A few Buntings have become famous in their own countries, some even internationally. Common spheres of high accomplishment include:
- Politics, social justice and religion
- The arts – music, poetry, sculpture
- Journalism, writing, television and film production
- Engineering and mathematics, to a lesser extent
A Bunting, Heinrich Bünting (1545–1606), was one of the earliest world map makers, and an astoundingly accurate one for his time. He depicts Western Australia in 1581 almost 200 years before Captain Cook “discovered” Australia and 25 years before the Dutch stumbled on the west coast of Australia. A Lutheran pastor and theologian, Heinrich produced other “fantasy” world maps, best described as religiously conceptual
TOP 12 FAMOUS BUNTINGS
Basil Cheesman Bunting: (1900-1985) A highly acclaimed English late modernist poet and an editor of the Newcastle Journal. Although he volunteered for the RAF in WW2, he was a conscientious objector during WW1 which led to his arrest for his political views. Basil was subsequently imprisoned in Wormwood Scrubs and Winchester prisons. His most famous poem is Briggflatts.Basil can be found on our Heanor Derbyshire family tree.
Christopher Evelyn Bunting: (1924-2004) An internationally recognised English musician, teacher and composer. He was renowned solo and chamber music cellist who gave master classes worldwide. He performed broadcasts on British radio and his “Essay on The Craft of Cello Playing” (1982) remains a valued teaching aid. He was a valued Bunting Society Member.
Christopher William Bunting: (1837-1896) Irish-Canadian businessman, journalist and senior politician. He was a close advisor to Sir John Alexander Macdonald, the first Prime Minister of Canada. Self-made, Christopher was co-owner of the Toronto Mail newspaper, then the Mail & Empire. Ultimately, via a 1936 merger with The Globe it lives on as The Globe and Mail, now one of the leading Canadian national newspapers. Christopher was born in Amigan, county Limerick, Ireland, emigrating to Canada as a teenager.
Edward Bunting: (1773-1843) A celebrated Irish musicologist and regarded as a saviour of traditional Irish music. His published volumes remain in use by musicians today. They are hugely grateful for his work. Edward was a nationalist who associated and socialised with the leadership of the United Irishmen from prior to the Society’s instigation, but did not share their militaristic ways. From a young age, he was foster brother to Henry Joy McCracken and his sister the Belfast social activist, Mary Ann McCracken. Born near Ashover, his father Edward went to county Tyrone in 1854 to manage a colliery from Derbyshire, but he said it was from his mother Mary Quin that he acquired his passion for traditional Irish music.
Eve Bunting: (b. 1928) Prolific Irish-American author whose popular books have primarily targeted children and young adults. Eve is the author of more than 250 books, fiction and non-fiction, commencing with The Two Giants in 1971. She met her husband, Edward (Ed) Davison Bunting, at Queen’s University Belfast and in 1958 the family emigrated to California, where Eve still lives. Ed Bunting (1925-2014) was a successful health sector businessman, but as a 6 year old on 16 February 1931, he can be found in the records enrolled at Cullybackey National School, Co. Antrim.
Jabez Bunting: (1779-1858) English Methodist preacher who became the most prominent Methodist after the death of John Wesley. He led the Wesleyan revivalist society from its Anglican roots to a fully-fledged church, one that he administered in a disciplined and conservative manner. Out of respect, his full name was given to many subsequent unrelated Bunting babies, and even to non-Bunting babies, around the world, resulting in names like Jabez Bunting Smith. Many of his descendants were high profile individuals, including two (Christopher Evelyn and Sir Percy) who can be found in this summary.
Sir (Edward) John Bunting: (1918-1995) Widely respected head of the Australian public service, Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and ultimately Australian High Commissioner in London. In 1988, Sir John authored a biography of his friend and boss, Australian Prime Minister, Robert Menzies, entitled “R. G. Menzies: a portrait”. Jack was born in Ballarat and raised the son of a grocer in Longwood, a tiny village in north east Victoria. He descends from Anthony, the older brother and music teacher of Ireland’s famous musicologist Edward Bunting.
Heinrich Bünting: (1545-1606) was one of the earliest world map makers, and an astoundingly accurate one for his time. He depicts Western Australia in 1581 almost 200 years before Captain Cook “discovered” Australia and 25 years before the Dutch stumbled on the west coast of Australia. How did he do it? Heinrich also produced abstract and fantasy world maps, best described as religiously conceptual.
Sir Percy William Bunting: (1836-1911) An English lawyer, social reformer, journalist and editor of “The Contemporary Review”. Sir Percy was a progressive Methodist. A liberal, even radical, he focussed on moral purity, social reform and the welfare of methodism. An admirer of Prime Minister Gladstone, he served on the executive committee of The National Liberal Foundation from 1880 until his death, and in 1892 he was elected to Parliament from East Islington as a Gladstone liberal. A firm believer in international amity, Bunting was active in the formation of the Anglo-German Friendship Society in 1911. Like many in his Bunting family rooted in Derbyshire, he was unusually musically talented.
