Greatest Britons: Results

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skalpel
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Greatest Britons: Results

Post by skalpel » Fri Mar 13, 2015 2:48 am

ToonForum's Greatest Britons

1. Charles Darwin - 23

2. Isambard Kingdom Brunel - 17

3. Isaac Newton - 15

4. Tim Berners-Lee - 14

5. George Stephenson - 13 (6 Nominations)

6=. William Shakespeare - 13 (3 Nominations)

6=. George Orwell - 13 (3 Nominations)

7. Winston Churchill - 12

8. Adam Smith - 10

9. William Wilberforce - 9

10. Alfred the Great - 7

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Alfred The Great

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- Began the process of unifying the warring kingdoms into a single England, appointing himself the first true leader of all England.
- Successfully protected Wessex from the Vikings, preserving the country's future.
- Founded the English legal system and helped to begin putting centuries of ignorance to bed by encouraging the spread of education.

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Tim Berners-Lee

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- Invented the World Wide Web
- Refused to profiteer on his invention, and instead gave it to the world as a platform for free exchange of ideas and information
- Founded the W3C Web Consortium which continues to work at preserving the quality and openness of the web for today and the future.

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Isambard Kingdom Brunel

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- Pioneered iron and steam shipping, building the world's largest ship, Great Eastern.
- Built the Great Western Railway. Every station (including London Paddington), the routes of the tracks, every bridge (including Clifton Suspension Bridge)
- Built the first successful under-river tunnel (and it is still used today).

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Winston Churchill

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- Made crucial use of the English language to mobilise and inspire Britain to fight fascism at all costs.
- Kept a sinking empire afloat and influential in world politics, aiding the bond between the USA and USSR which would help bring about the destruction of Nazi Germany.
- Fought with the British Army in his youth.

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Charles Darwin

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- Developed and proposed the staggeringly innovative concept of Evolution by Natural Selection, fundamentally changing the way that all of humanity looks at itself and its own history, the history of the world, and our relationship to every living thing on it.
- Travelled the world, collecting fossils, live animals, dead animals and plant specimens, enriching British scientific study.

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Isaac Newton

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- Developed the theory of Universal Gravitation, explaining gravity and forming the roots and an immense wealth of subsequent scientific understanding.
- His groundbreaking work in optics include the discovery of the colour spectrum and invention of the modern telescope.
- Developed the Three Laws of Motion, founding the modern study of Physics, and did about as much the same for modern Mathematics with the discovery of Calculus.

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George Orwell

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- One of the world most infamous anti-fascists, he took a bullet in the throat, and had himself watched by British Intelligence while volunteering against Franco's fascist regime in the Spanish War.
- Wrote nine novels, baring to the world the horrors of totalitarianism with Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four.
- One of the greatest essayists in the English language, Orwell's famous and influential essays continue to offer hope and wisdom to this day.

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William Shakespeare

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- Probably the most important figure in the history of the English language, he invented some 1700 words and countless more common phrases which we all still use every single day today.
- Widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language, he wrote 37 plays, among them Hamlet, Othello and Macbeth, revolutionising drama to such a degree that his works today remain the benchmarks for writing for cinema, theatre and television.
- Wrote 154 sonnets which would influence the future of poetry and in particular the Romantic movement in literature.

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Adam Smith

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- Wrote The Wealth of Nations, an extensive study of commerce and industry, tearing the world from medieval concepts of money and inventing modern economics (and the study of economics) in the process.
- His writings would serve as the economic driving force behind the rise and prosperity of the British empire.

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George Stephenson

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- The 'Father of the Railway' broke ground in developing a string of innovative locomotives which would revolutionise travel in Britain and the world. His inventions included Stephenson's Rocket, the fastest train of its day which would influence the design of locomotive engines forever.
- Invented a safe lamp for use in mines, used locally and known affectionately as the Geordie Lamp (thus, I suppose, arguably making him the father of all Geordies).
- Like his friend Brunel, Stephenson built bridges and railways all over the country and the world, including the first railway line and service in history, between Stockton and Darlington.

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William Wilberforce

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- Fought vigorously and spent wildly to bring an end to slavery. His efforts were not only successful in shutting down the British African slave trade in the 1830s, but were influential in world discourse and, more crucially, also encouraged the British government to police the global slave market to such a degree that it would eventually help to end the problem on the international stage.

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The BBC famously conducted a poll a decade or so ago, which ended up with such omnishambolic results that they can't all be addressed in one post. Princess Diana came third. We'll leave it at that.

But I wondered if the folk of TF would have a better shot at figuring out a list. Post up to ten people (in no order) who you think deserve to be among the Greatest Britons of All Time - of course you'll have more than ten but deal with it and cut it down to ten - and then after a while, if this takes off and there are enough posts, we could make a compiled list of the most frequently mentioned people.

For the purposes of this thread you can include Northern Irish people if you wish, but Ireland is off limits. Naturalised citizens are okay, provided they can be generally accepted as Britons as well as their original country of birth.

