I wonder how many of you know that the parents of the man whose invention saves us all from getting soaked when it rains are interred in Portsmouth Cathedral’s grounds?
They are Thomas and Mary, the parents of Jonas Hanway who was christened in the cathedral in 1712.
He was born in the town on August 12 of that year. Though remembered by history as the umbrella man, he is also commemorated in Westminster Abbey with a memorial plaque as he had other claims to fame, eg being the founder of the Marine Society.
He was also a philanthropist and known as a friend and father of the poor.
He died aged 74 in September, 1786 and was buried at St Mary’s, Hanwell, Middlesex.