Famous British Poets

Poets from English speaking nations such as Great Britain and the United States have penned some of the finest pieces of literature. Britain in particular, has produced many such great minds who have expressed many of their thoughts through hymns and poems. These poets have incorporated different aspects of daily life such as nature, romance, and the various problems plaguing the society in their work. Some of the famous poets from Britain are Robert Adamson, Mark Akenside, William Cowper and Richard Arlington. William Cowper alone has penned around 89 poems, such as ‘Abuse of the Gospel’, ‘Exhortation to Prayer’, ‘For the Poor’, and ‘God Moves in a Mysterious Way’. The poems penned by Richard Arlington, such as ‘At The British Museum’, ‘Bombardment’, ‘Childhood’ and ‘Daisy’ created a great impression amongst readers which were inspired by the poet’s daily life. Rudyard Kipling, who is well known for his well-acclaimed story ‘Jungle Book’, has also written a dozen poems such as the ‘Disciples’, ‘The Ballad of East and West’, as well as ‘Gunga Din’. Here’s we bring you the collection of biographies of a few famous poets from Britain. Try to gather everything about their life stories, timelines and few interesting facts & trivia related to them.

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 Lord Byron

Lord Byron
4
Famous As: Poet, Politician
Birthdate: January 22, 1788
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: British
Died: April 19, 1824

Widely considered one of the greatest British poets of all time, Lord Byron remains influential as his works are widely read even today. He was also one of the most important personalities of the Romantic Movement. He is also known for his role in the Greek War of Independence, for which the Greeks consider him a national hero.

 2 J. R. R. Tolkien

J. R. R. Tolkien
7
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: January 3, 1892
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British, South African
Died: September 2, 1973

Considered one of the greatest authors, JRR Tolkien is popularly called the father of the modern fantasy literature. He is best known for his high fantasy classic works The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, which is set in a conceived world called the Middle-Earth. Many years after his death, Tolkien continues to be one of the best-selling writers.

 3 William Wordsworth

William Wordsworth
4
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: April 7, 1770
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British
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.

 4 Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Alfred, Lord Tennyson
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Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: August 6, 1809
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British
Died: October 6, 1892

 5 Ted Hughes

Ted Hughes
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Famous As: Poet and Children's Writer
Birthdate: August 17, 1930
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British
Died: October 28, 1998
Poet and children’s author Ted Hughes is best remembered for his iconic poems The Hawk in the Rain, Birthday Letters, and Crow. He was married to poet Sylvia Plath, who eventually committed suicide at 30. Most people blamed him for mistreating Plath and indirectly causing her death.   

 6 John Donne

John Donne
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Famous As: Poet, lawyer, satirist
Birthdate: January 22, 1572
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: British
Died: March 31, 1631
English metaphysical poet John Donne is best known for his touch of sensuality and spirituality in his poems. One of his best-known poems is The Canonization. He had also worked on Latin translations, elegies, sermons, and epigrams. He was known for his reckless lifestyle, that affected his financial status. 

 7 P B Shelley

P B Shelley
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Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: August 4, 1792
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British
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. 
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 8 John Milton

John Milton
2
Famous As: Poet, Polemicist, and Civil Servant for the Commonwealth of England.
Birthdate: December 9, 1608
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: British
Died: November 8, 1674

John Milton was an English poet whose epic poem Paradise Lost is widely regarded as one of the greatest works of literature. Milton's other celebrated work Areopagitica is counted among history's most impassioned and influential defenses of freedom of the press and freedom of speech. John Milton’s works have influenced other prominent writers, such as Thomas Hardy and George Eliot.

 9 Wilfred Owen

Wilfred Owen
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Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: March 18, 1893
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: British
Died: November 4, 1918

 10 Alexander Pope

Alexander Pope
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Birthdate: May 21, 1688
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British
Died: May 30, 1744
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 11 Robert Browning

Robert Browning
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Famous As: Poet & Playwright
Birthdate: May 7, 1812
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British
Died: December 12, 1889

 12 John Keats

John Keats
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Famous As: Romantic poet
Birthdate: October 31, 1795
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: British
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.

