Famous 18th Century British Poets

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Find out more about the greatest 18th Century British Poets, including William Blake, William Wordsworth, Samuel Johnson, Percy Bysshe Shelley and John Keats.
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William Wordsworth
25
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
(English Poet Who is Considered a Seminal Figure in the History of the Poetry of the Romantic Age)
William Blake
18
Birthdate: November 28, 1757
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: London, England, United Kingdom
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
8
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
(One of the Most Prominent English Poets of the Early 18th Century)
Alexander Pope
9
Birthdate: May 21, 1688
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: London, England, United Kingdom
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 
Thomas Gray
(Poet, Writer, Literary critic)
Thomas Gray
6
Birthdate: December 26, 1716
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London
Died: July 30, 1771
 7 
John Clare
(English poet)
John Clare
9
Birthdate: July 13, 1793
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Helpston, England
Died: May 20, 1864
 8 
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.

 9 
Charles Lamb
(English Essayist, Poet and Antiquarian Best Known for His Books: ‘Essays of Elia’ and ‘Tales from Shakespeare’)
Charles Lamb
5
Birthdate: 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.

 10 
William Cowper
5
Birthdate: November 26, 1731
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Berkhamsted
Died: April 25, 1800
 11 
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
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
6
Birthdate: May 15, 1689
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, England
Died: August 21, 1762
 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.

John Sheffield, 1st Duke of Buckingham and Normanby
3
Birthdate: September 8, 1647
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: February 24, 1721
 16 
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.

 17 
Walter Savage Landor
4
Birthdate: January 30, 1775
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Warwick, England
Died: September 17, 1864
 18 
Dorothy Wordsworth
3
Birthdate: December 25, 1771
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Cockermouth, England
Died: January 25, 1855
 19 
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
 20 
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
 21 
Thomas Hood
(Writer, Poet)
Thomas Hood
3
Birthdate: May 23, 1799
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: London
Died: May 3, 1845
 22 
Mary Lamb
(Author)
Mary Lamb
4
Birthdate: December 3, 1764
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: London, England
Died: May 20, 1847
 23 
Christopher Smart
3
Birthdate: April 11, 1722
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Shipbourne, England
Died: May 21, 1771
 24 
Thomas Love Peacock
3
Birthdate: October 18, 1785
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Weymouth, England
Died: January 23, 1866
 25 
Felicia Hemans
3
Birthdate: September 25, 1793
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Liverpool, England
Died: May 16, 1835
 26 
John Keble
4
Birthdate: April 25, 1792
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Fairford, Gloucestershire, England
Died: March 29, 1866
 27 
Anna Laetitia Barbauld
(British Poet, Essayist, Literary Critic, Editor, and Author of Children’s Literature)
Anna Laetitia Barbauld
3
Birthdate: June 20, 1743
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kibworth-Harcourt, Leicestershire, England
Died: March 9, 1825

Best known for including political and social themes in her writings, Anna Letitia Barbauld was a renowned poet, essayist, and children’s author. She was the only daughter of Unitarian John Aikin and taught at the Palgrave Academy. She is remembered for her iconic hymn “Life! I Know Not What Thou Art.”

 28 
Charlotte Smith
3
Birthdate: May 4, 1749
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, England
Died: October 24, 1806
 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 
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. 

 33 
George Crabbe
(British Poet, Surgeon and Clergyman Best Known for His Early Use of the Realistic Narrative Form)
George Crabbe
3
Birthdate: December 24, 1754
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Aldeburgh, Suffolk, England
Died: February 3, 1832

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. 

 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 
James Montgomery
2
Birthdate: November 4, 1771
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Irvine, United Kingdom
Died: April 30, 1854
 40 
Horace Smith
2
Birthdate: December 31, 1779
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London, England
Died: July 12, 1849
 41 
Samuel Rogers
2
Birthdate: July 30, 1763
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Islington, London, England
Died: December 18, 1855
 42 
Charlotte Lennox
2
Birthdate: 1730 AD
Birthplace: Gibraltar, United Kingdom
Died: January 4, 1804
 43 
Susanna Rowson
(Novelist)
Susanna Rowson
2
Birthdate: 1762 AD
Birthplace: Portsmouth, England
Died: March 2, 1824
 44 
Thomas Warton
(Literary historian)
Thomas Warton
2
Birthdate: January 9, 1728
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Basingstoke, England
Died: May 21, 1790
 45 
John Byrom
2
Birthdate: February 29, 1692
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Manchester, England
Died: September 26, 1763
 46 
Helen Maria Williams
2
Birthdate: 1761 AD
Birthplace: London, England
Died: December 15, 1827
 47 
Amelia Opie
(Novelist and poet)
Amelia Opie
2
Birthdate: November 12, 1769
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Norwich, England
Died: December 2, 1853
Marguerite Gardiner, Countess of Blessington
2
Birthdate: September 1, 1789
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Clonmel
Died: June 4, 1849
 49 
Richard Savage
2
Birthdate: 1697 AD
Birthplace: England
Died: August 1, 1743
 50 
Henry Carey
2
Birthdate: August 26, 1687
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: England
Died: October 5, 1743