A Blupete Biography Page


Dates & Events During The Life Of
William Wordsworth

1770
  • On April 7th, William Wordsworth is born.

    1771
  • December 25th, Dorothy Wordsworth is born.

    1772
  • October 21st, Coleridge is born.

    1774
  • Southey born.

    1787
  • Wordsworth goes up to Cambridge (St John's).

    1790
  • Wordsworth makes a tour of the continent with Robert Jones.

    1791
  • Coleridge attends Cambridge (Jesus College).

    1792
  • September massacres in Paris.
  • Southey at Balliol, Oxford.
  • December, 15th, Wordsworth's daughter, Caroline, by Annette Vallon, is born.
  • Wordsworth leaves France late in the year for England.

    1793
  • January, Louis XVI is beheaded.
  • February 1st, France declares war on England.
  • Godwin's Political Justice appears.
  • Coleridge takes his leave of Cambridge distressed as he was from his debts and his looming academic failure.

    1795
  • Coleridge and Wordsworth meet in London?
  • In January, a friend of Wordsworth's (Raisley Calvert) dies and leaves a legacy to Wordsworth.
  • September, The Wordsworths take up residence at Racedown Lodge, Dorset.

    1796
  • November, A childhood friend of Dorthy Wordsworth, Mary Hutchinson, came to visit the Wordsworths at Racedown. She stayed for four months, leaving in March of 1797.
  • December 30th, Coleridge with his family settles at Nether Stowey, a Somerset village, under the patronage of the local tanner and literary enthusiast, Tom Poole.

    1797
  • February, Battle of Cape St. Vincent.
  • March, Wordsworth travels with his friend Basil Montagu, on their way to Bristol from Racedown and visit Coleridge at Stowey.
  • Coleridge forms friendship with Wordsworth.
  • June 28th, Coleridge returns to Nether Stowey from a visit with the Wordsworths at Racedown, within days he sets out to go back to Racedown.
  • July 2nd, The Wordsworths, at the urging of Coleridge leave Racedown and come to Nether Stowey to live.
  • July, 1797, Wordsworth rents a mansion (Alfoxden), close by to Coleridge, at Nether Stowey.
  • At the close of November Dorothy and William travelled to London "on the top of the coach." William was called there by a publisher in connection with his poem, "The Borderers." They stay three weeks.

    1798
  • January, France is victorious, without an enemy on the continent, England withdrew her ships from the Mediterranean.
  • June, William Hazlitt, a 20 year old walks from his home at Wem, Shropshire to Nether Stowey, Somersetshire, some 150 miles to meet his hero Coleridge (age 26) once again, and, for the first time, Wordsworth (age 28); he spends three weeks there.
  • June 26th, The Wordsworths, the lease being up and the landlord not willing to renew, vacate Alfoxden.
  • Coleridge with Wordsworth bring out Lyrical Ballads.
  • May, Nelson re-entered the Mediterranean.
  • August, Nelson destroyed Napoleon's fleet at the Battle of the Nile.
  • September 16th; Coleridge, John Chester and the Wordsworths set sail for Germany from Yarmouth arriving at Hamburg on the 19th. Within 10 days of their arrival the Wordsworths decided to separate from their companions.

    1799
  • February 10th, While Coleridge was in Germany, his son, Berkeley died.
  • April, The Wordsworths return to England.
  • Leaving Germany during July of 1799, Coleridge returned to England.
  • October 26th, Coleridge arrives at the Hutchinson farm at Stockton-on-Tees, there, for the first time, to meet the Hutchinson sisters: Mary who was to become Wordsworth's wife, and Sara, the younger of the two, who was to become the object of Coleridge's attention for a considerable period of time.
  • December 20th, The Wordsworths take up residence at "Dove Cottage," Grasmere.

    1800
  • Napoleon, having managed to slip back from Egypt the previous autumn of 1799 is anointed the First Consul of France.
  • April, Nelson's captures the Danish fleet at Copenhagen which has the effect of breaking up the league (Prussia, Sweden, Denmark and Russia) that had been formed against England.
  • April 6th, Coleridge arrives at Dove Cottage. He had gone to assist Wordsworth in the putting together of the 2nd ed. of Lyrical Ballads. At this time, too, at the Wordsworth's there was to be found his brother, John who there for a visit (from January to September); Mary Hutchinson was also there for a period of time. By May 4th Coleridge left, in order to see the publishers at Bristol.
  • June 29th, The Coleridges arrive at Grasmere.
  • July 23rd, The Coleridges take up residence at Greta Hall, Keswick.