 13 A. A. Milne

A. A. Milne
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Famous As: Novelist, Playwright, Poet
Birthdate: January 18, 1882
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British
Died: January 31, 1956

A. A. Milne was an English author best known for his books about the teddy bear Winnie-the-Pooh. He joined the British Army as a young man and served in both World War I and World War II. In his career as a writer, he wrote several novels, non-fiction pieces, articles, poems, screenplays, and children’s stories.

 14 Charlotte Bronte

Charlotte Bronte
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: April 21, 1816
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British
Died: March 31, 1855
Charlotte Bronte, remembered for her iconic novel Jane Eyre, was one of the most significant literary figures of the 19th century. She was the eldest of the Bronte sisters who survived into adulthood. She and her sisters Emily and Anne wrote under the pseudonyms Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell.

 15 Thomas Hardy

Thomas Hardy
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Famous As: Novelist & Poet
Birthdate: June 2, 1840
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British
Died: January 11, 1928
Victorian novelist and poet Thomas Hardy exhibited strong influences of Romanticism in his works. He wrote classic novels such as Far from the Madding Crowd, The Mayor of Casterbridge, and Tess of the d'Urbervilles. He mostly showed his characters struggling against social conditions and ending up in tragic situations.

 16 Christopher Marlowe

Christopher Marlowe
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Famous As: Playwright, Poet
Birthdate: February 26, 1564
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: British
Died: May 30, 1593

English playwright, poet, and translator, Christopher Marlowe, was one of the major literary figures of the Elizabethan era. It is believed that he greatly influenced his contemporary William Shakespeare. He led a troubled life and died young under mysterious circumstances. Despite his early death, he is regarded as one of the foremost dramatists of the 16th century London.  

 17 Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Elizabeth Barrett Browning
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Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: March 6, 1806
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: British
Died: June 29, 1861

 18 Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: September 18, 1709
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: British
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.

 19 George Eliot

George Eliot
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Famous As: Author and Novelist
Birthdate: November 22, 1819
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: British
Died: December 22, 1880

Mary Ann Evans, known by her pseudonym George Eliot, was an English poet, novelist, translator, and journalist. One of the most prominent writers of the Victorian era, Eliot's works are known for their psychological insight, realism, and detailed description of the countryside. Her novel Middlemarch was voted one of the greatest literary works in a 2007 poll conducted by Time.

 20 Donovan

Donovan
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter, Guitarist, Composer, Autobiographer, Writer, Poet, Record producer, Film score composer
Birthdate: May 10, 1946
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British

 21 Emily Brontë

Emily Brontë
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: July 30, 1818
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British
Died: December 19, 1848
Victorian novelist/poet Emily Brontë, also known as Ellis Bell, is best remembered for her iconic novel Wuthering Heights. Her book of poems, written with her sisters Charlotte and Anne, was titled Poems by Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell, highlighting their pseudonyms. She suffered from prolonged illness and died of tuberculosis.

 22 D. H. Lawrence

D. H. Lawrence
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: September 11, 1885
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: British
Died: March 2, 1930

English writer, D. H. Lawrence, was known for exploring sensitive issues, such as sexuality, emotional health,  and instinct. In his works, he often reflected upon the dehumanizing effects of modernity and industrialization. The sexual nature of his writings earned him many enemies. Even though he died at the relatively young age of 44, he left behind a rich literary legacy.

 23 Alfred Lord Tennyson

Alfred Lord Tennyson
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Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: August 5, 1809
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British
Died: October 6, 1892

Alfred, Lord Tennyson was a British poet. One of the most famous British poets of all time, Tennyson served as the Poet Laureate during Queen Victoria's reign. His poetry, which is renowned for its powerful visual imagery, served as an important influence on the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, a group of English poets and painters.

