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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 1 William Wordsworth

William Wordsworth.
12
Famous As: Poet
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

William Blake.
12
Famous As: Painter, Poet
Birthdate: November 28, 1757
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: 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.
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 3 P B Shelley

P B Shelley.
5
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: August 4, 1792
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: England
Died: July 8, 1822
Legendary English Romantic poetry P.B. Shelley is remembered for his masterpieces such as Ode to the West Wind, To a Skylark, and Prometheus Unbound. He was known for his poetic imagery, and his popularity soared after his premature death due to drowning while boating at age 29. 

 4 John Keats

John Keats.
4
Famous As: Romantic poet
Birthdate: October 31, 1795
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Moorgate
Died: February 23, 1821
John Keats was one of the leading 19th-century Romantic poets, along with Byron and Shelley, known for his natural imagery and emotions in his poems. Some of his best-known works are Ode on a Grecian Urn, To Autumn, and Ode to a Nightingale. He died of tuberculosis at age 25.

 5 Samuel Coleridge

Samuel Coleridge.
4
Famous As: Poet
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.

 6 Oliver Goldsmith

Oliver Goldsmith.
4
Famous As: Novelist, Playwright, Poet
Birthdate: November 10, 1728
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Ballymahon
Died: April 4, 1774

Oliver Goldsmith was an Anglo-Irish novelist, poet, and playwright. Described by his contemporaries as a disorganized and impetuous person, Goldsmith is best remembered for his works, such as The Vicar of Wakefield, The Deserted Village, and She Stoops to Conquer. A respected writer, Goldsmith's statue has been erected in several places, including the Trinity College, Dublin.

 7 Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson.
6
Famous As: Writer
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 John Clare

John Clare.
9
Famous As: English poet
Birthdate: July 13, 1793
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Helpston, England
Died: May 20, 1864

 9 Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

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

 10 William Cowper

William Cowper.
4
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: November 26, 1731
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Berkhamsted
Died: April 25, 1800

 11 Thomas Gray

Thomas Gray
4
Famous As: Poet, Writer, Literary critic
Birthdate: December 26, 1716
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London
Died: July 30, 1771

 12 Isaac Watts

Isaac Watts
4
Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: July 17, 1674
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Southampton, Kingdom of England
Died: November 25, 1748

 13 Walter Savage Landor

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

 14 Leigh Hunt

Leigh Hunt.
3
Famous As: English Essayist, Poet & Critic
Birthdate: October 19, 1784
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Southgate, London
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 Tobias Smollett

Tobias Smollett
3
Famous As: Author
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.

 16 Hannah More

Hannah More
3
Famous As: Writer, Poet, Essayist
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 John Sheffield, 1st Duke of Buckingham and Normanby

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

 18 Thomas Love Peacock

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

 19 Thomas Hood

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

 20 Anna Letitia Barbauld

Anna Letitia Barbauld
3
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: June 20, 1743
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: 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.”

 21 Mary Lamb

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

 22 Christopher Smart

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

 23 Dorothy Wordsworth

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

 24 Charlotte Smith

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

 25 John Keble

John Keble
3
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: April 25, 1792
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Fairford, Gloucestershire, England
Died: March 29, 1866

 26 Eliza Haywood

Eliza Haywood
3
Famous As: British author
Birthdate: 1693 AD
Birthplace: England
Died: February 25, 1756

 27 Charles Montagu, 1st earl of Halifax

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

 28 George Crabbe

George Crabbe
3
Famous As: Poet
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. 

 29 William Collins

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

 30 John Flaxman

John Flaxman
3
Famous As: Painter, Poet, Sculptor, Illustrator
Birthdate: July 6, 1755
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: York
Died: December 7, 1826

 31 Felicia Hemans

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

 32 Anna Seward

Anna Seward
2
Famous As: Writer, Poet, Literary critic
Birthdate: December 12, 1747
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Lichfield, United Kingdom
Died: March 25, 1809

 33 Gabriele Rossetti

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

 34 Nicholas Rowe

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

 35 Elizabeth Carter

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

 36 Mary Russell Mitford

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

 37 Hartley Coleridge

Hartley Coleridge
2
Famous As: Poet
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.

 38 Horace Smith

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

 39 Samuel Rogers

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

 40 Charlotte Lennox

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

 41 Susanna Rowson

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

 42 James Montgomery

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

 43 John Byrom

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

 44 Thomas Warton

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

 45 Helen Maria Williams

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

 46 Amelia Opie

Amelia Opie
2
Famous As: Novelist and poet
Birthdate: November 12, 1769
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Norwich, England
Died: December 2, 1853

 47 William-Henry Ireland

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

 48 Samuel Bamford

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

 49 Richard Savage

Richard Savage
2
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: 1697 AD
Birthplace: England
Died: August 1, 1743

 50 Marguerite Gardiner, Countess of Blessington

Marguerite Gardiner, Countess of Blessington
2
Famous As: Poet, Writer
Birthdate: September 1, 1789
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Clonmel
Died: June 4, 1849