Famous British Leaders

The British Empire was once upon a time the largest empire in history and for over a century, was the foremost global power. The expansion of the empire began in late 16th century when Queen Elizabeth I granted patents to explorers to claim newer lands for England. King James I continued her legacy and promoted the extensive expansion of the British Empire. However the British began to lose several of the territories starting from the 18th century and the country went through a political upheaval. During this time, a new kind of British leaders began to emerge; Sir Robert Walpole, a British statesman, became the first person to be considered Britain's Prime Minister. Another of the nation’s Prime Ministers, Charles Grey, a member of the Whig Party, backed significant reform of the British government and is regarded as the first modern Prime Minister. Sir Winston Churchill, one of the most popular leaders of the United Kingdom was also an officer in the British Army, a historian, a writer, and an artist. David Lloyd George, Stanley Baldwin, Margaret Thatcher, and James Callaghan are some others who are regarded as prominent British leaders. This section provides you information about the life and works of famous British leaders.

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

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 1 Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill
59
Famous As: Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Birthdate: November 30, 1874
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: British
Died: January 24, 1965

The former Prime Minister of the United Kingdoms, Winston Churchill, is known for successfully leading his country during the Second World War against the Nazi Germany. An officer in the British army, he also served as a war correspondent before venturing into politics. One of the most influential peoples in British history, Churchill was also an accomplished painter.

 2 Margaret Thatcher

Margaret Thatcher
40
Famous As: Former British Prime Minister
Birthdate: October 13, 1925
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: British
Died: April 8, 2013

United Kingdom’s first female Prime Minister and also the longest serving Prime Minister in the 20th century, Margaret Thatcher served three consecutive terms in the office from 1979 till 1990. Her political views and leadership approach, known as Thatcherism, got her the nickname of Iron Lady. Though controversial, she prominently ranks high in the list of the best British Prime Ministers.

 3 Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin
2
Famous As: Founding Father of the United States
Birthdate: January 17, 1706
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British, American
Died: April 17, 1790

Benjamin Franklin is considered one of the founding fathers of the United States as he was a signer of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. He was a writer, politician, scientist, inventor, civic activist, an accomplished diplomat and much more. He is a key figure in the history of physics for his discoveries and theories regarding electricity.

 4 Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria
29
Famous As: Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
Birthdate: May 24, 1819
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British
Died: January 22, 1901

The Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland for over six decades, Queen Victoria reigned for longer than any of her predecessors. Her rule witnessed the vast expansion of the British Empire and ushered in a period of industrial, cultural, political, scientific, and military changes. Her Golden and Diamond Jubilees were celebrated with great pomp and show.

 5 Thomas More

Thomas More
0
Famous As: Catholic Saint
Birthdate: February 7, 1478
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: British
Died: July 6, 1535
Lawyer, philosopher, and poet Thomas More, author of Utopia, had served as the British Lord Chancellor for 3 years. He opposed Henry VIII's separation from the Catholic Church and refused to take the Oath of Supremacy. He was thus beheaded for treason. Pope Pius XI later declared him a martyr.

 6 Lord Mountbatten

Lord Mountbatten
6
Famous As: Last Viceroy of British India and Governor-General of Independent India
Birthdate: June 25, 1900
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: British
Died: August 27, 1979

The last Viceroy of India and the first governor-general of independent India, Lord Mountbatten was a British Royal Navy officer and statesman. Born to a prominent aristocratic family in England, he had a successful military career and was made the NATO Commander Allied Forces Mediterranean in his later career. He was assassinated in 1979.

 7 King James I

King James I
0
Famous As: King of Scotland
Birthdate: June 19, 1566
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British
Died: March 27, 1625
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 8 Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn

Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn
0
Famous As: Military officer
Birthdate: November 2, 1767
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: British
Died: January 23, 1820

 9 Benjamin Disraeli

Benjamin Disraeli
0
Famous As: British Prime Minister
Birthdate: December 21, 1804
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: British
Died: April 19, 1881

Benjamin Disraeli was a British politician who served two terms as prime minister of the UK. Disraeli is credited with playing a key role in the formation of the modern Conservative Party. Apart from being an influential politician, Benjamin Disraeli was also a prolific novelist; he wrote and published works of fiction even while serving as the prime minister.