    1801
  • At this time Coleridge was leading the life of a bachelor in London.

    1802
  • In 1802, the Treaty of Amiens is signed.
  • Summer, The Wordsworths make a short visit to Annette and Caroline in France.
  • August 9th; The Lambs start a three week visit with the Wordsworths.
  • October 4th, William Wordsworth marries Mary Hutchinson, at Brompton. By October the 6th the three Wordsworths were settled in at Dove cottage: William, Mary and Dorothy.

    1803
  • June 18th, Wordsworth's first child, a son, John is born.
  • William Hazlitt sails with Wordsworth in Wordsworth's boat on Lake Grasmere.
  • August 14th, Coleridge sets off with Dorothy and William Wordsworth for a tour through Scotland. A disagreement, the first crack in a great breach which was to come about, occurs; Coleridge separates and returns home, alone.
  • September 7th, Southey comes to the Lake District to enter into residence at Greta Hall.

    1804
  • January 24th, Coleridge, having left Grasmere on the 14th, arrives in London.
  • February 6th, Wordsworth's younger brother, John, dies at sea.
  • March 27th, Coleridge sets off from London and arrives at Malta on May 18th.
  • August 16th, Wordsworth's second child, Dora is born.
  • December 12th, War between Britain and Bonaparte-dominated Spain breaks out.

    1805
  • The "Third Coalition" against France is formed: Russia and Austria throw in with Britain.
  • In the fall of the year Scott comes to Grasmere to visit the Wordsworths; they had met him on their visit to Scotland in 1803.
  • October 21st, Nelson's victory at Trafalgar.
  • At Austerlitz Napoleon lays low the combined armies of Russia and Austria and the "Third Coalition" is no more.

    1806
  • On January 23rd, in Britain, Pitt dies; Fox takes over.
  • May 18th, Coleridge, still out of the country, is, at this point travelling with a friend is at Rome.
  • June 16th, Another son for the Wordsworths, Thomas.
  • During August, having fled from Italy in June before Napoleon's triumphant advance, Coleridge returns to England.
  • October, end of, At Greta Hall, Sara Coleridge and the children were all joyfully excited at the prospect of seeing Coleridge after his long absence. They were expecting that there would a change and life as a real family would be finally established. Coleridge arrived and the joy and laughter was soon to give way to argument, temper and tears: Coleridge wanted a permanent separation.

    1807
  • May, Wordsworth has his poems published in two volumes.
  • De Quincey pays his first visit to the Lake District.
  • Crabb Robinson first meets Wordsworth.

    1808
  • February, Hearing that Coleridge was in a bad way, Wordsworth went off to London to see if he could help.
  • In support of a Spanish rising, in July, Arthur Wellesley (later to become known as the Duke of Wellington) leads the first small British force of 9000 men into the Peninsula of Spain; a gate into the hostile fortress of Napoleonic Europe.
  • June 16th, Another child for the Wordsworths, Catherine.
  • June, The Wordsworths moved into their new home, Allan Bank, Grasmere. Coleridge and Sara Hutchinson now living with the Wordsworths.

    1809
  • Coleridge brings out a weekly paper, The Friend, the first number of which came out on June 1st, 1809; and the last, after 27, on March 15th, 1810.

    1810
  • George III ill; his son, the Duke of Wales (1762-1830) takes over as the Prince Regent; in 1820, on his father's death, he becomes George IV.
  • February, Sara Hutchinson leaves Allan Bank.
  • May 12th, Another child for the Wordsworths, William.
  • June, Coleridge, fond of his comforts and missing Sara Hutchinson takes his leave of Allan Bank and moves back in with his wife at Greta Hall: this cohabitation lasts about five months.
  • Leaving Greta Hall on October 18th, Coleridge goes to London, arriving on the 28th. There he strikes up a friendship with Crabb Robinson. This seems to coincide with a breach in the friendship that he had with Wordsworth. The quarrel between the two poets became a cause célèbre.

    1811
  • January, Hunt brothers acquitted of seditious libel.

