(all descriptions from Microsoft(R) Encarta(R) 96 Encyclopedia. (c) 1993-1995 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. (c) Funk & Wagnalls Corporation. All rights reserved.)

This is a list of some of the notables who have visited or stayed in Ashbourne. In some cases I am still trying to ascertain their actual connection - when I do I shall update their entries. No doubt there are many others, if they would like to let me know I shall add them to my list

Queen Victoria
Bonny Prince Charlie
Dr Samuel Johnson - A frequent visitor - Download his "Journey To The Western Isles" , and read his anecdotes free
James Boswell - Scottish writer - Download his "Life Of Johnson" free
Izaak Walton - Fisherman (with a capital F!) - Download his "Compleat Angler" free
William Congreve - Dramatist and poet
Thomas Moore (poet)
George Eliot - writer
Jean Jacques Rousseau - , French philosopher, social and political theorist, musician, botanist, and writer.
Cathrine Mumford Booth - The "Mother of the Salvation Army", born is Ashbourne

Queen Victoria (then a mere princess)
In 1832 the young Princess Victoria stopped at the Green Man for refreshments - shortly afterwards it received its royal title.

Bonny Prince Charlie
Stuart, Charles Edward, called The Young Pretender, The Young Chevalier, and Bonnie Prince Charlie (1720-88), claimant to the British throne who led the Scottish Highland army in the Forty-five Rebellion. The son of James Francis Edward Stuart and grandson of James II of England, Charles Edward was born December 31, 1720, in Rome. In 1744, after his father had obtained the support of the French government for a projected invasion of England, Charles Edward went to France to assume command of the French expeditionary forces. Unfavorable weather and the mobilization of a powerful British fleet to oppose the invasion led to cancellation of the plan by the French government. Charles Edward persisted in his determination to drive George II from the British throne, however, and in 1745 he arrived in Scotland, where a number of Highland clans came to his assistance. He took Edinburgh, defeated a British force at Prestonpans, and advanced as far south as Derby, England, before being forced to retreat.

It was on his way to Derby that he stopped over in Ashbourne. In fact it was in Ashbourne that he declared his father King.

In April 1746, however, his forces were utterly routed at Culloden Moor. He was hunted as a fugitive for more than five months, but the Highlanders never betrayed him, and he escaped to France in September 1746. Two years later he was expelled from that country in accordance with one of the provisions of the second Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle (1748), which stipulated that all members of the house of Stuart were to be driven from France. For a number of years Charles Edward wandered about Europe. Secretly visiting London in 1750 and in 1754, he attempted without success on both occasions to win support for his cause. In 1766, on his father's death, Charles Edward returned to Italy, where he spent his last years. He died in Rome on January 31, 1788.

Dr Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) - writer and lexicographer.
A major figure in 18th-century literature as an arbiter of taste, renowned for the force and balance of his prose style.

Johnson, usually referred to as Dr. Johnson by his contemporaries and later generations, was born in Lichfield on September 18, 1709, the son of a bookseller. He attended the local school, but his real education was informal, conducted primarily among his father's books as he read and studied the classics, which influenced his style greatly. In 1728 Johnson entered Pembroke College at the University of Oxford. A brilliant but eccentric young man, he was plagued by a variety of ailments from which he suffered the rest of his life. He left in poverty, without taking a degree and having suffered the first of two emotional breakdowns. During this time of despondency his reading of devotional literature led him to a profound religious faith. After his father died in 1731, Johnson tried teaching and later organized a school in Lichfield. His educational ventures were not successful, however, although one of his students, David Garrick, later famous as an actor, became a lifelong friend. At the age of 26 Johnson married Elizabeth Jarvis Porter, a widow about 20 years his senior, who brought a measure of calm and self-confidence to his life. In 1737 Johnson, having given up teaching, went to London to try the literary life. Thus began a long period of hack writing for the Gentleman's Magazine. Johnson's long, sonorous poem The Vanity of Human Wishes, based on the tenth satire of the Latin poet Juvenal, appeared in 1749; generally considered Johnson's finest poem, it marked the beginning of a period of great activity. He founded his own periodical, The Rambler, in which he published, between 1750 and 1752, a considerable number of eloquent, insightful essays on literature, criticism, and moral theory.

