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Personalities from the Past

Lest we be accused of being biased towards horse-racing folk, please suggest others who might be included here. It does seem though that, by and large, non-racing personalities have avoided Newmarket.

Click on the names below for more information:


Alexander Henshaw

Alexander Adolphus Dumphries HENSHAW 7th Nov.1912 – 24 Feb.2007 Although not a Newmarket native, this extra-ordinary man chose to spend his retirement here in Newmarket. The son of a wealthy businessman, Alex Henshaw was born at Peterborough on November 7, 1912, and educated at Lincoln Grammar School. On leaving school his father bought him a …

MON-Stirling Crawfurd

Caroline, Duchess of Montrose

Caroline Agnes GRAHAM, Duchess of MONTROSE (1818 – 1894) ‘Carrie Red’, as the Duchess was known owing to the racing colours of her second husband, had a strong and imposing personality that could aptly have been described as eccentric. Caroline had wealth and used it to lead life to the full: she had three husbands, …


Chevalier Eduardo Ginistrelli

The remarkable thing about Ginistrelli is that when he came to Newmarket from his Italian homeland in 1887 this little man was not taken seriously within British racing circles and was even considered a figure of fun. However, he had a vision of success and went on to confound his critics when in 1908, at …

Archer Brass 2

Frederick Archer

Frederick James Archer (1857 – 1886) Fred Archer the winning jockey A man who will forever be associated with the town and horse-racing. Fred Archer had a short life of a mere 29 years that ended tragically, but while he lived, he gained a reputation and set records that will go down in the annals …


Harry McCalmont

Colonel Harry Leslie Blundell McCALMONT (30th May 1861 – 8th Dec 1902)   Millionaire, Soldier, Racehorse Owner, Sportsman and Philanthropist Harry McCalmont came from a wealthy and influential Ulster family and was the son of a barrister, Hugh Barklie Blundell McCalmont (1836-1888). Earlier family members had business interests in Demerara British Guiana where they owned …

Henry John Rous

Admiral, the Hon. Henry John ROUS (1795-1877) A man of great distinction, both in the Royal Navy and in the world of horseracing, who earned the unofficial title of ‘Admiral of the Navy and Admiral of the Turf’. Henry Rous (23 January 1795 – 19 June 1877) was born of an aristocratic family at Henham …

Machell Portrait

James Machell

Captain James Octavius MACHELL(1837-1902) Another of Newmarket’s past personalities concerns a man who was very much part of the same era as several of our other featured personalities – Admiral Rous, Sir John Astley, Fred Archer, The Duchess of Montrose, Col Harry McCalmont. All were big players in the horseracing scene during that Victorian period, …

The Astley Institute

John Astley

Sir John Dugdale ASTLEY (1828 – 1894) Prominent among Newmarket’s racing personalities of the past is a name that is still much in evidence today – Sir John Astley, a name that conjures up the very spirit that made the town the racing headquarters of the world. Horse racing was his greatest love, but as …

Mark Jeffrey

Mark Jeffrey

Mark Jeffrey – Wood Ditton’s notorious burglar This is the story of Mark Jeffrey, a remarkable man who was born in Wood Ditton in 1825 and died in Launceston Tasmania in 1903. While still a young man he fell into a life of crime and violence for which he was severely punished, but in his …


Professor William Tutte

Professor William Thomas “Bill” Tutte F.R.S. (1917-2002) This article brings us into the 20th Century and is our tribute to a man born in Newmarket but, unlike many of our Past Personalities, had little interest in horseracing. He proved to be a man for his time and by the age of 24 found himself in …

Ras Prince Monolulu

Richard Heinrich Robert Parkinson

Richard Parkinson

Richard Parkinson – The Tale of the Vanishing Jockey Most enquiries to the NLHS web site are about fairly benign local, equestrian or family history, but just occasionally they open up a line of further enquiry that leads to the exposure of something totally unexpected and in this case a hidden royal family secret. The …


Sam Alper OBE

Born in Forest Gate, youngest of four sons of Morris ALPER, an Austrian born hairdresser and Lilian (née LEVY). His siblings were Henry Samuel, Laurence, Joseph and sister Miriam. On leaving school at 14 he went to night school to study electrical engineering. When the Second World War was declared, he volunteered for the Navy …

William Crockford

Tregonwell Frampton

William Tregonwell Frampton

William Tregonwell FRAMPTON (1641 – 1728) From its early connections with horseracing Newmarket has been associated with colourful and often eccentric characters attracted to the world of sport and gambling. The patronage of the monarchy and the building of Royal Palaces from the time of James I gave the town an aura of nobility. Many …

Willie Snaith