 24 Johnny Marr

Johnny Marr
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Famous As: Guitarist, Poet, Singer, Songwriter, Record producer
Birthdate: October 31, 1963
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: British

 25 William Morris

William Morris
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Famous As: Textile Designer, Poet
Birthdate: March 24, 1834
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British
Died: October 3, 1896

William Morris was a British poet, novelist, textile designer, translator, and socialist activist. He played a major role in reviving the traditional British textile arts and the various methods of production. As a novelist and poet, Morris helped establish the fantasy genre, which is prevalent today. He is counted among the most important cultural figures of the Victorian era.

 26 Samuel Coleridge

Samuel Coleridge
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Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: October 21, 1772
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: British
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.

 27 W. H. Auden

W. H. Auden
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Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: February 21, 1907
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: British
Died: September 29, 1973

W. H. Auden was an Anglo-American poet. His poetry was noted for its technical achievement and versatility. He wrote poems on love, political and social themes, and cultural and psychological themes. Throughout his career, Auden was both influential and controversial. His personal life also attracted attention as he had sexual relationships with men, which was unusual at the time.

 28 Philip Larkin

Philip Larkin
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Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: August 9, 1922
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British
Died: December 2, 1985

 29 Robert Graves

Robert Graves
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Famous As: Poet & Novelist
Birthdate: July 24, 1895
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British
Died: December 7, 1985

 30 Christina Rossetti

Christina Rossetti
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Famous As: Poet, Writer, Hymnwriter
Birthdate: December 5, 1830
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: British
Died: December 29, 1894

 31 John Dryden

John Dryden
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Famous As: poet
Birthdate: August 9, 1631
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British
Died: May 12, 1700

 32 Harold Pinter

Harold Pinter
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Famous As: Nobel Prize Winner in Literature
Birthdate: October 10, 1930
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: British
Died: December 24, 2008

 33 Craig Charles

Craig Charles
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: July 11, 1964
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: British

 34 Carol Ann Duffy

Carol Ann Duffy
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Birthdate: December 23, 1955
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British

 35 Alfred Douglas

Alfred Douglas
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Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: October 22, 1870
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: British
Died: March 20, 1945

 36 Ben Jonson

Ben Jonson
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Famous As: Dramatist, Poet & Actor
Birthdate: June 11, 1572
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British
Died: August 6, 1637

 37 William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: April 26, 1564
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British
Died: April 23, 1616

English playwright, poet, and actor William Shakespeare is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language. He is also often called England's national poet. Many of his works have been translated into other languages and his plays continue to be produced till day. Popular during his lifetime, he acquired an iconic status after his death.

 38 Michael Rosen

Michael Rosen
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Famous As: Writer, Children's writer, YouTuber, Novelist, Author, Poet
Birthdate: May 7, 1946
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British

 39 Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon
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Birthdate: September 8, 1886
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: British
Died: September 1, 1967

 40 Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Dante Gabriel Rossetti
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Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: May 12, 1828
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British
Died: April 9, 1882

 41 Akala

Akala
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Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: December 1, 1983
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: British

 42 Vita Sackville-West

Vita Sackville-West
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: March 9, 1892
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: British
Died: June 2, 1962

 43 Frederick Forsyth

Frederick Forsyth
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: August 25, 1938
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: British

 44 Matthew Arnold

Matthew Arnold
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Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: December 24, 1822
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British
Died: April 15, 1888

 45 Frieda Hughes

Frieda Hughes
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Famous As: Painter, Poet, Writer, Children's writer
Birthdate: April 1, 1960
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British

 46 Edmund Spenser

Edmund Spenser
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Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: 1552 AD
Nationality: British
Died: January 13, 1599

 47 Benjamin Zephaniah

Benjamin Zephaniah
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Famous As: Actor, Poet, Writer, Singer
Birthdate: April 15, 1958
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British

 48 Nik Kershaw

Nik Kershaw
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter, Composer, Singer, Poet
Birthdate: March 1, 1958
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: British

 49 Gerard Manley Hopkins

Gerard Manley Hopkins
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Famous As: Poet, Writer
Birthdate: July 28, 1844
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British
Died: June 8, 1889

 50 Dorothy L. Sayers

Dorothy L. Sayers
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: June 13, 1893
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British
Died: December 17, 1957