was returned to the throne nine years later.

Actor Edwin Booth started his career as a tea-tray artist in a japanning factory in Old Hall (demolished 1883 to open up the market place in High Green). His son, actor John Wilkes Booth, assassinated President Abraham Lincoln in Fool's Theatre 1865.

Sir Stephen Jenyns (d. 6 May 1523) knighted by Henry VIII, endowed Wolverhampton Grammar School, currently sited on Compton Road.

Sir Charles Villiers 1802-98. Longest serving MP in parliamentary history: sixty-three years in total representing Wolverhampton.

Dame Maggie Teyte 1888-1976. Opera singer. Her father owned the Old Still Inn in King Street.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Please do not spam us with advertising of any kind. You are just wasting your time and ours as all comments are moderated. Thank you.

For everyone else it is great to hear from you!