Index of People


Index of People

Addington, Henry, 1st Viscount Sidmouth (1757–1844)
Addington, Sir William (1728–1811)
Aikin, Arthur (1773–1854)
Aikin, John
Aikin, John (1747–1822)
Alexander, Tsar Alexander (1777–1825)
Allen, William [d. 1807]
Anderson, John (1775–?)
Anstead/Ansted, Miss, of London Wall
Austin, William [uncle]
Austin, William [cousin]
Bachelor, Thomas (1775–1838)
Baldwin, Robert
Banks, Sir Joseph, 1st Baronet (1743–1820)
Barbauld, Anna Laetitia (1743–1825)
Barry, James (1741–1806)
Bell, Andrew, Dr (1753–1832)
Bent, William (d. 1823)
Bewick, Thomas (1753–1828)
Bird, Isaac, of Bury
Blacket, Joseph (1786–1810)
Blacklock, Thomas, Dr (1721–1791)
Blomfield, Edward Valentine (1788–1816)
Bloomfield, Catharine [Kitty] (1764–1828)
Bloomfield, Charles (1762–1831)
Bloomfield, Charles (1798–1863)
Bloomfield, Charlotte [Aunt]
Bloomfield, Charlotte [Shot], b. 1801
Bloomfield, Elizabeth (d. 1804)
Bloomfield, Elizabeth (1760–1833)
Bloomfield, Elizabeth [Bet], (b. 1789)
Bloomfield, Elizabeth [Bet], (b. 1792)
Bloomfield, George (1758–1831)
Bloomfield, Hannah (b. 1791)
Bloomfield, Isaac (d. 1811)
Bloomfield, Isaac (b. 1794)
Bloomfield, James (b. 1798)
Bloomfield, Mary Ann, née Church
Bloomfield, Mary (1793–1814)
Bloomfield, Nathaniel [Nat] (1759–1831)
Bloomfield, Robert (b. 1804)
Bloomfield, Robert Henry (1807–1866)
Bowden, Mary Anne
Boys, John, of Maidstone
Branston, Robert (1778–1827)
Brayley, Edward Wedlake (1773–1854)
Bristow, Edmund (1787–1876)
Britton, John (1771–1857)
Brydges, Sir Samuel Egerton (1762–1837)
Buchan, David Steuart Erskine, 11th Earl of Buchan (1742–1829)
Bunbury, Sir Charles, 6th Baronet
Burdett, Sir Francis, 5th Baronet (1770–1844)
Burges, Sir James Bland, 1st Baronet (1752–1824)
Burke, Edmund (1729–1797)
Burns, Robert (1759–1796)
Campbell, Thomas (1777–1844)
Church, Joseph
Clare, John (1793–1864)
Clubbe, Dr William (bap. 1745–1814)
Constable, John (1776–1837)
Cooper, Charlotte
Cooper, Robert Bransby
Craig, William Marshall (fl. 1788–1828)
Crosby, Benjamin (d. 1815)
Crotch, William, Dr (1775–1847)
Daer, Lord, Douglas-Hamilton, Basil William (1764–1794)
Darton, William Junior (1781–1854)
Darwin, Erasmus (1731–1802)
Davy, John (1763–1824)
De Geer, Gerard, Baron (1787–1846)
Dibdin, Charles (1745–1814)
Dilly, Charles (1739–1807)
Disney, John, Revd (1746–1816)
Drake, Nathan, Dr (1766–1836)
Drummond, Samuel (1765?–1844)
Drury, Edward (1797–1843)
Dyer, George (1755–1841)
Edridge, Henry (1769–1821)
Erskine, Thomas, 1st Baron (1750–1823)
Evans, John (1767–1827)
Faux, James Burrell
Fawcett, Joseph (c. 1758–1804)
Fellowes, Robert, Revd
Fletcher, Andrew, of Saltoun (1653–1716)
Fox, Charles James (1749–1806)
Frend, William (1757–1841)
Gardiner, William Nelson (1766–1814)
Gedge, Peter (1758–1818)
Gilchrist, Octavius (1779–1823)
Glover, Elizabeth [formerly Bloomfield] (d. 1804)
Glover, Isaac
Glover, John
Grafton, Augustus Henry Fitzroy, 3rd Duke of (1735–1811)
Grafton, George Henry Fitzroy, 4th Duke of (1760–1844)
