This page looks at some famous Duftons that have appeared in history, and other Duftons worthy of recognition.

A Dufton coat of arms provided by Robert Dufton of Milwaukee. 

However, research suggests that many Duftons would have felt extremely fortunate to actually possess any kind of coat at all, especially one with arms or sleeves.

Mortimers cross

This monument at Wigmore in Herefordshire, records events at the battle of Mortimer's Cross in 1461, during the War of the Roses.

William Dufton was killed on 2nd February 1461 at the Battle of Mortimer's Cross,


Bramham Moor Land and a coat of arms were granted to Christopher Dufton after the battle of Bramham Moor in 1408 by King Henry 1V.

William Dufton born 1823 became a champion billiard player.  In 1856 he travelled to London from Northampton, and for a wager of 1000 challenged the world champion Edward Green to a match. William won. He became tutor to many of the nobility, including the Prince of Wales, the future King of England.  Prince Albert was renown for his high living and involvement in various scandals and divorces.  William Dufton died in 1877, he was found mysteriously poisoned in a tavern in Brixton.

Sir William Doveton appears on a St Helena stamp. Mount Pleasant at Sandy Bay on St Helena, the home of Sir William Doveton, one of William Dufton of St Helena's descendants, He was treasurer for the East India Company on its trade routes. Sir William entertained Napoleon, his neighbour, who was imprisoned there following the Battle of Waterloo.  It is recorded that the last person Napoleon visited before he died was Sir William. The well recorded occasion being a picnic for Napoleon at the home of Sir William on the 4th October 1820, after which time illness overcame him... It is suggested that Napoleon died of arsenic poisoning.

Rider Haggard the author of King Solomon's mines, and other adventure novels, was a member of the St Helena's Dufton family.  He was born in 1856 in Norfolk, his mother was Ella Doveton.

Sir Frederick Doveton Sturdee, became Admiral of the Fleet in 1921.  He also was a member of the St Helena Dufton family. At the outbreak of the war he was placed in charge of Britain's naval forces in the South Atlantic. He defeated the German admiral Graf von Spee near the Falkland Islands on 8th  December 1914. He commanded the Fourth Battle squadron at the Battle of Jutland in 1916.

Richard Dufton was born in 1912 at Helton, Westmorland. He joined the Royal Navy but was blinded during an air raid.  He then worked as a designer, and was responsible for the serviceable version of the Biro, developing the ball point pen that we take for granted today. The original concept of Lazlo Biro were rather unreliable and cumbersome.

Samuel Felix Dufton. British chemist, teacher and school inspector (1867-1943) Samuel Dufton was born into a family involved in the dye industry in Burley. His parents sent him and his brother to Bradford Grammar School. After studying chemistry at Trinity college, Cambridge, Samuel went on to develop the Dufton Spiral Column. This glass spiral elongates the vapour path and maintains liquid–vapour contact. Samuel's daughter Dorothy, became Lady Loran when she married Lord Moran, who was Sir Winston Churchill's doctor.

William Dufton was born at Brigham, Cumberland in 1806. He was a surgeon at Birmingham, and established the Institute for relief of deafness there. William was the chief consultant in the midlands for deafness.  He was the author of the Nature and Treatment of Deafness.

Jacki Lynn Dufton was born in London on the 3rd September 1928, she was to become a child star in several Hollywood films.  In 1932 she played the orphan child in the classic Laurel and Hardy film, Pack up your Troubles.
Click the image of Laurel and Hardy to see a short excerpt from the film Pack up your Troubles.

Dufton Scott, Dufton was born at Forgue, Scotland in 1880.  He became a radio entertainer and was renown for his humorous monologues.

John Boste was born at Dufton in 1530 to a local family. He was to become Saint John Boste of Dufton, one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales.  He was accused of treason for being a catholic priest and was sent to the Tower of London where he was crippled by being tortured on the rack. He was then sent to Durham where on the 24 July 1594  he was hanged, drawn and quartered. 
Although not a Dufton, it is of interest.

Captain Frank Dufton was the skipper of the freighter Hopestar, which in November 1948 was lost off the coast of Newfoundland in heavy weather. Captain Dufton and the crew of 40 men all perished.

Chris Dufton, who over Easter 2007 was the reigning champion of the television programme Countdown. 
 A most impressive achievement.
And, he managed to tell the whole nation about Dufton Family History.  Well done Chris.

Alan Hastings Dufton was born in Liverpool, he moved to the USA in 1950 where he rode and trained horses for many years.  He became the leading amateur steeplechase Jockey in the USA in 1961, and rode 'Ernie' an American owned, British trained horse in the 1962 Grand National, finishing 9th.

Ernest Hastings Dufton, son of Alan Dufton, a distinguished jockey in the north eastern states of the USA.  He rode competitively for over 12 years.

Major Leslie Bland Dufton, born in Liverpool, moved to Texas where he owned a cotton company.  He was the British Vice Consul and then Consul of Texas until his death in 1950.

They married on a Saturday in 1941, on the Monday the Japanese invaded the island.  Herbet was taken prisoner and Rose was interned.  During these cruel times Rose lived on starvation rations of one bowl of rice a day, but even so she adopted Ruby an orphan Chinese girl. Rose was shot by a Japanese guard, the bullet went under her arm, smashed through one of her ribs and lodged in her abdomen.  There were no doctors or medical supplies, Rose's life was saved by a Chinese lady who applied herbs to the wound which healed it. After the war Rose and Herbert return to settle in his native Durham. The couple adopted another girl Sandra.  Rose and Herbet have three grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.  Herbet  died  in 1985.

Rose Dufton celebrates her 100th birthday. Rose was born Wilhelmina Euphemina Williams in Jamaica.  Her parents died when Rose was very young, and she was sent to Hong Kong to live with relatives.  She met and married Herbet Dufton who was stationed there in the army. 

Doveton House in Madras, built in 1790. The house was named after John Doveton who had joined the Madras cavalry in 1783, he died at Doveton House in 1847. John had served with distinction in the historic campaign against the forces of Hyder Ali of Mysore, and his French and Dutch allies. He rose to the rank of Lieutenant General Sir John Doveton GCB. On his death he bequeathed the house to a Brahmin family whose descendants assumed the name Doveton in addition to their Hindu titles.

Henry Dufton, traveller and writer.  In 1862-3 Henry travelled alone and on a donkey from Cairo through the Nubian desert to Khartoum.  He describes his travels through the Sudan in his narrative.  In 1867 he joined the Intelligence Department of the British Army. During the Anglo-Abyssinia war he was involved in supervising the building of roads in Abyssinia.  In June 1868 he was brutally murdered by Shosho native bandits.  Henry Dufton was mentioned in the House of Commons on the 26 November 1867 when the Abyssinian Expedition was being discussed.

HMS Dufton

HMS Dufton was a 365 ton minesweeper, she was launched in 1954, and was broken up in 1977.  I went on board HMS Dufton in Gibraltar in about 1974, when the submarine I was serving on, HMS Courageous, tied up along side her.  Sadly, I did not have a camera. 

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