    1812
  • May, Wordsworth is in London to see, with the help of Crabb Robinson, if he can patch things up with Coleridge.
  • May, Prime Minister Perceval, assassinated.
  • On 18 June, 1812, President Madison and the American Congress declares war on Britain.
  • General election in Britain.
  • Liverpool becomes the English Prime Minister.
  • Coleridge pays, what, at this point, is a rare visit to Keswick. Though the Wordsworths expected that Coleridge would pay them a visit at Grasmere; he did not.
  • Two of the Wordsworth children, in 1812, die: four year old Catherine on June 4th, six year old Thomas on December 1st. They are left, then, at this point, three children: nine year old John, eight year old Dora, and two year old William.

    1813
  • It was during the winter that the news came of Napoleon's retreat from Moscow and his struggle to retain hold of central Europe.
  • In England 13 "Luddites" are hung at the York Assizes.
  • March, Wordsworth, through the influence of the powerful Lowther family gets to be the collector of Stamps for Westmorland and with an addition to their income of £400 per year.
  • March, The Wordsworths move to Rydal Mount, a "gentleman's house."
  • Southey becomes Poet Laureate and is so until 1843.

    1814
  • April, Paris is captured and Bonaparte abdicates.
  • Hazlitt writes an article on Wordsworth's new poem, "Excursion."
  • August, Wordsworth's poem, "The Excursion" is published.
  • Summer, Wordsworth, in company with Mary and her sister Sarah Hutchinson, makes a second visit to Scotland.

    1815
  • March, Wordsworth's "first collected Edition of his works" appears.
  • May, Wordsworth is in London; he visits Hunt and Lamb.
  • June 18th, The Battle of Waterloo.

    1816
  • April 27th & 28th, Godwin, returning from Scotland, stayed with Wordsworth at Rydal Mount.
  • April 15th, Coleridge takes up residence in Highgate, London at the home of Dr. James Gillman; Gillman helps Coleridge with his long-standing opium addiction. It was intended that Coleridge was to stay with the Gillmans for a month; he stayed with them until his death in 1834.
  • The war against the Radical Press in England heats up; Habeas Corpus Act is suspended for a whole year as a result of the Spa Fields Riot on December 16th, 1816.
  • Richard, the eldest of the Wordsworth brothers, dies.
  • Crabb Robinson visits Southey in the Lake District.

    1817
  • Coleridge publishes Biographia Literaria.
  • December, Keats meets Wordsworth for the first time at Haydon's; likely this was on Sunday, the 28th, at one of the most famous dinner party of all times; it was held at Haydon's painting room, at his house in St. John's Wood, then "a bohemian suburb of London."

    1818
  • Unrest in England, with the Northern and Midland radicals causing sporadic violence and attacks on mills.
  • Keats pays a visit to the Lake District.
  • General election; Wordsworth supports the Lowther family.
  • Wordsworth is appointed a Justice of the Peace.

    1819
  • "Peterloo," On August 16th, 1819, "an orderly and unarmed crowed of about 60,000 men, women and children" assemble in support of universal suffrage, in St. Peter's Fields, Manchester. They were there to hear the speaker, Radical Hunt. The magistrates, in a move to arrest the speaker, order the cavalry in: "eleven persons, including two women, were killed or died of their injuries; over a hundred were wounded by sabres and several hundred more injured by horse-hoofs or crushed in the stampede."
  • Keats writes Hyperion; Shelley, Promethus Unbound.
  • Wordsworth's poems, "Peter Bell" and "The Waggoner" are published.
  • A Factory Bill prohibiting children under the age of nine to work in cotton mills is passed in 1819; this is the first of a series of parliamentary bills which were to be passed over the next forty years in a process of law reform which was first prompted by the writings of the legal philosopher, Jeremy Bentham.

    1820
  • January 29, George III dies, George IV (1762-1830) takes the throne, due to his father's derangement he had been the Prince Regent since 1810.
  • General election in Britain.
  • Thistlewood's planned insurrection in February of 1820; hung May 1st.
  • In June Caroline returns to England and the Caroline Crisis ensues; it "swallowed up every other topic from June to November."
  • July-November, Wordsworth away on a continental tour. He travelled with Dorothy, Mary, Mr. and Mrs Monkhouse, and Crabb Robinson. When in Paris, Wordsworth paid a visit to Annette and Caroline (by then married).

