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Famous People of Buxton

Here are some of the most famous people of Buxton.

The 5th Duke of Devonshire, William Cavendish (1748 and 1811) was famous for putting Buxton on the map with his development of the town in the 1780s and thanks to him, Buxton prospered. Its commonly thought that if he hadn't invested so much time and money, Buxton would probably have remained little more than a village. William was responsible for building the Crescent and other buildings with money left over from his mining industry and he donated the stables by the Crescent as use as the Royal Devonshire hospital. He was the eldest son of the fourth Duke of Devonshire, by his wife, Lady Charlotte Boyle. She introduced considerable money and estates to the Cavendish family. William married twice. His first wife was Lady Georgiana Spencer ' the Duchess' and he then married Lady Elizabeth Foster, the fourth Earl of Bristol's daughter, who had been his mistress and his first wife's friend and confidante in a ménage a trois for more than 20 years.

The sixth Duke of Devonshire, William George Spencer Cavendish (1790 and 1858) became Duke on the death of his father, William Cavendish, in 1811 at the age of 21. He not only gained the title but also inherited eight stately homes and 200,000 acres of land. He famously improved his houses and gardens, including the rebuilding of the village of Edensor which was moved because it spoilt his view from Chatsworth house. He was a close friend of Tsar Nicholas the first of Russia and among his friends was Sir Joseph Paxton. He was also Lord Chamberlain to King William IV.

Sir Joseph Paxton was a very famous architect and gardener who by chance, was offered position of head gardener at Chatsworth at the age of 23. He had obtained a prominent position at The Horticultural Societies Chiswick gardens which were close to the gardens of his soon to be close friend, William Cavendish, sixth Duke of Devonshire. On his first morning there, Paxton met his soon-to-be wife Sarah Brown, the housekeeper's niece. Paxton was responsible for designing Buxton railway station and many of his ideas were developed in the Pavilion Gardens and Serpentine walks. Engravings made at the time show a series of proposed rustic bridges and two impressive outing jets in a lake near Broad walk, echoing the style of Paxton's spectacular Emperor Fountain built at Chatsworth in 1844.

Vera Brittain lived in Buxton between 1904 and 1950. She was a pacifist, feminist, poet and novelist, and her best known work, Testament of Youth, is a story of the lost generation and the changes in her life caused by the First World War. Her daughter recently unveiled a blue plaque on the second house her mother lived in while in Buxton, 'Melrose', on Park Road and a commemorative plaque can also be seen near the entrance to the Paxton Sweet in Pavilion Gardens. Her diaries were published in 1981 under the title Chronicle Of Youth.

Robert Stevenson was born in Buxton in 1905, the famous film director who blended fantasy with credibility in Disney live action motion pictures such as Mary Poppins and Bed Knobs And Broomsticks.
Tim Brooke Taylor was born in Buxton in 1940 and was best known as a member of The Goodies. In 2003 Tim opened a 30 metre long mural painted by students from Buxton Community School and designed to hide unsightly building site behind the Crescent.

Dave Lee Travis was born in Buxton in 1945 and began his radio career at the pirate station Radio Caroline. He was a UK radio presenter best known for his career as a BBC Radio One disc jockey.