Beginning in 1747, while busy with other kinds of writing and always burdened with poverty, Johnson was also at work on a major project-compiling a dictionary commissioned by a group of booksellers. After more than eight years in preparation, the Dictionary of the English Language appeared in 1755. This remarkable work contains about 40,000 entries elucidated by vivid, idiosyncratic, still-quoted definitions and by an extraordinary range of illustrative examples.

Despite anxieties about his productivity, Johnson published another periodical, The Idler, between 1758 and 1760; and in 1759, to pay for his mother's funeral, he hurriedly completed Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia, a prose romance about a young man's search for a happy life. "Dictionary Johnson" (as he has been called) was now a celebrity. In 1764 he and the eminent English portraitist Sir Joshua Reynolds founded the Literary Club; its membership included such luminaries as Garrick, the statesman Edmund Burke, the playwrights Oliver Goldsmith and Richard Brinsley Sheridan, and a young Scottish lawyer, James Boswell. From their first meeting in 1763 Johnson and Boswell were drawn to each other; for the next 21 years Boswell minutely observed and recorded the conversation and activities of his hero. Boswell's monumental Life of Samuel Johnson, one of the greatest biographies ever written, was published in 1791. Trinity College in Dublin awarded Johnson an honorary doctorate of civil law in 1765, the same year that he published his edition of Shakespeare with its acute commentary on the characters in the plays. Sometime after 1760 Johnson experienced a second mental breakdown. The great hospitality of his friend Hester Lynch Thrale brought him some peace, and her Anecdotes of the Late Samuel Johnson (1786) provides valuable insights into the mind and heart of Johnson during this period of personal turmoil. In 1773, however, he was well enough to undertake and enjoy a trip with Boswell to Scotland and the Hebrides, a trip vividly recounted in his Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland (1775) [128 Kb zipped text file] . Johnson's last major work, The Lives of the English Poets, was begun in 1778, when he was nearly 70 years old, and completed-in ten volumes-in 1781. The work is a distinctive blend of biography and literary criticism. Johnson died three years later on December 13, 1784.

Modern Interest in Johnson Nineteenth-century biographers fostered the image of Johnson as an awkward, unkempt eccentric, whose conversation was certainly lively and memorable, but whose literary influence was slight. A full-scale scholarly evaluation of Johnson's contributions as a writer began only in the mid-20th century. The psychological study Samuel Johnson (1944), by American critic Joseph Wood Krutch opened up new ways of thinking about the man and his work. The most comprehensive and penetrating scholarship has been that of Walter Jackson Bate, another American literary scholar, who won a Pulitzer Prize for Samuel Johnson (1977). In these studies Johnson emerges as a troubled but undaunted man, compassionate to the poor and oppressed, relentless in his quest for truth, a humanist par excellence. His writing, in defense of reason against the wiles of unchecked fancy and emotion, championed the values of artistic and moral order.

Also see "Anecdotes of Dr Johnson" [118 Kb zipped text file] by Hesther Lynch Piozzi

Dr Johnson had many links to the area - eating at the Green Man, staying at Ilam Hall etc.

James Boswell (1740-1795), Scottish writer
Boswell who became a close friend and biographer of the writer Samuel Johnson. Boswell was born in Edinburgh, and educated at the universities of Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Utrecht.

Boswell was admitted to both the Scottish and English bars and practiced law but devoted himself primarily to the pursuit of a literary career. His most important early work was An Account of Corsica (1768), a sympathetic study of the struggle for independence of that island, written after an extended tour of Europe. In 1763 Boswell met the writer Samuel Johnson, and from 1772 until Johnson's death in 1784 the two men were closely associated. In 1773 Boswell was admitted to Johnson's Literary Club, which included the statesman Edmund Burke, the writer Oliver Goldsmith, the painter Sir Joshua Reynolds, and the actor David Garrick. Thereafter, Boswell devoted much of his time to compiling detailed records of Johnson's activities and conversation. Boswell's accounts covered periods of daily association with Johnson in London and also described a trip that the two friends made through Scotland to the Hebrides in 1773.

