Famous 18th Century British Poets

Find out more about the greatest 18th Century British Poets, including William Blake, William Wordsworth, Samuel Johnson, Percy Bysshe Shelley and John Keats.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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William Wordsworth
19
Birthdate: April 7, 1770
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Kingdom of Great Britain
Died: April 23, 1850

English poet William Wordsworth, along with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, released Lyrical Ballads in 1798, which set the tone for the Romantic Age of English Literature. Wordsworth was known for his poems I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud, The Prelude, and The Solitary Reaper. He also served as the Poet Laureate.

 2 
William Blake
(Poet and Visual Artist of the Romantic Age)

William Blake
14
Birthdate: November 28, 1757
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Soho, London, England
Died: August 12, 1827
William Blake, author of The Songs of Innocence and of Experience, was a prominent figure of the early phase of the Romantic Age, known as the pre-Romantic era. Known for his visual artistry and poetry, he was also a staunch abolitionist and a forerunner of the "free love" movement.

 3 

Samuel Coleridge
5
Birthdate: October 21, 1772
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Ottery St Mary, Devon, Great Britain, United Kingdom
Died: July 25, 1834

Samuel Coleridge was an English poet, philosopher, theologian, and literary critic. He is credited with co-founding the Romantic Movement in England along with his friend William Wordsworth. Despite struggling from bouts of depression and anxiety throughout his adult life, Samuel Coleridge had a major influence on American transcendentalism and writers like Ralph Waldo Emerson.

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 4 

Alexander Pope
8
Birthdate: May 21, 1688
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: London, England
Died: May 30, 1744

Alexander Pope was a satirist and poet whose works produced during the Augustan period made him one of the greatest artistic exponents of that period. Widely regarded as one of the most important English poets of the 18th century, Alexander Pope is best remembered for writing discursive poetry and heroic couplets.

 5 
Jonathan Swift
(Satirist & Author of 'Gulliver's Travels',' A Tale of a Tub' and 'A Modest Proposal')

Jonathan Swift
5
Birthdate: November 30, 1667
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Died: October 19, 1745

Eighteenth-century essayist, poet, and pamphleteer Jonathan Swift is remembered for his iconic works such as A Tale of a Tub, A Modest Proposal, and Gulliver's Travels. One of the world’s greatest satirists, he gave rise to the deadpan Swiftian style. He had also been the Dean of St. Patrick's Cathedral.

 6 
John Clare
(English poet)

John Clare
9
Birthdate: July 13, 1793
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Helpston, England
Died: May 20, 1864

 7 

Samuel Johnson
8
Birthdate: September 18, 1709
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Lichfield, England
Died: December 13, 1784

Essayist, biographer, lexicographer, and literary critic Samuel Johnson, or Dr. Johnson, is remembered for his A Dictionary of the English Language and Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets. He was also a poet, a playwright, and a staunch Tory. His mannerisms indicated he had Tourette syndrome.

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 8 
Charles Lamb
(Essayist)

Charles Lamb
4
Birthdate: September 18, 1709, 1775
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Inner Temple, London, England
Died: December 27, 1834

Renowned British essayist Charles Lamb was a major figure of the Romantic period. He is best remembered for his Essays of Elia and his book of abridged versions of Shakespeare’s plays, Tales from Shakespeare, which he co-wrote with his sister, Mary. He had also once spent time in a mental facility.

 9 

William Cowper
5
Birthdate: November 26, 1731
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Berkhamsted
Died: April 25, 1800

 10 
Thomas Gray
(Poet, Writer, Literary critic)

Thomas Gray
6
Birthdate: December 26, 1716
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London
Died: July 30, 1771

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
6
Birthdate: May 15, 1689
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, England
Died: August 21, 1762

 12 
Robert Southey
(Former poet of the Romantic school, and Poet laureate from 1813 until his death)

Robert Southey
4
Birthdate: August 12, 1774
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Bristol, England, United Kingdom
Died: March 21, 1843

 13 
Isaac Watts
(Theologian)

Isaac Watts
5
Birthdate: July 17, 1674
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Southampton, Kingdom of England
Died: November 25, 1748

 14 
Leigh Hunt
(English Essayist, Poet & Critic)

Leigh Hunt
4
Birthdate: October 19, 1784
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Southgate, London, England
Died: August 28, 1859

Known for poems such as Abou Ben Adhem, 19th-century English poet, critic, and essayist Leigh Hunt had founded the newspaper The Examiner, with his brother. Apart from critiquing the politics, theater, and art of his time, he also criticized Prince Regent George, an act that put him behind bars briefly.

 15 

Walter Savage Landor
3
Birthdate: January 30, 1775
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Warwick, England
Died: September 17, 1864

 16 

Tobias Smollett
3
Birthdate: March 19, 1721
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Dalquhurn (now part of Renton, Scotland Renton), Scotland
Died: September 17, 1771

Best known for his picaresque novels such as The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle, Scottish novelist Tobias Smollett was born into a family of lawyers and soldiers and initially attended medical training. Some believe he quit university without a degree, while it is also said he had served as a navy surgeon.

 17 
Hannah More
(Writer, Poet, Essayist)

Hannah More
3
Birthdate: February 2, 1745
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Fishponds
Died: September 7, 1833

English religious author Hannah More soared to literary fame with the release of Village Politics, penned under the pseudonym Will Chip. Its popularity made her write an entire series of tracts that educated the poor. She also established clubs and schools, apart from opposing slavery along with the Clapham Sect.

