The Britain Unlimited website covers the lives of 250 of Great Britain’s most famous people

Photomontage of Britain

Two hundred and fifty iconic Britons have been chosen to tell the story of Britain itself. Each page gives you an easy to read guide about who the person was and what they were famous for. It tells you what they did and where they went in a chronological biography and also lists relevant locations so that you can follow in their footsteps for research or purely for pleasure. Select the information you need from one of the menus for either surname or a subject, or you can just visit the Full List of 250. Coverage is people from the Roman Empire up to those who died before the end of the Twentieth Century and with our historical timelines you can see how they fitted into the world around them.

On Britain you’ll also find museums dedicated to their memory, places they lived in or visited and examples of the works they achieved. You’ll find lists of the books they wrote and the pictures they painted. In fact everything you need to know to get a flavour of the people that made Britain great. This site is dedicated to individual people so you will not find Kings and Queens although the timelines relate a person to a particular reign to make it easier to distinguish a period. If you want to see who was the Prime Minister at the time you can choose the year from this list.

Follow the links in the top menus for further information about the United Kingdom itself and the organisations and companies that can help you find out more on your chosen subject.


  • 50 years ago in 1974 saw Prime Minister Edward Heath introduce a three day week.
  • 100 years ago in 1924 Malcolm Campbell set his first land speed record and Sir Edward Elgar was appointed as Master of the Kings Musick.  
  • 150 years ago in 1874 Thomas Hardy wrote “Far from the Madding Crowd” and Sir Winston Churchill was born.
  • 200 years ago in 1824 Lord Byron died during the Greek Wars of independence and Wilkie Collins was born.
  • 300 years ago in 1724 the artist famous for his horses George Stubbs was born.
  • 400 hundred years ago in 1624 the first submarine was publicly tested in London on the River Thames for King James the First.
  • 700 years ago in 1324 the alleged richest man who ever lived, Mansa Musa ruler of Mali, visited the pyramids in Egypt.

We like to see who the most popular characters are on Britain Unlimited and each year we check to see who has been most read. In 2023 the top ten Britons were as follows:

  1. T. S. Eliot. Twentieth century poet and playwright.
  2. John Donne. Seventeenth century poet.
  3. John Milton Seventeenth century poet.
  4. King Arthur. Legendary King.
  5. John Keats. Romantic poet.
  6. H. G. Wells. Twentieth century science fiction writer.
  7. Robert Hooke. Seventeenth century scientist.
  8. William Blake. Romantic poet and artist.
  9. John Dryden. Seventeenth century dramatist.
  10. Ben Jonson. Sixteenth/seventeenth century playwright.

Here you will find previous top tens back to 2016.

...and if all that wasn’t enough there’s information on hotels and accommodation, travel tips, tours and how to find historic houses. Please see the menus at the top of the page.

Enjoy reading Britain Unlimited and maybe you’ll discover something new today about the Britain you love.

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