Quiz about Great British Eccentrics
Quiz about Great British Eccentrics

People by Country Quiz: Great British Eccentrics | 10 Questions


Britons have always been known for a degree of eccentricity. Some, however, have been more eccentric than others.

A multiple-choice quiz by StarStruck60. Estimated time: 6 mins.
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Author
StarStruck60
Time
6 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
311,812
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Difficult
Avg Score
5 / 10
Plays
816
Awards
Top 20% Quiz
This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. Which Oxford eccentric built a tall folly and at the top pinned a notice stating "People committing suicide from this tower do so at their own risk"? Hint

Richard Cobb
C.S.Lewis
Robert Hawker
Baron Berners

2. Lord Cornbury, third Earl of Clarendon, was made Governor of New York by Queen Anne. What bizarre habit did he adopt? Hint

He always dressed as a woman
He greeted foreign dignitaries in the nude
He always wore Native American costume
He insisted everyone around him spoke only in French

3. Lord Monboddo was a respected Scottish judge, but he had a very strange belief. What was it? Hint

That all babies are born with tails
That you should always eat standing up
That the Monarchy is descended from aliens
That horses are people in disguise

4. Richard Collins of Cambridge is known for what activity? Hint

Nude cycling
Nude rambling
Nude running
Nude shopping

5. Henry Paget, 5th Marquess of Anglesey, had what nickname? Hint

Marquess Mambo
The Dancing Duke
The Dancing Marquess
Lord of The Dance

6. Whose drawings of imaginary machines have come to epitomise the "mad inventor"? Hint

James Thurber
William Heath Robinson
Harry Rountree
Ronald Searle

7. On their return from honeymoon what did the 11th Lord North do that amazed his wife? Hint

Invited his mistress to live with them
Went to bed for the next six months
Instituted divorce proceedings
Told her they would live in separate houses

8. Which naturalist made an entry in his diary "cooked a viper for luncheon"? Hint

David Bellamy
Bill Oddie
Chris Packham
Frank Buckland

9. William Lyttle of Hackney has been given what nickname? Hint

The Mole Man of Hackney
Digger Lyttle
The Tunneller
The Hackney Mole

10. Which Baron had a tame bear living in his house? Hint

Baron Sandys
Baron de Rothschild
Baron Coleridge
Baron Essenden


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Which Oxford eccentric built a tall folly and at the top pinned a notice stating "People committing suicide from this tower do so at their own risk"?

Answer: Baron Berners

The fourteenth Baron Berners started eccentricity early in life. At the age of seven he decided that if you could teach a dog to swim then throwing one out of the window would teach it to fly. Fortunately his mother's dog, which was the subject of this experiment, was unhurt.

In later life he had a giraffe as a pet, dyed the pigeons on his country estate pink and blue, and affixed notices to trees stating that anyone throwing stones at the notices would be prosecuted. He died in 1950 aged 67.
2. Lord Cornbury, third Earl of Clarendon, was made Governor of New York by Queen Anne. What bizarre habit did he adopt?

Answer: He always dressed as a woman

Lord Cornbury decided that as he represented a woman it was only correct to dress as one. At the New York Assembly of 1702 he appeared wearing a blue silk gown and carrying a fan. His costumes became more and more elaborate and expensive, and his wife even had to resort to stealing his clothes as there was no money for new clothes for her. He returned to England in 1708, and continued to dress as a woman.

This story is confirmed by several sources, however, there is now a school of thought that says it is spurious.
3. Lord Monboddo was a respected Scottish judge, but he had a very strange belief. What was it?

Answer: That all babies are born with tails

Lord Monboddo was convinced that all babies are born with tails that the midwife cuts off. Despite being present at the birth of all three of his children he was never able to prove this theory. He also believed in the lifestyle of the Ancient Greeks, and refused to use anything modern. If they didn't have it neither did he.

Another quirk was that he refused to sit on the Bench with his fellow judges, instead sitting beneath the Bench with the Clerks of the Court.
4. Richard Collins of Cambridge is known for what activity?

Answer: Nude cycling

Whilst there are nude cycling events held in support of environmental issues Richard Collins, who has been cycling in the nude since 2002, does it because he is exercising his right to nude freedom. He says he has done over 500 nude miles in the Cambridge area on streets, country footpaths and cross country. He has been arrested several times.
5. Henry Paget, 5th Marquess of Anglesey, had what nickname?

Answer: The Dancing Marquess

By the time he died in 1905, aged only 30, Henry Paget had squandered almost half a billion pounds on costumes, jewellery and lavish entertainment. His nickname came from his love of performing snake like sensuous dances, which he did in front of astonished audiences around Europe. Dressed in flowing robes, with long hair highlighted by jewels, he could be seen walking around London with a snow white, pink ribboned, poddle under one arm.
6. Whose drawings of imaginary machines have come to epitomise the "mad inventor"?

Answer: William Heath Robinson

Heath Robinson was a conventionaly trained artist who made his living illustrating magazines and books, however, his mind imagined fantastic machines that were held together with string and elastic bands but still somehow looked as though they would work. His name has become synonomous with any piece of improvised machinery.

James Thurber drew little girls on fat ponies.
Ronald Searle is famous as the creator of "St Trinian's".
Harry Rountree drew beautiful animal pictures.
7. On their return from honeymoon what did the 11th Lord North do that amazed his wife?

Answer: Went to bed for the next six months

Married in September the newly weds returned from honeymoon in October and Lord North went straight to bed. When he did not reappear his wife was astonished to learn from his manservant that he went to bed from October 9th to March 22nd every year. He even had a massive dining table installed in his bedroom so he could entertain guests from his bed.

His explanation was that no Lord North got out of bed during these months because an ancestor had lost the American Colonies.
8. Which naturalist made an entry in his diary "cooked a viper for luncheon"?

Answer: Frank Buckland

Frank Buckland was the David Bellamy of his day. He made his living as an Inspector of Salmon Fisheries, but had a very inquisitive mind, a fascination with the natural world, and a strong stomach. He would try almost anything, including roast field mice, which he recorded as having a better flavour than house mice, elephants trunk soup, which was a disapppointment as it was too tough to eat even after being boiled for several days, and squirrel pie. On hearing that a panther had died at London Zoo he begged for it to be dug up so he could try panther chops.

He died in 1880 aged 54.
9. William Lyttle of Hackney has been given what nickname?

Answer: The Mole Man of Hackney

From the outside Mr Lyttle's Victorian home looks like any other in the street, however, underneath it is a network of tunnels and caverns, some as deep as 26ft, stretching for at least 20 metres in every direction. Mr Lyttle has been excavating underneath his house since the 1960's causing one road collapse, and once hitting a 450 volt cable which blacked out power to the entire street. Even the Council are not certain as to how many houses he has tunnelled under and whether or not their structural integrity is affected.

He started off with the intention of digging a wine cellar.
10. Which Baron had a tame bear living in his house?

Answer: Baron de Rothschild

The 2nd Baron de Rothschild loved animals and had a large collection of them at his Buckinghamshire mansion. His carriage was drawn by four zebra, whilst his tame bear was known to slap women visitors on the backside. On one memorable occasion he gave a formal dinner for Lord Salisbury, and when the guests arrived at the table there was an empty place next to each of them. Twelve immaculately dressed monkeys then walked in and took their places next to the guests.
Source: Author StarStruck60

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