Famous British Philanthropists

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite British Philanthropists

 1 
Princess Diana
(First Wife of Charles, Prince of Wales)

Princess Diana
4
Birthdate: July 1, 1961
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Norfolk, England, United Kingdom
Died: August 31, 1997

The first wife of Charles, Prince of Wales, Princess Diana was a member of the British royal family. As a princess, she became known for her unconventional approach to charity work. She was celebrated as a style icon and fashionista as well. She divorced Charles in 1996 and died in a tragic car accident the following year.

 2 

Sarah Ferguson
4
Birthdate: October 15, 1959
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: The London Welbeck Hospital, London, England, United Kingdom

Sarah Ferguson is one of the members of the British royal family. She started working with several charity organizations after marrying Prince Andrew, Duke of York. Even after her divorce, she has continued working with organizations like the American Cancer Society. In 2020, she set up her own foundation called Sarah's Trust.

 3 
John Paul Getty Jr.
(Philanthropist)

John Paul Getty Jr.
4
Birthdate: September 7, 1932
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Italy
Died: April 17, 2003
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 4 
Davina McCall
(Television presenter)

Davina McCall
3
Birthdate: October 16, 1967
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Wimbledon, London, England
After brief stints as a singer and dancer during her early twenties, Davina McCall established herself as a television presenter at MTV and then rose in popularity as the host of Big Brother aired on Channel 4. She presented This Time Next Year on ITV. Born to a French mother and an English father, she is also involved in charity.

 5 
Jessie Ware
(Singer-songwriter)

Jessie Ware
3
Birthdate: October 15, 1984
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Hammersmith, London, England

 6 

Douglas Booth
4
Birthdate: July 9, 1992
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Greenwich, London, England, UK

 7 

Jacob Rothschild
4
Birthdate: April 29, 1936
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Berkshire, United Kingdom
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 8 

Olivia Harrison
3
Birthdate: May 18, 1948
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico

Best known as the widow of iconic musician George Harrison of The Beatles, Olivia Harrison was born to working-class parents and met George during her stint as an A&M Records secretary. She established a charity to help Romanian children after the fall of Communism and also co-produced an Emmy-winning documentary on her husband.

 9 
Duncan Bannatyne
(Entrepreneur)

Duncan Bannatyne
3
Birthdate: February 2, 1949
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Clydebank, Scotland

 10 
John Caudwell
(Businessman who founded the now defunct mobile phone retailer Phones 4u)

John Caudwell
3
Birthdate: October 7, 1952
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Birmingham, England

 11 
Julian Marley
(Musician)

Julian Marley
3
Birthdate: June 4, 1975
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: London, England, UK

 12 
Ben Horowitz
(Businessperson)

Ben Horowitz
3
Birthdate: June 13, 1966
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: London, England

 13 

Catherine Cookson
2
Birthdate: June 27, 1906
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: South Shields, County Durham, England
Died: June 11, 1998

 14 

Max Aitken, 1st Baron Beaverbrook
2
Birthdate: May 25, 1879
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Maple, Vaughan, Canada
Died: June 9, 1964

 15 
Elihu Yale
(Merchant)

Elihu Yale
3
Birthdate: April 5, 1649
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Died: July 8, 1721

Born in Massachusetts, Elihu Yale moved with his family to Britain at age 3. An East India Company official, he had been the President of Madras and later started a diamond business in London. He later turned into a generous philanthropist and became the main benefactor of what is now Yale University.

 16 
John Templeton
(Investor)

John Templeton
2
Birthdate: November 29, 1912
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Winchester, Tennessee, United States
Died: July 8, 2008

 17 

Charles Palmer-Tomkinson
2
Birthdate: January 4, 1940
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Hampshire, England

Cosima von Bülow Pavoncelli
2
Birthdate: April 15, 1967
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York, United States

William Lever, 1st Viscount Leverhulme
2
Birthdate: September 19, 1851
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bolton, England
Died: May 7, 1925

 20 
Moses Montefiore
(Financier)

Moses Montefiore
2
Birthdate: October 24, 1784
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Livorno, Italy
Died: July 28, 1885

 21 
Felix Dennis
(Publisher)

Felix Dennis
2
Birthdate: May 27, 1947
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey, England
Died: June 22, 2014

 22 
Brian Souter
(Businessman)

Brian Souter
2
Birthdate: May 5, 1954
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Perth

 23 

Joseph Whitworth
2
Birthdate: December 21, 1803
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Stockport, England
Died: January 22, 1887

Mechanical engineer Joseph Whitworth is best remembered for devising the British Standard Whitworth system for screw threads. He contributed a lot to the development of Owens College, introduced a scholarship, and left most of his fortunes to the people of Manchester. He was also made a baronet of the U.K.

 24 

Fraser Stoddart
2
Birthdate: May 24, 1942
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom

Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 7th Earl of Shaftesbury
2
Birthdate: April 28, 1801
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, England
Died: October 1, 1885
One of the most significant industrial reformers of Britain, Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 7th Earl of Shaftesbury was instrumental in bringing about many reforms, such as the 1845 Lunacy Act, which treated the mentally ill with compassion. His Mines Act prohibited all women and all children below 10 from mining work.