After the death of Johnson, Boswell's Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides (1785) and Life of Samuel Johnson [472 Kb text download] (1791) were published. Boswell is best known for the latter work, which is generally considered a masterpiece of biography. In 1927 an extensive collection of Boswell's letters, notes, and journals was discovered at Malahide Castle in Ireland. Yale University acquired these papers in 1949, and under its auspices they were prepared for scholarly publication in 18 volumes. Several volumes, beginning with Boswell's London Journal (1950), have been edited for general readership; one of the latest in the series is Boswell: The Applause of the Jury, 1782-1785 (1981).

Boswell visited the Green Man in 1777, who was pestered by the landlady - Mrs Killingley - to advertise the hostelry to all his friends.

Izaak Walton (1593-1683) - Fisherman
Walton , a man of letters, who wrote what became one of the most famous books in the English language, The Compleat Angler, or the Contemplative Man's Recreation. Walton was born in the parish of Saint Mary, Staffordshire. In 1624 he settled in London as a linen draper or an ironmonger; he retired from business about 20 years later. Walton lived much of his later life at Winchester. The first edition of The Compleat Angler, [138 Kb zipped text file] or the Contemplative Man's Recreation, which Walton wrote when he was 60, appeared in 1653. Walton's charming discourse on every aspect of fishing as a form of recreation is interspersed with dialogue, verses, songs, and idyllic glimpses of pastoral life. A fifth edition, expanded from 13 chapters to 21, appeared in 1676. It included a supplement on fly fishing, written by the English poet Charles Cotton, which then formed the second part of the work. Walton also wrote biographies, including those of the poets John Donne and George Herbert, published in 1640 and 1670, respectively. His verses frequently appeared in prefaces to works written by his friends.

Bently Brook, a small stream in Mappleton, gets a mention by him in his book. Walton spent many hours fishing the River Dove and surrounding brooks.

William Congreve (1670-1729), Dramatist and poet
Congreve, William (1670-1729), English dramatist and poet, regarded as the ablest writer of comedy of the Restoration period. He was born in Bardsey, near Leeds, and educated at Trinity College, Dublin. Later he studied law in London but soon abandoned it to pursue a literary career. He published a prose work, Incognita (1692), and a few poems, but did not achieve success until he turned to playwriting. With the production of his comedy The Old Bachelor in 1693, his talent was established. It was followed by The Double Dealer (1693) and Love for Love (1695). These plays were cynical comedies of manners, written with grace and wit but without profundity. They were designed for his close friend, the actor Anne Bracegirdle, who played the leading roles. At this time Congreve became the manager of Lincoln's Inn, a new theater. He then wrote his only tragedy, The Mourning Bride (1697). When the work of Congreve and his colleagues was attacked by the clergyman Jeremy Collier as licentious, Congreve replied with Amendments of Mr. Collier's False and Imperfect Citations (1698). His last important play, The Way of the World (1700), met with little enthusiasm but is now considered a comic masterpiece. Congreve spent the rest of his life quietly, holding minor civil service posts. He published occasional verse and translations of ancient Roman and Greek poets and enjoyed the friendship of other men of letters, including Alexander Pope, Jonathan Swift, and Voltaire.

Congreve's play - The Old Bachelor - was written in Ilam Hall

Thomas Moore (1779-1852) poet
Moore, Thomas (1779-1852), Irish poet of the romantic movement. He was born in Dublin and educated at Trinity College, Dublin. He lived chiefly in London, except for travels to North America in 1803 and a sojourn in Paris after 1817. Moore's verse, characterized by a nostalgic songlike quality, deals with themes of patriotism and love. His first significant work, a translation of Odes of Anacreon (1800), catapulted him to fame. Lalla Rookh (1817), a four-part narrative poem set in exotic India, was also very popular. Irish Melodies (1807-34), a collection of 130 poems that included such famous titles as "The Last Rose of Summer," "The Harp That Once Through Tara's Halls," and "The Minstrel Boy," is considered his major work. Moore also wrote a satire, The Fudge Family in Paris (1818), a History of Ireland (1827), and a fine biography (1830) of his friend Lord Byron, whose memoirs he burned to protect the poet's reputation.

