Sir Isaac Pitman, the inventor of the most
widely used form of shorthand, was born in Trowbridge in 1813 in
a small court of houses called Naish’s Yard, off the west
side of Hill Street. Although the buildings no longer exist you
can find out where they used to be by following the town’s
Isaac Pitman trail.
Pitman based his shorthand on the sounds of words. The impact of
his shorthand was quite phenomenal, in terms of the amount of time
saved it was the equivalent of having invented the first computer!
By 1890 it was estimated that 100,000 people a year were learning
a renowned nineteenth century poet was Rector of St James’s
Church Trowbridge for some 18 years.
He was a friend of William Wordsworth and Sir Walter Scott and was
Jane Austen’s favourite poet. Austen was known as Mrs Crabbe
amongst her family and she named her heroine in Mansfield Park,
Fanny Price from Crabbe’s ‘Parish Register’.
Crabbe’s most famous single poem ‘Peter Grimes’
was the subject of Benjamin Britten’s great opera.
His fame was such that his final published work ‘Tales of
the Hall’ was sold in 1819 to a publisher for £3,000
that is the equivalent of £750,000 today.
George Crabbe is buried in St James’s Church Trowbridge.
Stephen Lee, world ranked
snooker player Stephen Lee was born in Trowbridge on the 12th October
1974. Despite amassing over £1,000,000 in winnings
Stephen hasn’t fled these shores and still lives in the town.
renowned children’s book illustrator and author Alan
Snow although not born in Trowbridge spent his formative years here
in the 1970s. He has used the town as his inspiration for the location
of his latest novel: ‘Here Be Monsters: Volume 1 of the Ratbridge
Bel Mooney, the author, moved
to Trowbridge in her teens where she attended the High School. Having
left Trowbridge High School, Mooney went to University College London
where she graduated with a first class degree in English Language
Already a prolific journalist and novelist, in the early eighties
Mooney made the decision to move to the countryside near Bath where,
as well as working for the national press she began writing books
and making programmes for radio and television.
John Dyer, was a Trowbridge
born inventor and engineer whose major breakthrough was the rotary
fulling machine. Although this was made in 1833 there is still a
version of it in use today.
George Haden was one of Trowbridge’s
most prolific and successful industrial inventors. His greatest
achievement related to the heating and ventilation of buildings.
In 1826 at the request of King George IV he installed the heating
system at Windsor Castle. He then went on to install heating systems
in Wilton House, the Houses of Parliament and the British Museum