 26 
Harry Oakes
(Businessman)

Harry Oakes
0
Birthdate: December 23, 1874
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Sangerville, Maine, United States
Died: July 7, 1943

 27 
Amit Bhatia
(Founding partner of Swordfish Investments and chairman of Queens Park Rangers football club)

Amit Bhatia
2
Birthdate: September 4, 1979
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, England

Angela Burdett-Coutts, 1st Baroness Burdett-Coutts
2
Birthdate: April 21, 1814
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, England
Died: December 30, 1906

William Morris, 1st Viscount Nuffield
2
Birthdate: October 10, 1877
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Worcestershire, England
Died: August 22, 1963

 30 
Peggy Cripps
(Author)

Peggy Cripps
1
Birthdate: May 21, 1921
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
Died: February 11, 2006

 31 

Princess Katarina of Yugoslavia
1
Birthdate: November 28, 1959
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: London, England

 32 
Seebohm Rowntree
(Researcher)

Seebohm Rowntree
1
Birthdate: July 7, 1871
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: York, England
Died: October 7, 1954

Though he initially studied chemistry, Seebohm Rowntree soon joined his family cocoa business. He soon introduced employee-friendly policies, such as the 5-day work week and a pension plan, in the company. His pioneering study of working-class homes in York became an iconic sociological treatise on the poor.

Donald Alexander Smith, 1st Baron Strathcona and Mount Royal
1
Birthdate: August 6, 1820
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Forres, Scotland
Died: January 21, 1914

 34 
John Moores
(Businessman)

John Moores
1
Birthdate: January 25, 1896
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Barton upon Irwell, Eccles, England
Died: September 25, 1993

 35 
Poju Zabludowicz
(Art collector, Businessperson, Philanthropist)

Poju Zabludowicz
0
Birthdate: April 6, 1953
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Helsinki, Finland

 36 

Maurice de Hirsch
1
Birthdate: December 9, 1831
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Munich, Germany
Died: April 21, 1896

German philanthropist and businessman Maurice de Hirsch was born into an affluent family of bankers and was later associated with Bischoffsheim & Goldschmidt. He is remembered for his remarkable charitable contribution to various educational initiatives and for the settlement of Jewish refugees, the most notable being the fund for Russian Jews.

 37 
Thomas Guy
(Philanthropist)

Thomas Guy
1
Birthdate: 1644 AD
Birthplace: Southwark, England
Died: December 27, 1724

 38 
Lucy, Lady Houston
(Philanthropist, Political activist)

Lucy, Lady Houston
0
Birthdate: April 8, 1857
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Lambeth, London, England
Died: December 29, 1936

 39 
Robert Raikes
(Philanthropist)

Robert Raikes
1
Birthdate: September 14, 1735
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Gloucester, England
Died: April 5, 1811

John Russell, 4th Duke of Bedford
1
Birthdate: September 30, 1710
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Streatham, Surrey Kingdom of Great Britain
Died: January 5, 1771

 41 

William Legge, 2nd earl of Dartmouth
1
Birthdate: June 20, 1731
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: unknown
Died: July 15, 1801

 42 
Christopher Ondaatje
(Businessman, Philanthropist)

Christopher Ondaatje
0
Birthdate: February 22, 1933
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Kandy, Sri Lanka

 43 

Rupert Guinness, 2nd Earl of Iveagh
1
Birthdate: March 29, 1874
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: London, United Kingdom
Died: September 14, 1967

 44 

Jane Tomlinson
1
Birthdate: February 21, 1964
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Wakefield, England
Died: September 3, 2007

It was after her breast cancer diagnosis that Jane Tomlinson became a radiographer. Given 6 months to live after her cancer relapsed, she later lived for 7 more years, until her death. A fearless woman, she raised funds through charity sports events such as marathons, while battling the disease.

 45 
Asif Aziz
(Businessperson and philanthropist)

Asif Aziz
0
Birthdate: 1967 AD
Birthplace: Limbe, Malawi

 46 
Henry Thornton
(Economist)

Henry Thornton
1
Birthdate: March 10, 1760
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: London, England
Died: January 16, 1815

Born to a well-known merchant and evangelist, Henry Thornton too followed in his father’s footsteps to become part of the evangelical Clapham Sect. A monetory theorist, he later became the first to explain the difference between nominal and real interest rates. The noted economist had also been a parliamentarian.

George Lyttelton, 1st Baron Lyttelton
1
Birthdate: January 17, 1709
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Hagley, England
Died: August 24, 1773

 48 
John Taylor
(Inventor, Businessperson)

John Taylor
0
Birthdate: November 25, 1936
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Buxton, Derbyshire, England

 49 
John Fothergill
(Physician)

John Fothergill
1
Birthdate: March 8, 1712
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Yorkshire, England
Died: December 26, 1780

English physician John Fothergill revolutionized medical science by identifying the hardening of the arteries attached to the heart muscle in a case of angina pectoris. He is also said to have made coffee a popular beverage in England and supported coffee cultivation in the West Indies.

 50 
William Edward Forster
(Industrialist)

William Edward Forster
1
Birthdate: July 11, 1818
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bradpole, England
Died: April 6, 1886