George Eliot (1819-1880)- writer
George Eliot  was the pseudonym of Marian Evans, whose books, with their profound feeling and accurate portrayals of simple lives, give her a place in the first rank of 19th-century English writers. Her fame was international, and her work greatly influenced the development of French naturalism. George Eliot was born in Chilvers Coton, Warwickshire, the daughter of an estate agent. She was educated at a local school in Nuneaton and later at a boarding school in Coventry. At the age of 17, after the death of her mother and the marriage of her elder sister, she was called home to care for her father. From that time on she was self-taught. A strict religious training, received at the insistence of her father, dominated Eliot's youth. In 1841 she began to read rationalist works, which influenced her to rebel against dogmatic religion, and she remained a rationalist throughout her life. Eliot's first literary attempt, at which she worked from 1844 to 1846, was a translation of Das Leben Jesu (The Living Jesus, 1835-1836) by the German theologian David Strauss. In 1851, after traveling for two years in Europe, she returned to England and wrote a book review for the Westminster Review. She subsequently became assistant editor of that publication. Through her work on the Review she met many of the leading literary figures of the period, including Harriet Martineau, John Stuart Mill, James Froude, Herbert Spencer, and George Lewes. Her meeting with Lewes, a philosopher, scientist, and critic, was one of the most significant events of her life. They fell in love and decided to live together, although Lewes was married and a divorce was not possible. Nevertheless, Eliot looked upon her subsequent long and happy relationship with Lewes as a marriage. Eliot continued to write reviews, articles for periodicals, and translations from the German. Then, with encouragement from Lewes, she began to write fiction in 1856. Her first story, "The Sad Fortunes of the Reverend Amos Barton," appeared in Blackwood's Magazine in January 1857. It was followed by two other stories in the same year, and all three were collected in book form as Scenes from Clerical Life (1858). The author signed herself George Eliot and kept her true identity secret for many years.

Among Eliot's best-known works are Adam Bede (1859), The Mill on the Floss (1860), and Silas Marner (1861). These novels deal with the Warwickshire countryside and are based, to a great extent, on her own life.

It is in Adam Bede where she writes about Ashbourne - although she calls it Oakbourne.

Travels in Italy inspired her next novel, Romola (1863), a historical romance about the Italian preacher and reformer Girolamo Savonarola and 15th-century Florence. She began writing the book in 1861, and it appeared in 1863, after being serialized in The Cornhill Magazine. Following the completion of Romola, she wrote two outstanding novels, Felix Holt, the Radical (1866), concerned with English politics, and Middlemarch (1871-1872), dealing with English middle-class life in a provincial town. Daniel Deronda (1876) is a novel attacking anti-Semitism, and The Impressions of Theophrastus Such (1879) is a collection of essays. Her poetry, which is considered to have much less merit than her prose, includes The Spanish Gypsy (1868), a drama in blank verse; Agatha (1869); and The Legend of Jubal and Other Poems (1874). Eliot was admired by contemporaries such as Emily Dickinson and later writers such as Virginia Woolf, and has generated much favorable contemporary feminist criticism. During the period in which she wrote her major works, Eliot was always encouraged and protected by Lewes. He prevented her even from seeing unfavorable reviews of her books. After his death in 1878 she became a recluse and stopped writing. In May 1880 she married John Cross, an American banker, who had long been a friend of both Lewes and herself and who became Eliot's first biographer, but she died in London seven months later.

Jean Jacques Rousseau - (1712-78), French philosopher and writer.
Rousseau, Jean Jacques  (1712-78), French philosopher, social and political theorist, musician, botanist, and one of the most eloquent writers of the Age of Enlightenment. Rousseau was born in Geneva on June 18, 1712, and was raised by an aunt and uncle following the death of his mother a few days after his birth. He was apprenticed at the age of 13 to an engraver, but after three years he ran away and became secretary and companion to Madame Louise de Warens, a wealthy and charitable woman who had a profound influence on Rousseau's life and writings. In 1742 Rousseau went to Paris, where he earned his living as a music teacher, music copyist, and political secretary. He became a close friend of the French philosopher Denis Diderot, who commissioned him to write articles on music for the French Encyclopédie.