John Sheffield, 1st Duke of Buckingham and Normanby
3
Birthdate: September 8, 1647
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: February 24, 1721

 19 

Dorothy Wordsworth
3
Birthdate: December 25, 1771
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Cockermouth, England
Died: January 25, 1855

 20 
Thomas Chatterton
(Former Poet whose best known poem, O synge untoe mie roundelaie was set to a five-part madrigal by Samuel Wesley)

Thomas Chatterton
3
Birthdate: November 20, 1752
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Bristol, England, United Kingdom
Died: August 24, 1770

 21 
Thomas Hood
(Writer, Poet)

Thomas Hood
3
Birthdate: May 23, 1799
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: London
Died: May 3, 1845

 22 
Colley Cibber
(Former Actor and Poet Who Was a Theater Artist and a Manager)

Colley Cibber
3
Birthdate: November 6, 1671
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: London, England
Died: December 11, 1757

 23 

Thomas Love Peacock
3
Birthdate: October 18, 1785
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Weymouth, England
Died: January 23, 1866

 24 
Mary Lamb
(Author)

Mary Lamb
3
Birthdate: December 3, 1764
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: London, England
Died: May 20, 1847

 25 

Christopher Smart
3
Birthdate: April 11, 1722
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Shipbourne, England
Died: May 21, 1771

 26 

Felicia Hemans
3
Birthdate: September 25, 1793
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Liverpool, England
Died: May 16, 1835

 27 

Charlotte Smith
3
Birthdate: May 4, 1749
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, England
Died: October 24, 1806

 28 

John Keble
4
Birthdate: April 25, 1792
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Fairford, Gloucestershire, England
Died: March 29, 1866

 29 
Eliza Haywood
(British author)

Eliza Haywood
3
Birthdate: 1693 AD
Birthplace: England
Died: February 25, 1756

Charles Montagu, 1st earl of Halifax
3
Birthdate: April 16, 1661
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Kingdom of England
Died: May 19, 1715

 31 

William Collins
4
Birthdate: December 25, 1721
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Chichester, Sussex, England
Died: June 12, 1759

 32 

George Crabbe
3
Birthdate: December 24, 1754
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Aldeburgh, England
Died: February 3, 1834

George Crabbe was an English surgeon, poet, and clergyman. He began his career as a doctor's apprentice in the 1770s and later become a surgeon. After a few years, he pursued a living as a poet and also served as a clergyman in various capacities. He wrote poetry mainly in the form of heroic couplets. He was also a coleopterist. 

 33 
John Flaxman
(Painter, Poet, Sculptor, Illustrator)

John Flaxman
3
Birthdate: July 6, 1755
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: York
Died: December 7, 1826

John Flaxman was a British sculptor. He was a key figure in British and European Neoclassicism. Largely self-educated, he began his career as a modeler for potter Josiah Wedgwood's pottery. He then began sculpting grave monuments and earned a reputation as a prolific maker of funerary monuments. He was married to Anne Denman, who assisted him throughout his career. 

 34 

Gabriele Rossetti
2
Birthdate: February 28, 1783
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Vasto, Italy
Died: April 24, 1854

 35 
Anna Seward
(Writer, Poet, Literary critic)

Anna Seward
2
Birthdate: December 12, 1747
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Lichfield, United Kingdom
Died: March 25, 1809

 36 

Nicholas Rowe
2
Birthdate: June 20, 1674
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Little Barford, England
Died: December 6, 1718

 37 

Elizabeth Carter
2
Birthdate: December 16, 1717
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Deal, England
Died: February 19, 1806

 38 

Mary Russell Mitford
2
Birthdate: December 16, 1787
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New Alresford, England
Died: January 10, 1855

 39 

Hartley Coleridge
2
Birthdate: September 19, 1796
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kingsdown, England
Died: January 6, 1849

The eldest son of Romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Hartley Coleridge grew up spending most of his time reading and was closely associated with poets Robert Southey and William Wordworth. Though he gained a fellowship at Oriel, he later lost it due to his alcoholism and his inconsistency.

 40 

James Montgomery
2
Birthdate: November 4, 1771
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Irvine, United Kingdom
Died: April 30, 1854

 41 

Samuel Rogers
2
Birthdate: July 30, 1763
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Islington, London, England
Died: December 18, 1855

 42 

Horace Smith
2
Birthdate: December 31, 1779
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London, England
Died: July 12, 1849

 43 

Charlotte Lennox
2
Birthdate: 1730 AD
Birthplace: Gibraltar, United Kingdom
Died: January 4, 1804

 44 
Susanna Rowson
(Novelist)

Susanna Rowson
2
Birthdate: 1762 AD
Birthplace: Portsmouth, England
Died: March 2, 1824

 45 
Thomas Warton
(Literary historian)

Thomas Warton
2
Birthdate: January 9, 1728
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Basingstoke, England
Died: May 21, 1790

 46 

John Byrom
2
Birthdate: February 29, 1692
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Manchester, England
Died: September 26, 1763

 47 

Helen Maria Williams
2
Birthdate: 1761 AD
Birthplace: London, England
Died: December 15, 1827

 48 
Amelia Opie
(Novelist and poet)

Amelia Opie
2
Birthdate: November 12, 1769
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Norwich, England
Died: December 2, 1853

William-Henry Ireland
2
Birthdate: August 2, 1775
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: April 17, 1835

 50 

Samuel Bamford
2
Birthdate: February 28, 1788
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Middleton, England
Died: April 13, 1872

The son of a weaver, Samuel Bamford quit school and worked as a weaver and a warehouseman. He later penned many poems, expressing his support for the working class. Charged with inciting violence at the Peterloo massacre, he was also jailed for a while. He later became a journalist in London.