Refusals of Crown Honours
In January 2012 the
Cabinet Office was ordered to release information about the 277
individuals who have refused official accolades between 1951 and
1999, and have since died.
It is believed to be the first official confirmation that hundreds of people have snubbed OBEs, CBEs and knighthoods in the annual New Year or Birthday Honours list.
The artist L S Lowry was a top refuser, turning down five honours including an OBE, a CBE and, in 1968, a knighthood.
Other high profile artists who have declined to accept Crown Honours include Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud and Henry Moore.
Refusenik writers include Roald Dahl, C S Lewis, Aldous Huxley, Philip Larkin, Evelyn Waugh, Graham Greene and Robert Graves.
J B Priestley was a stalwart refuser of honours; he declined a life peerage in 1965 and an invite to become a Companion of Honour in 1969.
Some refusers experienced a change of heart: the film director Alfred Hitchcock turned down a CBE in 1962, but went on to accept a knighthood in 1980,