    1821
  • The trial of the Queen, - the coronation - the death of queen Caroline - the second expedition of Parry to the Polar discoveries, and the insurrections in Greece, cover the columns of our periodicals in 1821.
  • February, Keats Dies.
  • The coronation of George IV takes place on July 19th.
  • Caroline dies on August 7th, 1821.
  • De Quincey published in the London Magazine his essay, Confessions of an English Opium Eater. in this essay, de Quincey casts Coleridge, also, as an Opium Eater; this was no revelation to Coleridge's family and close friends, but to put it out in the public press "exceedingly annoyed and distressed" them.

    1822
  • July 8th, 1822, Shelley dies in Italy as a result of a sailing accident.
  • Castlereagh, in August of 1822, the pressures of government being apparently too much for him, commits suicide by slitting his throat. Castlereagh had done more than any other diplomat to bring about Napoleon's fall and to establish peace in Europe, but unfortunately he "had identified himself in his last years with the anti-Jacobin domestic policy in its final stage of decay." His death "was hailed by most of his poor fellow-countrymen with revengeful glee, which found voice in the horrible cheers that greeted his coffin as it passed into Westminster Abbey."

    1823
  • Wordsworth tours Holland and Belgium.

    1824
  • At age 36, Byron dies at Missolonghi, Greece.
  • John Thurtell (1794-1824) at the conclusion of a famous English trial is hung at Hertford.
  • New industries were envisioned: railway, gas, steamship, iron, and coal; companies were being organized for them all, most legitimate, not all. London was now experiencing a bull market which ran from summer 1824 to autumn 1825. Speculators elbowed in with dreams for sale; a credit crunch and, in turn, an economic disaster followed.

    1825
  • Economic crash in England.

    1827
  • John Walker (1781-1859), a chemist, inventor, born Stockton-on-Tees, in 1827, invented the friction match; they were called "Congreves" (alluding to the Congreve's rocket), later named Luicifers, and, eventually, matches.
  • April, 1827, Liverpool has a stroke and Canning becomes Prime Minister, who in turn died in August of 1827; after which Wellington took over.
  • The first allied peace keeping mission, with Admiral Sir Edward Codrington in charge, sailed into Navrino Bay, Turkey, and, on the 20th of October 1827 the Battle of Navrino ensued, which, while lasting only four hours, took the lives of 8,000 Turks and Egyptians; the allies lost only 178 men; this was to be the last of the great sea battles between the square sailed fighting ships.

    1828
  • Wordsworth tours the Rhine with Dora (then 24 years of age) and Coleridge.
  • In London a exhibition specifically devoted to machinery is held.

    1829
  • Sir Robert Peel's police make their appearance in London; before this time public tranquillity was maintained by the military forces. With "Peelers" there now existed "an efficient civilian force, of non-partisan character, and armed only with staves.
  • Dorothy Wordsworth first takes ill.

    1830
  • June 22, George IV dies and William IV, the popular sailor king takes the throne.
  • General election in Britain. The Duke's government is swept way and Earl Charles Grey (1764-1845) comes in; it was his task to frighten, persuade and cajole the King, the Lords and the borough-owners into giving up their power; he had only to point to the European continent.
  • September, Wordsworth makes his fourth tour of Scotland and there pays a visit to Scott at Abbotsford.

    1831
  • Dorothy Wordsworth's health gives way.

    1832
  • Coleridge's health is in a serious state; he is at Dr. Gillman's home at Highgate; he has regular visitors including Lamb and Robinson. Robinson observes that Coleridge was "horribly bent and looked seventy years of age."
  • The Reform Bill.
  • Bentham dies.
  • Scott dies.
  • Darwin sails on the Beagle.

    1833
  • Wordsworth tours the Isle of Man and Scotland.

    1834
  • Coleridge dies. Lamb dies.

    1837
  • Wordsworth makes his last continental tour. He goes with his friend Crabb Robinson and another. When in Italy they visit the graves of Keats and Shelley.

    1841
  • Dora Wordsworth is married.

    1843
  • Southey dies and is buried at Keswick.
  • Wordsworth is appointed the poet laureate.

    1847
  • Wordsworth's daughter, Dora dies.

    1850
  • Wordsworth dies. He is "buried in the green Churchyard of Grasmere, between a yew-tree of his own planting and an aged thorn-tree."

    1855
  • Dorothy Wordsworth dies.

    1859
  • Mary Wordsworth dies.

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