Peter Murcott Bunting: (b. 1960) A Jamaican investment banker and senior politician. Peter was the National Security Minister of Jamaica and the General Secretary of the People’s National Party. He was the co-founder of Jamaica’s first private sector investment banking firm, Dehring, Bunting and Golding (now Scotia Investments).
OTHER NOTABLE BUNTINGS
…some you may recognise, others not:
Madeleine Bunting: English writer and formally associate editor and journalist at The Guardian newspaper in England.
Thomas Bunting: Founder (in 1895) of the New Zealand Christchurch-based brushware company, Bunting & Co, which was a household name in NZ and Pacific Islands until 1961 when the company ceased operating under that name.
Thomas Lathrop Bunting: A nineteenth century American politician (Democrat) and businessman.
William Bunting: An English rugby union international player and captain for England around the turn of the twentieth century.
Robert Franklin Bunting: an American Presbyterian minister, freemason and Confederate chaplain.
Jo Bunting: An English TV presenter and producer, and radio personality.
Arthur Bunting: A northern English professional rugby league footballer and coach, active from the 1950s to 1980s.
Phillip Bunting: a children’s “picture book” author and illustrator from Queensland Australia.
John Bunting: A London-born English sculptor and teacher, and father of Madeleine Bunting.
Sandra Bunting: A Canadian author, poet and contributor to journalism.
William Bunting: An English eco-warrior, perhaps a man before his time.
Ronald Bunting: Major Ronald Terence Bunting was a Northern Ireland unionist and well-known political figure whose son Ronnie served in the IRA.
Ronnie Bunting: Ronnie was a protestant Irish republican, a member of the IRA and founding member and ultimately leader of the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA), and who was assassinated aged 32 in 1980.
Frank Bunting: Frank was a Northern Irish teacher and prominent teaching trade unionist leader frequently in the news.
Jolene Bunting: Jolene is a Belfast City councillor also frequently in the news.
David Bunting: David of “Buntimation” is an animator, producer and director who has worked on well-known animated films and series such as “Shaun the Sheep” and “Bob the Builder”.
Sarah Maclardie Amos nee Bunting: Born in 1841, Sarah was women well ahead of her time, a political and social activist in several areas including women’s and children’s health and women’s suffrage (along with Florence Nightingale). Sarah was sister of Sir Percy and granddaughter of Jabez Bunting.
Sidney Percival Bunting: After serving in the British Army (2nd Anglo-Boer War, he remained in South Africa firstly as a lawyer, then left wing politician. A pacifist and like his father Sir Percy an editor (of the International), Sidney joined the communist party and agitated black African workers to rebel.
Dave Bunting: Dave is an ex-British Army mountaineering specialist and Mount Everest expedition leader.
David Tibet: A poet, musician and artist, David Michael Bunting born in Malaysia is now commonly known as David Tibet.
John Justin Bunting and Kempton Bunton are among them….but let’s aim to keep this list a short one!
FAMOUS BUNTINGS IN GREATER DETAIL
You are invited to contribute brief biographies of Famous Buntings (perhaps from your Tree). Please email your contributions to the webmaster (Trevor Rix) or editor (Frank Bunting), using the following short biography of Edward Bunting as a content and style guide.
Edward Bunting (1773-1843)
Celebrated Irish musicologist and nationalist, credited with saving Irish traditional music from extinction.
Armagh born Edward Bunting was an early collector, scholar and champion of Irish traditional music. Edward and his collaborators collected Irish music from the far corners of the country around 1800, capturing it as musical notation and immortalising this true essence of Irish culture in celebrated publications on a scale not achieved previously. “… it should never be forgotten that it is to Bunting that is due the merit of having originally rescued (our national music) from obscurity” (Dr George Petrie, 1847).
Edward was a highly skilled church organist and enthusiast for the traditional harp, historically the major conveyor of traditional music, often via blind harpists. Survival of Ireland’s ancient music was far from guaranteed in the late eighteenth century because of the cultural and political suppression. If you enjoy the music of “Danny Boy”, or more refined traditional Irish music, thank Edward Bunting!
Edward was an intimate of the leading figures in the Society of United Irishmen of the period, Henry Joy McCracken (who was in effect his foster brother), Thomas Russell and Wolfe Tone. He was present at several key dinner meetings with the doomed United Irishmen leadership, most of whom died for the cause. He was present at secret meetings even in the lead up to the formation of the Society. Bunting demonstrated his empathy with this nationalistic movement, yet wisely like some other early supporters, he was a non-militant who kept his head down contributing via ink and the printing press. He was the son of Edward Bunting (bap 1728, Morton), a carpenter and colliery manager originally from Woolley near Ashover, Derbyshire. His mother was Mary Quin, a native Irish woman from the Kilmore area, Armagh, where a group of nationalistic and proud Irish families with connections to the old ruling O’Neills lived.