Lincolnshire's Poacher Country

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There are many famous people throughout the ages who have been born and bred in Lincolnshire's Poacher Country, and on this page we have touched on just a few.


Heading into the Wolds countryside, near to Horncastle, you reach the picturesque village of Somersby, birthplace of Poet Laureate Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

The Church of Saint Margaret was once presided over by Tennyson's father who was the local Vicar. Tennyson's own 'haunt of ancient peace' was the 18th century Gunby Hall, near to Spilsby. In the 1830s Harrington Hall, (private residence), was the home of Miss Rosa Baring, with whom Tennyson fell in love and about whom the poem 'Maud' is partly written.


Alford has many links to America. Anne Hutchinson, America's first woman preacher was born in the town.

Captain John Smith, born in nearby Willoughby, sailed to Virginia in 1606 with the first Jamestown settlers where he set up trading connections with the Indians and mapped the area. Smith was captured by the Indians, but he was saved from execution by the eleven year old Indian Princess, Pocahontas.


Sir John Franklin, arctic navigator and explorer, was born in Spilsby in 1786. Having joined the Royal Navy aged just 14, he sailed on many expeditions and eventually became Lt. Governor of Tasmania.

However, at the age of 57, Franklin commanded his final expedition to find the North-West Passage between Canada and the Arctic. Tragically the expedition disappeared in 1847 and all the crew perished.


William Marwood was a boot and shoemaker who lived in Foundry Street, Horncastle and had his shop in Church Lane from 1855. But Marwood's claim to fame is as a Public Executioner, executing over 350 men and women with his own humane 'long drop' method of hanging through a trap door.


Fulletby, near to the market town of Horncastle is a tranquil village and is famed as being the birthplace of Henry Winn, prolific writer and poet. Winn grew up in the village, one of six children of the village's shoemaker. At first he followed his father into shoemaking, and then became master at the local school. In 1880 he gave this up and began to record village history and the life of Lincolnshire people, places and customs which were set down in numerous volumes of notebooks. Winn died in 1914 at the age of 98.


Sir Joseph Banks, the famous explorer and botanist born at nearby Revesby in 1743, owned extensive lands in and around Horncastle. Aged 25 he sailed with Captain Cook to the South Pacific exploring and recording the wildlife of New Zealand and Australia. Sir Joseph travelled all over the world but he always returned to Lincolnshire every autumn.
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Captain John Smith
Marwood's Cobbler Shop
Sir John Franklin
The Horseshoe carved by Richard Winn, Henry's brother
Sir Joseph Banks