(1564 - 1616)
William Shakespeare is widely regarded to be the greatest writer in the history of the English language. His prolific output of plays and poetry is read and performed all over the world and along with the King James Bible helped shaped the version of English we speak today.
(1566 - 1625)
King James was the first King of both England and Scotland, he was responsible for bringing together previously divided areas of the country through his skillful handling of the Gunpowder Plot and the commission of a new Bible in English.
(1632 - 1704)
Political philosopher John Locke was largely responsible for establishing the importance of both individual and economic freedom.
(1780 - 1837)
The oldest and most influential animal welfare organisation in the world was founded in 1824 by an Anglican vicar, Arthur Broome.
(1780 - 1845)
Elizabeth Fry is best known for her work in reforming prison conditions during the early part of the 19th Century. Shocked by the conditions, particularly of the women prisoners, while visiting Newgate prison she worked to change this.
(1820 - 1910)
Florence Nightingale was best known for her pioneering work in nursing, but was also a successful writer and statistician.
(1828 - 1910)
The Red Cross was the world's first humanitarian organisation. It was started in 1863 by a Swiss man named Henry Dunant. Dunant was very moved by his experiences tending the wounded after the battle of Solferino in Italy.
(1880 - 1968)
Helen Keller was an American author who had been blind and deaf from early childhood. Yet, overcoming her disabilities, she became something of a child prodigy.
(1881 - 1959)
The Hollywood film-maker Cecil B. DeMille was a major figure in the American movie industry. He was one of the founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (the organisation behind ‘the Oscars').
(1892 - 1973)
J.R.R. Tolkien was the author of a series of fantasy novels, the most famous of which was The Lord of the Rings.
(1911 - 1972)
In 1931, Thomas Dorsey organized one of the first gospel choirs at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Chicago. Mahalia Jackson became one of the members of his choir.
(1929 - 1968)
Martin Luther King was a central to the progress of the American Civil Rights movement during the 1950s and 1960s.