Grant, Anne (1755–1838)
Grant, Thomas, Dr (d. 1803)
Grant, William (d. 1840)
Grieg, John
Haydon, Benjamin (1786-1846)
Hayward, Mr
Hill, Thomas (1760–1840)
Hingston, Elizabeth [Bet]
Holland, Joseph
Holloway, William (1761–1854)
Hood, Thomas (d. 1811)
Horne Tooke, John (1736–1812)
Horton, Mr
Incledon, Charles (1763–1826)
Inskip, Thomas (circa 1780–1849)
Jackson, John
Jenner, Edward, Dr (1749–1823)
Lackington, James (1746–1815)
Lane, William (1745/6–1814)
Langshaw, John (1763–1832)
Lockwood, Edward and wife
Lofft, Capel (1751–1824)
Lofft, Sarah Watson, née Finch
Lloyd Baker, Mary, née Sharp (1778–1812)
Lloyd Baker, Thomas John
Longman, Thomas Norton (1771–1842)
Mackintosh, James (1765–1832)
Mainwaring, William, Justice
Martin, John, Dr (1789–1869)
May, John (1775-1856)
Montgomery, James (1771–1854)
Moore, Thomas (1779–1852)
Mothersole, Mr
Mothersole, Mrs
Murray, John (1778–1843)
North, Frederick, 2nd Earl of Guilford (1732–92)
Opie, Amelia (1769–1853)
Osborne, Sir George, 4th Baronet
Owen, Robert (1771–1858)
Paine, Thomas (1737-1809)
Park, Thomas (1758/9–1834)
Perkins, Benjamin
Pitt, William (1759–1806)
Plumptre, James, Revd (1770–1832)
Polack, Solomon (c.1757–c.1839)
Polwhele, Richard, Revd (1760–1838)
Portland, William Henry Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of (1738–1809)
Pratt, Samuel Jackson [pseudonym Courtney Melmoth] (1749–1814)
Preston, Edward Bailey [Ned]
Priestley, Joseph (1733–1804)
Prowse, Elizabeth, née Sharp, (1733–1810), of Wicken Park, Northamptonshire
Rees, Owen (1770–1837)
Rickman, Mr
Rickman, Thomas Clio (1761–1834)
Ridley, William (1764–1838)
Rogers, Samuel (1763–1855)
Romilly, Sir Samuel (1757–1818)
Savage, Richard (1697/8–1743)
Service, David (1776–1828)
Seward, Anna (1747–1809)
Shakespear, John
Sharp, Catherine (1770–1843)
Sharp, Granville (1735–1813)
Sharp, James, of Clare Hall, South Mimms
Sharp, Mrs
Sharp, William [Surgeon] (1729–1810)
Sharpe, C.
Sheridan, Richard Brinsley (1751–1816)
Shield, William (1748–1829)
Smy, Mr
Southey, Robert (1774–1843)
Stothard, Thomas (1755–1834)
Swan, James (d. 1818)
Thomson, James (1700–1748)
Thurlow, Edward, 1st Baron (1731–1806)
Tillbrook, Samuel Revd
Vaughan, William (1752–1850)
Vernor, Thomas
Violet, Pierre (1749–1819)
Walker, Adam (1731–1821)
Wass, Mr
Watts, Alaric Alexander (1797–1864)
Wayman, John
Wedgwood and Bentley
Westall, Richard (1765–1836)
Weston, Joseph
Whitbread, Samuel (1758–1815)
White, Henry Kirke (1785–1806)
Wilberforce, William (1759–1833)
Williamson, Edmund, Revd (1762-1839)
Wilson, William
Windham, William (1750–1810)
Wordsworth, William (1770-1850)
Young, John (1755–1825)
Young, Thomas, Dr (1773–1829)


  • Addington, Henry, 1st Viscount Sidmouth (1757–1844): Prime Minister 1801–1804. The Treaty of Amiens, ending the war with France (much to Bloomfield’s joy) was negotiated under Addington’s ministry (1802: it broke down in 1803). As Home Secretary (1812–22) he repressed the campaigners for reform of parliament.
