Some Notable Citizens of Lichfield

Elias Ashmole 1617-1672

Elias Ashmole, the founder of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, was born at 5 Breadmarket Street in Lichfield. He attended Lichfield Grammar School in St. Johns Street the site of which is now occupied the Lichfield District Council Chamber. His birthplace, now a solicitor's office, is marked by a stone plaque.

Gregory King 1648-1712

Gregory King was born in the parish of St Chad, Lichfield and attended Lichfield Grammar School where he learnt Latin, Greek and Hebrew. He beacame a genealogist (appointed Lancaster Herald of Arms in 1688), an engraver and notably, a statistician for the government, attaining a number of positions as commissioner. Sometimes described as the first great economic statistician, he derived an estimate of the population and wealth of England at the close of the 17th century.

Sir John Floyer 1649-1734

Sir John Floyer was born at Hints Hall near Lichfield and practised medicine locally, developing new ways of caring for patients. He was the first to develop a system for pulse rate measurement using a specially designed watch.

Joseph Addison 1672-1719

Joseph Addison was born in Wiltshire but moved to Lichfield soon afterwards as his father had been appointed Dean of Lichfield Cathedral. As a young man he attended Lichfield Grammar School, later achieving fame as an essayist, poet, playright and politician. He is buried in Westminster Abbey.

Samuel Johnson 1709-1784

Samuel Johnson, writer, critic, lexicographer, conversationalist, and famous for his Dictionary of English, was born in Lichfield in 1709. His birthplace in Breadmarket Street is now a museum reflecting his life and work. In 1737, accompanied by the young David Garrick, he moved to London to pursue his literary career.

Richard Greene 1716-1793

Richard Greene was born in Lichfield and lived all his life in the City, becoming Sheriff and later an alderman. An antiquary and surgeon, he established the first printing press in Lichfield. He also founded a museum to house his collection of fossils, coins, watches, armour and natural history but, after his death in 1793, the collection was disbursed by his son.

David Garrick 1717-1779

David Garrick, actor, dramatist and theatre manager, was born in Hereford but spent most of his early life in Lichfield. He attended Lichfield Grammar School, the site of which is in St Johns Street, and later studied Latin and Greek at a school run by Samuel Johnson. His Lichfield home in Bird Street was demolished in the 19th century and a stone plaque now marks the site. The modern theatre in Castle Dyke also bears his name.

Erasmus Darwin 1731-1802

Erasmus Darwin, physician, scientist, inventor and poet was born in Newark upon Trent but settled in Lichfield in 1756, where he lived until 1780. He was the grand-father of Charles Darwin. There is a stone plaque at the front of his house in Beacon Street, on the edge of the Cathedral Close, which is now a working museum and research centre dedicated to his life and work.

Anna Seward 1742-1809

Anna Seward was born in Derbyshire in 1742. She was an eighteenth century English romantic poet, often called "the Swan of Lichfield". She moved to Lichfield at an early age when her father was appointed Canon at Lichfield Cathedral. She never married and lived in the Bishop's Palace for the rest of her life.

Henry Salt 1780-1827

Henry Salt was born in the parish of St Mary, Lichfield and educated first at Lichfield's Free school and later at a boarding school in Market Bosworth. After training as a portrait painter in London he joined an expedition, led by Viscount Valentine, to survey the Red Sea coast of Africa. This work led to a further expedition to Abyssinia and his subsequent appointment in 1815 as Consul General in Egypt. His lifelong passion was the study of Egyptian antiquities and his large collections now grace both the British Museum and the Louvre in Paris.

He wrote several books including "A Geometrical Survey of the City of Alexandria" (1809) and "Voyage to Abyssinia" (1814) but is perhaps best remembered for the meticulous recording revealed in his landmark text on Egyptian Hieroglyphs.