Here are my ten nominations:

William Shakespeare
Isaac Newton
Adam Smith
Thomas Paine
William Wilberforce
George Stephenson
Isambard Kingdom Brunel
Charles Darwin
George Orwell
Tim Berners-Lee
SpoilerShow
(Sadly, no women <urgh>)

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Re: Greatest Britons

Post by Tsi » Fri Mar 13, 2015 3:36 am

William George Armstrong
George Stephenson
Cuthbert Collingwood
Thomas Addison
Ove Nyquist Arup
Charles Grey
Henry Percy
John Dobson
Oswald
Basil Bunting

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Re: Greatest Britons

Post by Donkey Toon » Fri Mar 13, 2015 8:41 am

TSI's selection has a slight NE bias i've noticed. <laugh>

Your selection pretty much nails it skalpel. As I read through it I kept noting "well he has to be in it for sure". By the end I decided I had to stop being lazy and find some differences. Even so I ended up keeping 7 of your choices;

William Shakespeare
Isaac Newton
Adam Smith
William Wilberforce
George Stephenson
Isambard Kingdom Brunel
Charles Darwin

to which I would add

Simon De Montfort (6th Earl)
Alan Turing
Francis Bacon

Like you I couldn't find a woman to include. The closest I got was Mary Wolstonecraft, but ultimately decided that to include her I would have to push out a male who in all honesty I thought better deserved the place, purely to try and be pc.

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Re: Greatest Britons

Post by Ramone » Fri Mar 13, 2015 9:14 am

No Churchill? Elizabeth the 1st?
REQUIEM

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Re: Greatest Britons

Post by Donkey Toon » Fri Mar 13, 2015 9:34 am

Ramone wrote:No Churchill? Elizabeth the 1st?
Not for me. Neither of them even make my shortlist.

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Re: Greatest Britons

Post by Speedo » Fri Mar 13, 2015 11:10 am

John Maynard Keynes
Thingy Bevin who started the NHS
I had the first custom w***

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Re: Greatest Britons

Post by PTAO? » Fri Mar 13, 2015 11:59 am

William Harvey
Charles Darwin
Tim Berners-Lee
Isaac Newton
Winston Churchill
Steven Hawking
Rosalind Franklin (Wasn't so hard to find a woman <roll>
Richard Branson
Bear Grylls
Alexander Graham Bell

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Re: Greatest Britons

Post by Dr. Bishop » Fri Mar 13, 2015 12:17 pm

Pull the Arfa One wrote:William Harvey
Charles Darwin
Tim Berners-Lee
Isaac Newton
Winston Churchill
Steven Hawking
Rosalind Franklin (Wasn't so hard to find a woman <roll>
Richard Branson
Bear Grylls

Alexander Graham Bell
<****>

Why?
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Re: Greatest Britons

Post by overseasTOON » Fri Mar 13, 2015 12:24 pm

Alfred the Great
Benjamin Disraeli

Robert Boyle (regarded as founder of modern chemistry)
Robert Hooke (stick Issac Newton up your ass)
Charles Babbage
Alan Turing
Tim Berners-Lee

Bernard Montgomery
Adrian Carton de Wiart (technically Belgian but considering what body parts he gave up for the British Empire - He's a Brit to me)

DH Lawrence

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Re: Greatest Britons

Post by skalpel » Fri Mar 13, 2015 12:26 pm

Armstrong, Turing and Franklin are great nominations. The only women I'd really thought of were Wollstencroft, Seacole, Anning. Maybe Elizabeth Fry, and they would have seemed out of place.

Re Churchill, I'd put in John before Winston.
overseasTOON wrote:Adrian Carton de Wiart
<****> <laugh> Christ.

"...was shot in the face, head, stomach, ankle, leg, hip, and ear; survived two plane crashes; tunnelled out of a prisoner-of-war camp; and bit off his own fingers when a doctor refused to amputate them. Describing his experiences in the First World War, he wrote, "Frankly I had enjoyed the war."

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Re: Greatest Britons

Post by Dr. Bishop » Fri Mar 13, 2015 12:45 pm

Thomas Cromwell

Potentially controversial:
Adam Banks
Emmeline Pankhurst
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Re: Greatest Britons

Post by overseasTOON » Fri Mar 13, 2015 12:48 pm

skalpel wrote:Armstrong, Turing and Franklin are great nominations. The only women I'd really thought of were Wollstencroft, Seacole, Anning. Maybe Elizabeth Fry, and they would have seemed out of place.

Re Churchill, I'd put in John before Winston.
overseasTOON wrote:Adrian Carton de Wiart
<****> <laugh> Christ.

