Famous British Women

By Tim Lambert

There have been many famous women in British history. Below is a list of some of them.


In 61 AD she led the Iceni tribe of what is now East Anglia in a rebellion against the Romans


Berta or Bertha 539-612

In the 6th century AD England was divided into small kingdoms and the English were pagans. However Berta was a Christian and she married the king of Kent. It was partly due to her influence that Kent was converted to Christianity.

Hilda of Whitby 614-680

Hilda was an influential woman in the Saxon church who founded Whitby Abbey. In 664 she hosted the Synod of Whitby.

Gruoch 1007-1060

She was the real Lady Macbeth

Lady Godiva 11th Century

Lady Godiva certainly existed (she is mentioned in documents of the time) but whether her famous naked ride took place it is impossible to say. According to the story her husband Leofric was taxing the people of Coventry heavily and Godiva begged him to remove the tax. He jokingly said he would lift the tax if she rode through the town naked. Godiva did so!

Matilda 1102-1167

Queen of England 1135-1154

Lady Agnes Randolph aka Black Agnes 1312-1369

She defended a castle

Alice Perrers 1340-1400

She was the mistress of the English King Edward III

Julian of Norwich 1342-1416

Despite the masculine name Julian was a woman. She was a famous mystic and writer. Julian wrote about the ‘motherhood’ of God.

Margery Kempe 1373-c. 1439

Margery was an English mystic. The story of her life became a famous book The Book of Margery Kempe

Jane Shore c. 1445-1527

She was the mistress of the English King Edward IV

Anne Neville 1456-1485

She was the wife of Richard III and Queen of England 1483-1485.

Anne Askew 1521-1546

She was an important English Protestant

Anne Boleyn 1501-1536

She was an English Queen

Elizabeth I 1533-1603

She was queen of England

Catherine Parr 1512-1548

She was an English queen

Mary Tudor 1516-1558

She was queen of England

Amye Everard Ball

In 1637 she became the first woman in England to be granted a patent

Anne Bradstreet 1612-1672

Anne was a poet of the 17th Century. She was born in England but in 1630 she emigrated to North America.

Margaret Fell 1614-1702

She helped to found the Quakers

Mary Beale 1633-1699

She was an artist

Margaret Hughes c. 1660-1719

She was the first professional woman actress in England

Mary Astell 1666-1711

She was a famous philosopher

Queen Anne 1665-1714

Anne was queen of Britain

Hannah Glasse 1708-1770

She was famous for writing cookery books

Catharine Macaulay 1731-1791

She was an English historian

Mary Wollstonecraft 1759-1797

She is famous for her book A Vindication of the Rights of Women

Elizabeth Fry 1780-1845

She was a great prison reformer

Jane Austen 1775-1817

She was a great writer

Mary Shelley 1797-1851

Mary was a writer. She is famous for her novel Frankenstein

Ada Lovelace 1815-1852

Ada was a famous mathematician

Grace Darling 1815-1842

In Britain Grace Darling rowed a little boat 1 mile through a storm to rescue 5 people from a steamship that had struck rocks. She became a heroine.

Charlotte Bronte 1816-1855

She was a great writer

Emily Bronte 1818-1848

She was another writer

Queen Victoria 1819-1901

She was queen of Britain

Florence Nightingale 1820-1910

She was a famous nurse

Catherine Booth 1829-1890

Catherine helped to found the Salvation Army

Gertrude Jekyll 1843-1932

She was a famous gardener

Mary Kingsley 1862-1900

She was a woman explorer

Beatrix Potter 1866-1943

She was a famous author

Gertrude Bell 1868-1926

She was a writer and archaeologist

Margaret Bondfield 1873-1953

In 1929 she became the first woman cabinet minister in Britain

Agatha Christie 1890-1976

She was a famous writer

Agatha Christie

Enid Blyton 1897-1968

She was a children’s writer

Amy Johnson 1903-1941

She was a famous woman pilot

Margaret Thatcher 1925-2013

She was the first woman prime minister of Britain

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