 10 Amber Rudd

Amber Rudd
2
Famous As: Former Home Secretary of the United Kingdom
Birthdate: August 1, 1963
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British
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 11 William Wilberforce

William Wilberforce
0
Famous As: Abolitionist
Birthdate: August 24, 1759
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: British
Died: July 29, 1833
William Wilberforce, an independent MP from Yorkshire, was a champion for the British anti-slavery movement and made a significant contribution to the passage of the 1807 Slave Trade Act and the 1833 Slavery Abolition Act. He supported missionaries in India, founded the Church Mission Society, and was against animal cruelty.

 12 James II of England

James II Of England
0
Famous As: King of England
Birthdate: October 14, 1633
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: British
Died: September 16, 1701

James II of England reigned as the king of Ireland, Scotland, and England from 1685 to 1688. His deposition as king, caused by the Glorious Revolution of 1688, ended a century of civil and political strife by establishing the principle that Parliament would be preferred over the Crown as opposed to the principles of divine right of kings and absolutism.

 13 Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine
0
Famous As: Founding Father of the United States
Birthdate: January 29, 1737
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: British, American
Died: June 8, 1809

English-born American political activist, philosopher, and revolutionary, Thomas Paine, is credited to have penned some of the most influential pamphlets at the start of the American Revolution. His works inspired the common people of America and motivated them to fight for independence from British rule. He was ostracized for criticizing Christianity and died a lonely man.

 14 Charles Edward Stuart

Charles Edward Stuart
0
Famous As: Military Leader
Birthdate: December 31, 1720
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British
Died: January 31, 1788
Charles Edward Stuart, also known as "The Young Pretender” and “Bonnie Prince Charlie,” was the son of Prince James, and the grandson of James II. He is best remembered for his role in the 1745 Jacobite Uprising, and his subsequent failure, which became the subject of many folk songs.

 15 Jerry Springer

Jerry Springer
0
Famous As: Talk Show Host, Former Politician, Former News Anchor
Birthdate: February 13, 1944
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: British, American

English-born American television presenter, actor, politician, and musician Jerry Springer is a multifaceted man. A qualified lawyer, he shifted to politics from law as a young man. After a few years, he moved to journalism and found considerable success. As a TV presenter, he is best known for the tabloid talk show, The Jerry Springer Show. 

 16 Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington

Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
0
Famous As: Former First Lord of the Treasury of the United Kingdom
Birthdate: May 1, 1769
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British
Died: September 14, 1852
Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, served as the British prime minister twice. He also served as the governor of Seringapatam and Mysore, and won the Battle of Assaye. He led the Hundred Days War and along with the Prussian army, won the Battle of Waterloo, defeating Napoleon.

 17 Clement Attlee

Clement Attlee
0
Famous As: Former British Prime Minister
Birthdate: January 3, 1883
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British
Died: October 8, 1967

Clement Attlee was a British politician. As the Prime Minister of the UK, Attlee organized the granting of independence to Pakistan and India. in 1947. He also oversaw the independence of Ceylon and Burma. Regarded as one of the greatest prime ministers of the UK, Clement Attlee has been the subject of several plays and TV series. 

 18 Walter Raleigh

Walter Raleigh
0
Famous As: Politician, Writer, Explorer, Aristocrat
Birthdate: January 22, 1554
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: British
Died: October 29, 1618
English explorer Walter Raleigh is best remembered for his involvement in the Siege of Smerwick and for colonizing North America. He made smoking tobacco popular in England. His accounts of his first voyage to South America led to the legend of El Dorado. He was executed to please the Spanish.

 19 William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne

William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne
0
Famous As: Former British Prime Minister
Birthdate: March 15, 1779
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: British
Died: November 24, 1848

 20 Jeremy Thorpe

Jeremy Thorpe
0
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: April 29, 1929
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British
Died: December 4, 2014

 21 Horatio Nelson

Horatio Nelson
0
Famous As: Admiral
Birthdate: September 29, 1758
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: British
Died: October 21, 1805

Horatio Nelson was a British flag officer whose inspirational leadership brought about several British naval victories, especially during the Napoleonic Wars. Regarded as one of Britain's heroic figures, Horatio Nelson's legacy remains influential and several monuments, including the Nelson Monument and Nelson's Column, have been created in his memory.