  • Addington, Sir William (1728–1811): Magistrate at Bow Street, London and patron of poets.
  • Aikin, Arthur (1773–1854): edited the Annual Review from 1803 to 1808. Educated by Joseph Priestley at the Warrington Dissenting Academy, he became, like his mentor, a Unitarian minister and a chemist. Also a mineralogist and scientific writer in periodicals.
  • Aikin, John: father of John the editor of the Monthly Magazine. Unitarian minister, tutor at the Warrington Dissenting Academy.
  • Aikin, John (1747–1822): medical doctor and author of histories and biographies; edited the Monthly Magazine from 1796 to 1807. Brother of Anna Laetitia (Mrs Barbauld).
  • Alexander, Tsar Alexander (1777–1825): ruler of Russia from 1801; first an admirer of Napoleon, later his implacable opponent, whose troops, after France’s disastrous Russian campaign in 1812, helped ensure the eventual defeat of Bonaparte.
  • Allen, William [d. 1807]: the Master Sealer for whom Bloomfield worked as Under-sealer in the Seal Office, Somerset House. Bloomfield disliked Allen’s sharp practice; Allen resented Bloomfield’s aristocratic connections. He died in 1807 after a long illness.
  • Anderson, John (1775–?): a woodcut illustrator, apprenticed to Thomas Bewick (1792–99), who engraved the illustrations of the first edition of The Farmer’s Boy.
  • Anstead/Ansted, Miss, of London Wall: a friend of the Sharps at Fulham, frequent visitor to Bloomfield in London in the years 1804 to 1820.
  • Austin, William [uncle]: the ‘uncle’ (his mother’s brother-in-law) and local farmer, on whose farm in Sapiston, Suffolk, Bloomfield lived and worked as a boy.
  • Austin, William [cousin]: cousin and son of the Austin on whose Sapiston farm Bloomfield worked as a boy. Succeeded his father in the farm.
  • Bachelor, Thomas (1775–1838): farmer, poet, agricultural writer. His verse collection Village Scenes: the Progress of Agriculture and other Poems was published in 1804. In 1806, Bachelor was employed by the Board of Agriculture to survey Bedfordshire. In 1808 he published the results as General View of the Agriculture of the County of Bedford. His poem ‘To Robert Bloomfield Author of the Farmer’s Boy’, appeared in The Monthly Mirror, 11 (January 1801), 48.
  • Baldwin, Robert: a bookseller in Paternoster Row who, in partnership with Cradock and Joy, published Bloomfield’s Hazelwood-Hall and Remains and distributed the works published under Bloomfield’s own name. Third (at least) of a dynasty of bookselling Baldwins who operated from Paternoster Row in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
  • Banks, Sir Joseph, 1st Baronet (1743–1820): a botanist, collector, traveller, adviser of monarch and ministers and President of the Royal Society. Sir Joseph was also an improving agriculturalist with extensive estates in Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire. A generous patron of labouring men—especially gardeners—whom he sent as botanical collectors to remote parts of the globe.
  • Barbauld, Anna Laetitia (1743–1825): poet, editor, children’s writer, teacher, sister of John Aiken, daughter of Unitarian minister John Aiken. Barbauld was acquainted with most of the leading poets of the day.
  • Barry, James (1741–1806): painter, born in Ireland, patronised by Edmund Burke, whose favour brought him to notice. Favoured sublime religious and historical subjects; influenced Blake. Entered into print to bemoan the lack of support for art in England; criticised fellow members of the Royal Academy, from which he was expelled. Lord Buchan raised a subscription on his behalf.
  • Bell, Andrew, Dr (1753–1832): Anglican divine, born in St. Andrews, who introduced, first in Madras, the monitorial school system, in which more advanced pupils of good character taught less advanced ones. In 1811 he became superintendent of the National Society for Promoting the Education of the Poor in the Principles of the Established Church, an organisation which succeeded in spreading his system in new Anglican schools in many British cities.
  • Bent, William (d. 1823): publisher of the Universal Magazine, to whom Bloomfield offered the manuscript of The Farmer’s Boy in 1798.