"...was shot in the face, head, stomach, ankle, leg, hip, and ear; survived two plane crashes; tunnelled out of a prisoner-of-war camp; and bit off his own fingers when a doctor refused to amputate them. Describing his experiences in the First World War, he wrote, "Frankly I had enjoyed the war."
<laugh>

He was just awesome

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Re: Greatest Britons

Post by skalpel » Fri Mar 13, 2015 12:54 pm

Dr. Bishop wrote:Potentially controversial: Adam Banks
Who is this?

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Re: Greatest Britons

Post by PTAO? » Fri Mar 13, 2015 1:00 pm

Dr. Bishop wrote:
Pull the Arfa One wrote:William Harvey
Charles Darwin
Tim Berners-Lee
Isaac Newton
Winston Churchill
Steven Hawking
Rosalind Franklin (Wasn't so hard to find a woman <roll>
Richard Branson
Bear Grylls

Alexander Graham Bell
<****>

Why?
Bear Grylls broke his back falling 16,000ft after his parachute ripped, 18 months later he climbed Everest. Drinks his own piss without gagging. Yeah he stayed in a hotel once when he pretended to sleep over night in a dangerous environment, but he does a lot of inspirational stuff.

Branson because he sticks two fingers up to the way other business men conduct themselves. Extremely down to earth, friendly, and incredibly ambitious. It's people like him that drive the creation of the Concorde and land men on the moon.

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Re: Greatest Britons

Post by Dr. Bishop » Fri Mar 13, 2015 1:07 pm

skalpel wrote:
Dr. Bishop wrote:Potentially controversial: Adam Banks
Who is this?
My mistake, it's Adam Smith.
“I just got an erection. Oh, fear not. It’s nothing to do with your state of undress. I just simply need to urinate.”
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Re: Greatest Britons

Post by Mifune » Fri Mar 13, 2015 1:13 pm

Pull the Arfa One wrote:
Dr. Bishop wrote:
<****>

Why?
Bear Grylls broke his back falling 16,000ft after his parachute ripped, 18 months later he climbed Everest. Drinks his own piss without gagging. Yeah he stayed in a hotel once when he pretended to sleep over night in a dangerous environment, but he does a lot of inspirational stuff.

Branson because he sticks two fingers up to the way other business men conduct themselves. Extremely down to earth, friendly, and incredibly ambitious. It's people like him that drive the creation of the Concorde and land men on the moon.
Bear Grylls is just a s*** Ranulph Fiennes.

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Re: Greatest Britons

Post by Dr. Bishop » Fri Mar 13, 2015 1:20 pm

Pull the Arfa One wrote:
Dr. Bishop wrote:
<****>

Why?
Bear Grylls broke his back falling 16,000ft after his parachute ripped, 18 months later he climbed Everest. Drinks his own piss without gagging. Yeah he stayed in a hotel once when he pretended to sleep over night in a dangerous environment, but he does a lot of inspirational stuff.

Branson because he sticks two fingers up to the way other business men conduct themselves. Extremely down to earth, friendly, and incredibly ambitious. It's people like him that drive the creation of the Concorde and land men on the moon.
Fair enough. I didn't know that Grylls had broke his back but I'd still argue that there are much better explorers and survivalists throughout our history.

Personally I think the way Branson conducts himself in business isn't something to be proud of, but you have a point on his drive towards creation.
“I just got an erection. Oh, fear not. It’s nothing to do with your state of undress. I just simply need to urinate.”
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Re: Greatest Britons

Post by overseasTOON » Fri Mar 13, 2015 1:25 pm

Branson to me has built up a myth.

His Virgin companies are marketed on an impression that they are 'innovative', 'brand challenging' and 'disruptive' to global monopolies but in truth they are mainly already tried and trusted ideas and he has little to do with any of them in the day to day management.

A true story about Virgin Rail was that customers in a survey stated they gave the train company extra leeway over commuter aggravation simply because they thought that Branson was being lied to by the managers and would soon get involved personally and change it for the better.

Its this myth that he's 'fighting for the little guy against revenue hungry global corporation' that gives his ventures public kudos so the majority of his companies are highly profitable initially and fade out. Virgin Cola, Virgin Music, Virgin Vodka...

Recently he's taken the approach of buying a small share (10%-ish) in existing businesses and simply rebranding them 'Virgin' which is hardly innovative or brand challenging.

He does PR well. He does marketing well.

For an entrepreneur he takes very little risk.

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Re: Greatest Britons

Post by skalpel » Fri Mar 13, 2015 1:46 pm

Dr. Bishop wrote:
skalpel wrote:
Who is this?
My mistake, it's Adam Smith.
Adam Banks would have been a much better name, aptronymously speaking <roll>.

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Re: Greatest Britons

Post by Dr. Bishop » Fri Mar 13, 2015 1:49 pm

skalpel wrote:
Dr. Bishop wrote:
My mistake, it's Adam Smith.
Adam Banks would have been a much better name, aptronymously speaking <roll>.
Yup <laugh>
“I just got an erection. Oh, fear not. It’s nothing to do with your state of undress. I just simply need to urinate.”
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