 22 Nicola Sturgeon

Nicola Sturgeon
2
Famous As: First Minister of Scotland
Birthdate: July 19, 1970
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: British, Scottish

Nicola Sturgeon is a Scottish politician. Since 2014, Sturgeon has been serving as the leader of the Scottish National Party and first minister of Scotland. Being the first woman to serve in these positions, Nicola Sturgeon is seen as a major inspiration to women across Scotland.

 23 Michael Portillo

Michael Portillo
0
Famous As: Journalist, Political Leader
Birthdate: May 26, 1953
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British
Former Conservative MP from Enfield Southgate, and Kensington and Chelsea, Michael Portillo, later hosted the BBC documentaries Great British Railway Journeys and Great Continental Railway Journeys. A Thatcherite and an EU-sceptic, he gave rise to the term "Portillo moment" when he lost the Conservative Enfield Southgate seat in 1997.

 24 Aga Khan IV

Aga Khan IV
0
Famous As: Imam of Nizari Ismailism
Birthdate: December 13, 1936
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: British

Aga Khan IV is the current Imam of Nizari Ismailism. Serving as the imam since 1957, Aga Khan claims to be a direct descendant of Prophet Muhammad, the founder of Islam. Apart from being the current leader of the Institution of the Imamate, Aga Khan is also a business magnate and one of the world's richest royals, according to Forbes.

 25 Sajid Javid

Sajid Javid
0
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: December 5, 1969
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: British

 26 Jo Cox

Jo Cox
2
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: June 22, 1974
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: British
Died: June 16, 2016

 27 Thomas Becket

Thomas Becket
0
Famous As: Saint
Birthdate: December 21, 1118
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: British
Died: December 29, 1170
Thomas Becket, also known as Saint Thomas of Canterbury or Thomas of London, served as the archbishop of Canterbury from 1162 until 1170. He is known for his conflict with King Henry II of England, regarding the powers of the Church, following which he was killed by the king’s followers.

 28 Jack Churchill

Jack Churchill
0
Famous As: Military Leader
Birthdate: September 16, 1906
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Sri Lankan, British
Died: March 8, 1996

Better known as Mad Jack or Fighting Jack, British Army officer Jack Churchill was an iconic example of a person fighting wars on his own terms. He popularized carrying swords and bagpipes to battles and killed his enemies with his longbow. He inspired a comic strip and several books, too.

 29 John Dennis Profumo

John Dennis Profumo
0
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: January 30, 1915
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: British
Died: March 9, 2006

 30 David Lloyd George

David Lloyd George
0
Famous As: Former Chancellor of the Exchequer
Birthdate: January 17, 1863
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British, Welsh
Died: March 26, 1945
David Lloyd George, or the 1st Earl Lloyd-George of Dwyfor, was the British prime minister from 1916 to 1922 and the first Welsh to hold the position. Though he was a Liberal, he was initially supported by the Conservatives. He was a key figure in the Paris Peace Conference.

 31 James Callaghan

James Callaghan
0
Birthdate: March 27, 1912
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British
Died: March 26, 2005

James Callaghan was a British politician who served as the prime minister from 1976 to 1979. Also having served as Foreign Secretary, Home Secretary, and Chancellor of the Exchequer, James Callaghan is the only person in the history of the United Kingdom to have served in all the four Great Offices of State.

 32 Alec Douglas-Home

Sir Alec Douglas-Home
0
Famous As: Former PM of UK
Birthdate: July 2, 1903
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: British
Died: October 9, 1995

Alec Douglas-Home was a British politician. He served as the United Kingdom's prime minister for 363 days, becoming the second briefest prime minister of the 20th century. During his premiership, his government passed the abolition of resale price maintenance legislation in 1964.

