Stretford-born artist LS Lowry turned down an honour from the Queen on FIVE occasions, new official records have revealed.
Lowry, famous for his matchstick men paintings depicting scenes of everyday life, rejected an OBE in 1955, a CBE in 1961, a knighthood in 1968 and an invitation to become a Companion of Honour in 1972 and 1976.
The painter is one of 250 people on a new list released last night by the Cabinet Office.
Authors JB Priestley and Roald Dahl and Lowry’s fellow painters Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon are also among the people who have snubbed honours between 1951 and 1999.
The list includes the actor Trevor Howard, film director Alfred Hitchcock and sculptor Henry Moore.
The Cabinet Office was ordered to release the information by the Information Commissioner's Office after initially turning down Freedom of Information requests more than a year ago.
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.
News of people refusing an honour normally only comes to light if they volunteer the information themselves or reports are leaked.
In the past a number of famous people have rejected or returned honours bestowed upon them by the monarch.
Beatles legend John Lennon returned his MBE in 1969, with a note to the Queen saying: "Your Majesty, I am returning this in protest against Britain's involvement in the Nigeria-Biafra thing, against our support of America in Vietnam and against Cold Turkey slipping down the charts. With Love, John Lennon of Bag."