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

Early life

Born in Saltashmarker in Cornwallmarker 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

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 competition all over the country; one event at Fleetwoodmarker 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 Havremarker and beat the best ten French male crews by 100 yards; leading the press to call her the champion female rower of the world.

Old Age

Ann continued competetive rowing until she was in her sixties. Into her old age, she was given to circling the warships anchored in the Hamoazemarker exchanging banter with their crews. When the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Edinburgh visited Plymouthmarker 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.


  • Cornish Characters & Strange Events, S. Baring-Gould, Bodley Head 1925 Volume 2, pp 298–295
  • Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries: Volume 36, edited by John S. Amery, pp 127–129
  • 101 Cornish Lives, Maurice Smelt, Alison Hodge 2006, page 101

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