  • Bewick, Thomas (1753–1828): with his younger brother John (1760–1795), Bewick revived the art of woodcut illustration, with animals, birds and rural scenes his speciality. The Bewicks illustrated editions of poems by Gay and by Goldsmith. Bloomfield admired Thomas’s A General History of Quadrupeds (1790).
  • Bird, Isaac, of Bury: Bloomfield’s cousin.
  • Blacket, Joseph (1786–1810): of a family of poor Yorkshire labourers, apprenticed to his brother in London as a ladies’ shoemaker. Began writing verse after his wife’s death in 1807 and attracted the patronage of Samuel Jackson Pratt, who compared him with Bloomfield. His volume Specimens of the Poetry of Joseph Blacket (1809) was a private edition attracting many subscribers among the nobility. Blacket died of consumption the following year.
  • Blacklock, Thomas, Dr (1721–1791): blind since childhood, Blacklock was an Edinburgh friend of Dr. Johnson and Benjamin Franklin, a benefactor of Burns and an author of sermons and poems.
  • Blomfield, Edward Valentine (1788–1816): illustrator of the Bloomfields’ cottage at Honington for Nat’s volume of poems An Essay on War; Honington Green, a Ballad . . . and Other Poems (1803). Author of the Greek Ode for the Vice Chancellor’s Special Prize at the University of Cambridge (1808). Blomfield also translated a Greek grammar from the German.
  • Bloomfield, Catharine [Kitty] (1764–1828): Bloomfield’s sister.
  • Bloomfield, Charles (1762–1831): of Bury St. Edmunds, the grandson of Isaac Bloomfield (died 1770—Bloomfield’s great-grandfather) by Isaac’s second wife, Susan Clift. Patron of George Bloomfield.
  • Bloomfield, Charles (1798–1863): Bloomfield’s son, lame as a boy, later a schoolmaster.
  • Bloomfield, Charlotte [Aunt]: Bloomfield’s sister-in-law, Nat Bloomfield’s wife.
  • Bloomfield, Charlotte [Shot], b. 1801: Bloomfield’s daughter.
  • Bloomfield, Elizabeth (d. 1804): Bloomfield’s mother. See under Glover, Elizabeth.
  • Bloomfield, Elizabeth (1760–1833): Bloomfield’s sister-in-law, Isaac’s wife, née Tilner, of Honington.
  • Bloomfield, Elizabeth [Bet], (b. 1789): Bloomfield’s niece, daughter of Nat Bloomfield.
  • Bloomfield, Elizabeth [Bet], (b. 1792): Bloomfield’s niece, daughter of Isaac Bloomfield.
  • Bloomfield, George (1758–1831): Bloomfield’s shoemaker brother, who cared for the young Robert in London and latterly, living in Bury St. Edmunds, was responsible for introducing The Farmer’s Boy to Lofft. Bloomfield’s most regular family correspondent, although the regularity diminished after May 1806 when Bloomfield chided him for toadying to Lofft. Himself a poet, his autobiographical letter (Letter 422) gives a detailed picture of his and his brothers’ literary careers and their relationships with the gentry.
  • Bloomfield, Hannah (b. 1791): Bloomfield’s eldest daughter and the child he trusted to manage the household. After his death Hannah dealt with his business affairs in conjunction with his friend Joseph Weston.
  • Bloomfield, Isaac (d. 1811): Bloomfield’s brother, who set several of the Rural Tales to music, composed several anthems and was designing a mechanical pea and potato planter when, in 1811, he died unexpectedly.
  • Bloomfield, Isaac (b. 1794): Bloomfield’s nephew, son of his brother Isaac.
  • Bloomfield, James (b. 1798): Bloomfield’s nephew, son of his brother Isaac.
  • Bloomfield, Mary Ann, née Church: Bloomfield’s wife, daughter of a boatbuilder of Woolwich and mother of five children. Became a follower of the self-proclaimed prophetess and mother of Shiloh, Joanna Southcott.
  • Bloomfield, Mary (1793–1814): Bloomfield’s second daughter.