In 1750 Rousseau won the Academy of Dijon award for his Discours sur les sciences et les arts (Discourse on the Sciences and the Arts, 1750), and in 1752 his opera Le devin du village (The Village Sage) was first performed. In his prize-winning discourse and in his Discourse on the Origin of Inequality Among Mankind (1755; trans. 1761), he expounded the view that science, art, and social institutions have corrupted humankind and that the natural, or primitive, state is morally superior to the civilized state (see Naturalism). The persuasive rhetoric of these writings provoked derisive comments from the French philosopher Voltaire, who attacked Rousseau's views, and subsequently the two philosophers became bitter enemies. Rousseau left Paris in 1756 and secluded himself at Montmorency, where he wrote the romance Julie, or the New Eloise (1760; trans. 1773). In his famous political treatise The Social Contract (1762; trans. 1797) he developed a case for civil liberty and helped prepare the ideological background of the French Revolution by defending the popular will against divine right.

In the influential novel Émile (1762; trans. 1763) Rousseau expounded a new theory of education emphasizing the importance of expression rather than repression to produce a well-balanced, freethinking child. Rousseau's unconventional views antagonized French and Swiss authorities and alienated many of his friends, and in 1762 he fled first to Prussia and then to England. There he was befriended by the Scottish philosopher David Hume, but they soon quarreled and denounced each other in public letters. During his stay in England he prepared the manuscript for his posthumously published treatise on botany, La botanique (Botany, 1802). Rousseau returned to France in 1768 under the assumed name Renou. In 1770 he completed the manuscript of his most remarkable work, the autobiographical Confessions (1782; trans. 1783, 1790), which contained a penetrating self-examination and revealed the intense emotional and moral conflicts in his life. He died July 2, 1778, in Ermenonville, France.

Although Rousseau contributed greatly to the movement in Western Europe for individual freedom and against the absolutism of church and state, his conception of the state as the embodiment of the abstract will of the people and his arguments for strict enforcement of political and religious conformity are regarded by some historians as a source of totalitarian ideology. Rousseau's theory of education led to more permissive and more psychologically oriented methods of child care, and influenced the German educator Friedrich Froebel, the Swiss educational reformer Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi, and other pioneers of modern education. The New Eloise and Confessions introduced a new style of extreme emotional expression, concern with intense personal experience, and exploration of the conflicts between moral and sensual values. In these writings Rousseau profoundly influenced romanticism in literature and philosophy in the early 19th century. He also affected the development of the psychological literature, psychoanalytic theory, and philosophy of existentialism of the 20th century, particularly in his insistence on free will, his rejection of the doctrine of original sin, and his defense of learning through experience rather than analysis. The spirit and ideas of Rousseau's work stand midway between the 18th-century Enlightenment, with its passionate defense of reason and individual rights, and early 19th-century romanticism, which defended intense subjective experience against rational thought.

Catherine Mumford Booth

Catherine Mumford was born in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, on 17 January 1829. From an early age she was a serious and sensitive girl. She had a strong Christian upbringing and by the age of 12 had read her Bible through eight times!
But is was not until she was 16, after much struggling, that she was really converted. In her hymn book she read the words 'My God I am Thine, what a comfort Divine', and realised the truth of this statement for herself. At 14 she was seriously ill and spent a great deal of time in bed. But she kept herself busy, and was especially concerned about the problems of alcohol. She wrote articles for a magazine which encouraged people not to drink.

She met William Booth when he came to preach at her church. They soon fell in love and became engaged. During three years of engagement, Catherine was a constant support to William in his tiring work of preaching, through her letters. At last on 16 June 1855, they were married. Unlike most weddings, theirs was very simple with no great expense. They wanted to use all their time and money for God.


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