(apart from me, obvs)
“Richard Hall” is a fairly common name. There are plenty of us in the world. Wooster might say that there is no immediate danger of a shortage. Whilst there might not be quite one of us on every High Street, there are certainly enough of us to go round.
The most famous of us is probably the American comedian Rich Hall, but since he generally doesn’t use the ‘-ard’ he probably doesn’t count for this exercise. (Of course, he counts in every other respect!) Next on the list is journalist Richard Hall, The Independent’s senior US correspondent. He and I have occasionally interacted as my twitter handle is extremely similar to his, leading to some moments of confusion. From time-to-time I have re-tweeted his tweets, which probably doesn’t help! We can be found in academic circles too: Richard Hall is Professor of Education and Technology at De Montford University and Richard Hall is Emeritus Professor of Mathematics at York University. So at least 2 of us are pretty brainy. If you have a site that needs clearing, or a requirement for biomass in the south of England, there’s a Richard Hall for that, too. You might visit the ‘wand room’ at Harry Potter World. Look carefully there, you’ll find a wand with Richard Hall’s name on it. He was a member of the crew on at least one of the films, a carpenter I think. And if your need for a Richard Hall runs to clergy, there are two of us in British Methodism and at least one more in the Church of England. Of course I’ve been mixed up with both more than once.
But my favourite Richard Hall discovered so far is undoubtedly the one whose story is told in The Journal of a Georgian Gentleman: The Life and Times of Richard Hall, 1729-1801, by Mike Rendell. This Richard Hall was a hosier in London, a contemporary of John Wesley and had a shop by London Bridge. I’m entertained by the notion that my namessake might have sold Wesley some silk stockings! The review of the book that I’ve linked above has some fascinating (to me, at least) details and I’ll be putting a copy on my wishlist for 2023.