Charlotte Hughes (supercentenarian)

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Charlotte Marion Hughes
Born Charlotte Marion Milburn
(1877-08-01)1 August 1877[1]
Died (1993-03-17)17 March 1993[1]
(aged 115 years, 228 days)
Redcar, North Yorkshire
Known for Oldest British person ever
Spouse(s) Noel Hughes[1] (1940–1979)
(his death)

Charlotte Marion Hughes, née Milburn (1 August 1877[1][2] – 17 March 1993[1][3]) is the longest-lived person ever documented in the United Kingdom at 115 years, 228 days.[3]


Born in the 40th jubilee year of Queen Victoria, she lived under the rule of five more monarchs and 24 British Prime Ministers. Hughes grew up in Middlesbrough in Yorkshire, where her father ran a music shop.[1] She worked as a teacher in a religious school from the age of 13[1][4] and married Noel Hughes, a retired army captain, after she retired at age 63. She was married until her husband died in 1979 at the age of 88. Her father, Herbert Milburn, died at age 93 and her mother, Annie, at 92. She had three younger brothers, Herbert, Henry and Reginald. Herbert died at 58 and Reginald at 62.

She remained in robust health into extreme old age and achieved public recognition for her longevity, including tea with then British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, in 1985, whom she jokingly admonished against cuddling up to her, as Hughes was a Labour supporter. Thatcher replied by saying "Oh well, never mind, let's have a cup of tea." However, Hughes admitted to personally liking Thatcher, and described the Prime Minister as "A very nice woman."[4] For her 110th birthday, she flew on Concorde to New York City, one of only two supercentenarian air passengers ever recorded.[2] She stayed at The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel for four days on an all-expenses paid visit and met the mayor Ed Koch.[5][6][7]

She became the oldest person in the United Kingdom when Scotland's Kate Begbie died in 1988, and broke the national longevity record, held until then by Anna Eliza Williams, in early 1992.[3] Hughes lived in her own home in Marske-by-the-Sea until 1991, when she moved to a nursing home in Redcar due to becoming too frail to look after herself. She also spent her final years in a wheelchair, though she remained mentally alert and sharp to the end of her life.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Maier, Heiner (2010). Supercentenarians. Springer. p. 293. ISBN 3642115195. Retrieved 2012-03-23. 
  2. ^ a b "On this day, 1 August 1989: Britain's oldest person turns 112". BBC News. 1 August 1989. Retrieved 19 November 2007. 
  3. ^ a b c Validated supercentenarians who lived and/or died in the UK The Gerontology Research Group
  4. ^ a b "Oldest Briton dies aged 115". The Guardian. 18 March 1993. p. 5. 
  5. ^ "Mrs Charlotte Hughes". The Guardian. 5 August 1987. p. 3. 
  6. ^ "Star-News - Google News Archive Search". 
  7. ^ "The Free Lance-Star - Google News Archive Search".