  • Bloomfield, Nathaniel [Nat] (1759–1831): Bloomfield’s brother, a tailor by trade and a poet who published An Essay on War, in Blank Verse; Honington Green, a Ballad . . . and Other Poems (1803).
  • Bloomfield, Robert (b. 1804): Bloomfield’s second son, who died before his first birthday.
  • Bloomfield, Robert Henry (1807–1866): Bloomfield’s son.
  • Bowden, Mary Anne: wife of a director of the Bank of England, John Bowden, and mother of the ecclesiastical writer and friend of J. H. Newman, John William Bowden.
  • Boys, John, of Maidstone: longtime friend of George Bloomfield.
  • Branston, Robert (1778–1827): born at Lynn, in Norfolk. He learned engraving and painting from his father, and moved to London to become a wood-engraver around 1802. Starting out making lottery-bills, he soon became known for his skill in depicting human figures. Branston engraved a new frontispiece design by William Marshall Craig for the eighth edition of The Farmer’s Boy (1805).
  • Brayley, Edward Wedlake (1773–1854): enameller, antiquarian, joint editor, with John Britton, of the book series, The Beauties of England and Wales. Editor/author of the work which Storer and Grieg illustrated, Views in Suffolk, Norfolk and Northamptonshire, Illustrative of the Works of Robt. Bloomfield (1806).
  • Bristow, Edmund (1787–1876): painter of rural life and of animals.
  • Britton, John (1771–1857): antiquarian who published, with Edward Wedlake Brayley, many volumes on the picturesque topography of England’s counties, The Beauties of England and Wales. In 1805 Britton published the first part of his Architectural Antiquities of Great Britain, 9 vols (1805–1814); and this was followed by Cathedral Antiquities of England, 14 vols (1814–1835).
  • Brydges, Sir Samuel Egerton (1762–1837): bibliographer and genealogist, MP for Maidstone 1812–18. Himself a poet, Brydges was a well-connected literary gentleman to whom poor poets looked for support. Author of Censura Literaria, Titles and Opinions of Old English Books, 10 vols (1805–1809).
  • Buchan, David Steuart Erskine, 11th Earl of Buchan (1742–1829): the founder of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, admirer of the work of James Thomson and Robert Burns and patron of Scottish literature—Buchan opened his London house as a meeting-place for artists and literary men, where Bloomfield made his acquaintance and recited from Rural Tales.
  • Bunbury, Sir Charles, 6th Baronet: of Barton Suffolk, MP for Suffolk 1790–1812. Friend of George, Prince of Wales, keen patron of horseracing. Recommended The Farmer’s Boy to his friend the Duke of York, who rewarded Bloomfield for his efforts with a ‘liberal sum’.
  • Burdett, Sir Francis, 5th Baronet (1770–1844): radical Whig politician who supported reform of parliament, universal male suffrage and the emancipation of Catholics, opposed imprisonment without trial and exposed abuses in the prison system. Bloomfield commented on the 1802 election for the Westminster constituency, at which Burdett made prison abuses the chief issue. Burdett was a supporter of the veteran radical John Horne Tooke, whom Bloomfield knew.
  • Burges, Sir James Bland, 1st Baronet (1752–1824): barrister, MP, Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (1789–1795), parliamentary supporter of William Pitt. After retirement from politics, he became a poet and patron of poets, authoring The Birth and Triumph of Love (1796), the epic Richard the First, a Poem: in Eighteen Books (1801), and supporting Thomas Dermody and William Ireland. Bloomfield’s fellow aspiring rural poet, Wordsworth, sent a copy of Lyrical Ballads to Burges.
  • Burke, Edmund (1729–1797): Irish politician, the greatest orator of the later eighteenth century and a Whig champion of liberty for the inhabitants of Britain’s colonies in America and Bengal. Friend and ally of Whig leader (and Bloomfield admirer) Charles James Fox until Burke, appalled by the violence of the French Revolution, changed sides and vehemently attacked the Foxite Whigs for supporting peace with France.
  • Burns, Robert (1759–1796): Bloomfield’s admiration for the Scots rural poet—an admiration that included Burns’s independent attitude to the aristocracy as well as his songs—is evident in many letters recounting anecdotes from The Works of Robert Burns: with an Account of his Life, and a Criticism on his Writings (1800) as well as in poems such as ‘A Highland Drover’ in Rural Tales.
