Richmond 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 more than 60,000 men and women who died in or before 2016.

Of these more than 60,000 people, more than 1,200 have links to Richmond.

Here you’ll find some famous (and perhaps less-well-known) Richmond faces, including Henry VII who converted Sheen palace into Richmond Palace, and Elizabeth I who was held prisoner there during the reign of her sister. Other notable residents include actor, filmmaker, and peer Richard Attenborough, musician Syd Barrett, and Prime Minister Harold Wilson. Click on the images below to read more.

Henry VII Elizabeth I Richard Attenborough 

Syd Barrett Edward VIII Harold Wilson 

Who and how? in Richmond

As well as searching for people by name, you can search through life events and places such as birth, baptism, and burial.

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

How do I search?

The Oxford DNB includes the life stories of over 60,000 men and women.You can search online for where they were born, baptized, lived, died, or were buried, by date range or location.

  • The advanced search ‘life event’ feature can be used to find people near you—be they men and women baptised in Edinburgh (189), those born in Whitby (28), or those buried in Exeter (133). Used in this way the ODNB is an excellent resource for school projects or family history.
  • Text searching across the Oxford DNB’s 68 million words, you can also make links between people and places: for example, we’ve 102 references to “Clapham Common”, 27 to the “River Trent”, and 51 to “Snowdonia”.

What else does the Oxford DNB offer?

  • Free biography podcast: as well as 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 Roald Dahl, George Orwell, John Lennon, and Nancy Astor.
  • Follow us on Twitter for more historical figures in the news.
  • Don’t forget: the ODNB online is available free—anywhere, anytime—via Aberdeenshire libraries: just type 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