Ann Glanville

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Ann Glanville (1796–1880) was a Cornishwoman who achieved national celebrity for gig rowing.

Early life[edit]

Born in Saltash in Cornwall as Ann Warren, she married John Glanville, a waterman. They had fourteen children and when John fell ill, Ann continued her husband's trade to support the family.

Rowing success[edit]

Ann formed a crew of four female rowers who took part in local regattas; she was noted for her large stature and for her crew who dressed in white caps and dresses. Their success led to competitions all over the country; one event at Fleetwood was watched by Queen Victoria, who congratulated Ann when they won by beating an all-male crew. The most famous competition was in 1833 when they visited Le Havre and beat the best ten French male crews by 100 yards; this led the press to call her the champion female rower of the world.[1] [2] [3]

Old age[edit]

Ann continued competitive rowing until she was in her sixties. Into her old age, she was given to circling the warships anchored in the Hamoaze exchanging banter with their crews. When the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Edinburgh visited Plymouth in 1879, they invited Ann to lunch on their yacht. She died on 6 June 1880 and was buried in St Stephen's Churchyard at the expense of Admiral Lord Beresford. Admirers from all parts of the country attended and a Royal Marines band played the funeral march.


  1. ^ "Ann Glanville". ASenseOf Place. Retrieved 26 December 2009. 
  2. ^ "Ann Glanville". Kernoweb. Retrieved 26 December 2009. 
  3. ^ Hunt, Bruce. "Ann Glanville". Retrieved 26 December 2009. 
  • Baring-Gould, Sabine (1925) Cornish Characters & Strange Events. London: Bodley Head; Vol. 2, pp. 289–295
  • Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries; Vol., edited by John S. Amery, pp. 127–129
  • Smelt, Maurice (2006) 101 Cornish Lives. Penzance: Alison Hodge; p. 101