William Barnes Biography

Biography by Published on Updated on 22 Jun, 2015
Facts of William Barnes
Date of Birth: 1801 , February-22
Age: 220 years old
Birth Nation: United Kingdom
Height: 5 Feet 8 Inch
Name William Barnes
Nationality English
Birth Place/City Bagber
Ethnicity White
Profession Minister, poet and philologist
Net Worth N/A
Weight in KG N/A
Married to N/A
Education St.Johns College of Cambridge University
Siblings N/A
View more / View Less Facts of William Barnes

William Barns was born on 22 February 1801 in Rushay in the parish of Bagber, Dorset, England to a farmer. William spent his early life working hard and helping his family.

Barns joined the St.Johns College of Cambridge University and later in his life earned a Dorset Poet degree of Bachelors of Divinity in 1851. He then travelled to Dorchester  and began working as a solicitor's clerk . He then started writing many poems. His first collection of poems was published in 1844 in Macmillan's Magazine titled Poems of Rural Life in the Dorset Dialect. William’s second collection titled Hwomely Rhymes was published  1858, and a third collection followed in 1863. Later, a combined edition appeared in 1879. A "translation", Poems of Rural Life in Common English was already published in 1868.

William’s poems are distinguished by a remarkable sugariness and gentleness of sentiment, profound approach into modest country life and the character, and also a delicate emotion for local surroundings. Barns has written over 800 poems, some in Dorset dialect, and a great deal other work, including a inclusive English grammar quoting from over 70 different jargons.

Barns not only wrote poems but also did some philological works that include Philological Grammar published in 1854, Se Gefylsta, an Anglo-Saxon Delectus written in 1849,  Tiw, or a View of Roots written in 1862, and not to forget, A Glossary of Dorset Dialect  written in 1863.Later in his life Barns served in Church of England in 1847. Barns also served curacies at Whitcombe Church based in Whitcombe, Dorset from 1847 to 1852, and again in 1862. From 1860 to 1862 Barns held a curacy at Rotherham in Yorkshire. Then, he became a rector of St Peter's Church, Winterborne Came with Winterbourne Farringdon, Dorset, from 1862 till the very end of his life. 

Barns had gone to travel to Dorchester in the year 1817 where he met a beautiful woman named Julia Miles. Miles and Barns were in a relationship ever since and later in 1827, after Barns had enough money to sustain himself and Miles, the couple married. Later in 1835, he and his wife returned to Dorchester, where Barnes opened a small school in Mere, Wiltshire . Barns and Miles gave birth to seven children, out of which one died. Later in 1850, Miles got very ill and after two years of illness she passed away. Barns was really sad and thus began writing romantic poems.

He is noted for having made a significant contribution to English literature.Barns was fluent in many languages including Greek, Latin and several modern European languages. He was also a friend of Thomas Hardy, Lord Tennyson and Gerard Manley Hopkins. Barns died on 7th October 1886 aged 86 years and is buried in Winterborne Came churchyard beneath a Celtic cross. There is also a statue of Barns in Dorchester town centre, just outside St Peter's Church. 


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