 33 Ethelred the Unready

Ethelred the Unready
0
Famous As: King
Birthdate: 0968 AD
Nationality: British
Died: April 23, 1016

 34 Stanley Baldwin

Stanley Baldwin
0
Famous As: Former British Prime Minister
Birthdate: August 3, 1867
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British
Died: December 14, 1947

Stanley Baldwin was a British Conservative statesman. He served as prime minister of the United Kingdom on three occasions during the interwar period. Baldwin's second government, which was formed by him after winning the 1924 general election, saw tenures of office by important personalities like Winston Churchill, Neville Chamberlain, and Sir Austen Chamberlain.

 35 Stephen of England

Stephen of England
0
Famous As: King
Birthdate: 1092 AD
Nationality: British
Died: October 25, 1154

 36 Edward Smith

Edward Smith
0
Famous As: Naval officer
Birthdate: January 27, 1850
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: British
Died: April 15, 1912

 37 Randolph Churchill

Randolph Churchill
0
Famous As: Journalist, Politician
Birthdate: May 28, 1911
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British
Died: June 6, 1968

Randolph Churchill was a British journalist and writer. The only son of Sir Winston Churchill, Randolph Churchill followed in the footsteps of his father and became a prominent politician, serving as a member of parliament for Preston. Randolph Churchill was portrayed by famous actors in several TV series and films like Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years and Darkest Hour.

 38 Jeremy Hunt

Jeremy Hunt
0
Famous As: Former British Foreign Secretary
Birthdate: November 1, 1966
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: British

 39 Rory Stewart

Rory Stewart
0
Famous As: Political Leader
Birthdate: January 3, 1973
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British

 40 John French, 1st Earl of Ypres

John French, 1st Earl of Ypres
0
Famous As: British Army Officer
Birthdate: September 28, 1852
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: British
Died: May 22, 1925

 41 Bernard Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein

Bernard Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein
0
Famous As: Allied Commander in World War II
Birthdate: November 17, 1887
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: British
Died: March 24, 1976

 42 Diane Abbott

Diane Abbott
0
Famous As: Former Shadow Home Secretary
Birthdate: September 27, 1953
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: British

 43 Robert Peel

Robert Peel
0
Famous As: Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Birthdate: February 5, 1788
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: British
Died: July 2, 1850

Statesman Robert Peel had been the prime minister of the U.K twice. He was also a two-time home secretary. He established the Metropolitan Police Service and also introduced the Tamworth Manifesto, thus co-founding the modern Conservative Party. He died of injuries after a horse he was riding fell on him.

 44 John Wesley

John Wesley
0
Famous As: Anglican Cleric and Christian Theologian
Birthdate: June 17, 1703
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British
Died: March 2, 1791

John Wesley was an English cleric, evangelist, and theologian. He is best remembered for leading a revival movement called Methodism within the Church of England. He is credited with founding societies that eventually became the dominant form of the Methodist movement, which remains relevant today. He continues to be the main theological influence on Methodists all over the world.

 45 Robert Dudley, earl of Leicester

Robert Dudley, earl of Leicester
0
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: June 24, 1532
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: British
Died: September 4, 1588

 46 Ed Miliband

Ed Miliband
0
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: December 24, 1969
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British

 47 George Osborne

George Osborne
0
Famous As: Politician, Economist
Birthdate: May 23, 1971
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British

 48 Annie Besant

Annie Besant
0
Famous As: Member of the London School Board
Birthdate: October 1, 1847
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: British
Died: September 20, 1933

Annie Besant was a British theosophist, socialist, writer, orator, educationist, women's rights activist, and philanthropist. Despite being British, Besant supported India's freedom movement and even joined the Indian National Congress. She is also credited with co-founding Banaras Hindu University. Besant also helped launch the Indian Home Rule movement to campaign for democracy in the country.

 49 Rachel Johnson

Rachel Johnson
0
Famous As: Editor, Journalist
Birthdate: September 3, 1965
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: British

Rachel Johnson is a British television presenter, journalist, and author. She is known for appearing in panel discussion programs and debate programs, such as The Pledge and Question Time. A well-known novelist, Johnson served as a judge of the 2013 Women's Prize for Fiction, one of the most prestigious literary prizes in the UK.

 50 Robert Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell

Robert Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell
0
Famous As: Founder of the Scout Movement
Birthdate: February 22, 1857
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: British
Died: January 8, 1941