Millican Dalton fact file

One of the most prominent English adventurers, Millican Dalton gave up his nine-to-five office existence to answer the call of the wild. Here is our essential guide to the man behind the legend. 

Published: February 9th, 2017 at 9:59 am


1. Millican Dalton was born in 1867 in Cumberland before moving south following the death of his father.

2. He spent his younger years in various escapades but when he grew up, he moved to London and became an insurance clerk.

3. However, at the age of 36, he answered the call of adventure. He gave up his cosy life in London and moved to Borrowdale

4. He lived under a canvas and in a cave during the summer. However, once winter kicked in, he moved to wooden shack.

5. Dalton was a vegetarian and a teetotal.

6. He was mostly self-sufficient, making his own clothing and tents. His only weakness was a weekly trip to a shop to get coffee.

7. Even though he was a lifelong bachelor and an eccentric, Dalton was not a social recluse. He was popular and socially engaged.

8. He made his life by being a climbing guide and taking people on local adventures in the Lake District. He was given the nickname ‘Professor of Adventure’.

9. Millican Dalton contracted pneumonia in 1947 after moving to a tent during the winter when his hut was destroyed. He died in February of that year, aged 79.

10. Millican’s cave is still a popular attraction for tourists in the Lake District. Dalton wrote his own epitaph in the cave and it reads: “Don’t waste wor(r)ds, jump to conclusions"

Main image: Alamy


Read more about Millican Dalton in our March issue



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