Leicestershire Lives

The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography is the national record of people who’ve shaped British history, worldwide, from the Romans to the 21st century. The ODNB currently includes the life stories of over 60, 000 men and women who died in or before 2014.

Robert Bakewell

Of these 60, 000 people, nearly 1000 have close ties to Leicestershire —through families, education, work or residence.

Below you’ll find some famous (and less-well-known) Leicestershire faces, including farmer Robert Bakewell (above) and travel agent Thomas Cook. Click on an image to read more. Then discover the ‘who and how’ in Leicestershire by searching the ODNB for people by place.

John Johnson Thomas Cook Jessie Pope Joe Orton
Caroline Biggs John Manners Philip Larkin 
Daniel Lambert Henry Hastings Baron Snow

Who and how? in Leicestershire

As well as looking for people by name, you can also search by place, for example:

(NB: You'll need to be logged into your library's subscription for these searches.)

How do I search?

Finding people in the Oxford DNB is easy.

  • to discover more Leicestershire people simply use the ‘place’ option on the People Search page. You can find people who were born, baptized, educated or resident in Leicestershire, or who died and were buried here. Search by county, city, town, village, church, and even street.
  • you can also search the ODNB’s 70 million words for places (e.g. Belvoir Castle) For this use Text Search.

What else does the Oxford DNB offer?

  • Free biography podcast: as well as over 60,000 life stories, the ODNB publishes a twice monthly biography podcast featuring some popular entries from the collection. There are now over 250 episodes in the archive. Recent highlights include Diana, princess of Wales, George Orwell, John Lennon, and Bobby Moore.
  • Follow us on Twitter for more historical figures in the news.
  • Don’t forget: the ODNB online is available free—anywhere, anytime—via Leicestershire libraries: just type LCC + your library membership number in the box here


> Read the Oxford DNB, free and at home, using your library's subscription
> More about the Oxford DNB
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