  • Campbell, Thomas (1777–1844): Scots poet; author of The Pleasures of Hope (1799) and Gertrude of Wyoming (1809) as well as popular songs including ‘Ye Mariners of England’, ‘The Soldier’s Dream’ and ‘Hohen Linden’. Bloomfield mentions (Letter 120) Campbell’s pamphlet Proceedings at a general meeting of the Loyal North Britons: held at the Crown and Anchor, August 8th, 1803; containing a correct copy of the celebrated speech of James Mackintosh, Esq.; the stanzas, spoken on the same occasion, by Thomas Campbell, Esq. ... and the substance of speeches of the Right Hon. Lord Reay, and J.W. Adam, Esq. on being elected officers of the Corps (1803).
  • Church, Joseph: Bloomfield’s father-in-law, a boatbuilder employed at the Royal Naval yard in Woolwich. On his retirement, he moved to live with the Bloomfields in London. In May 1806 Bloomfield reported that Church’s health was failing fast.
  • Clare, John (1793–1864): in many ways Bloomfield’s successor as a rural-labourer turned poet from the East of England, who wrote of work in the fields in a manner derived, in part, from James Thomson. Clare admired Bloomfield’s work, corresponded with him, and regretted passing-up the opportunity to meet him. Like Bloomfield, Clare found his initial popularity waning, and was troubled by arguments with patrons and booksellers.
  • Clubbe, Dr William (bap. 1745–1814): Vicar of Brandeston, Suffolk who translated The Farmer’s Boy into Latin in 1801.
  • Constable, John (1776–1837): Bloomfield’s reference to visiting a ‘Constable’ may refer to John Constable, a fellow Suffolk boy who was in London in April 1812. Constable appreciated The Farmer’s Boy, using couplets from it as tags to two paintings: a ‘Ploughing Scene’, shown at the Royal Academy in 1814, and ‘A Harvest Field, Reapers, Gleaners’, shown at the British Institution in 1817, which Constable noted derived from ‘Bloomfield’s Poem’. (Information courtesy of Michael Rosenthal, who also notes that Constable inscribed lines 245–62 from The Farmer’s Boy ‘Winter’ under a pen drawing of clouds [Tate, T1940; '76 Tate Constable Catalogue No. 173]).
  • Cooper, Charlotte: daughter of R. Bransby Cooper.
  • Cooper, Robert Bransby: Gloucestershire gentleman who accompanied Bloomfield and the Lloyd Bakers on their 1807 Wye tour. Defeated in election to the House of Commons in 1816; became MP for Gloucester in 1818. Brother of the eminent surgeon Sir Astley Cooper.
  • Craig, William Marshall (fl. 1788–1828): artist, designed illustrations for the eighth edition of The Farmer’s Boy (1805). A well-known miniature-painter, Craig became drawing-master to Princess Charlotte of Wales, miniature-painter to the Duke and Duchess of York, and painter in watercolours to the Queen. Contributed illustrations to Scripture Illustrated (1806).
  • Crosby, Benjamin (d. 1815): bookseller at 44 Stationer’s Court, near Paternoster Row, London who bought rights to Bloomfield’s works from Sharpe, after the death of Hood and the failure of Vernor, Hood and Sharpe. Died in 1815 after his own firm went bankrupt.
  • Crotch, William, Dr (1775–1847): brought up in Norwich, Crotch was a child prodigy on the organ, performing for the King aged three. Later Professor of Music at Oxford, Crotch became a noted adapter and composer of music for anthems and odes. Bloomfield’s letter of 21 December 1808 to Mary Lloyd Baker (Letter 234) suggests Crotch set some of his verses to music.
  • Daer, Lord, Douglas-Hamilton, Basil William (1764–1794): second son of the 4th Earl of Selkirk. He was living with Scots philosopher Dugald Stewart when, in 1786, he met Robert Burns. An admirer of the early stages of the French Revolution and advocate of political reform in Britain.
  • Darton, William Junior (1781–1854): engraver and publisher of illustrated volumes, many of them children’s books, from his premises at Holborn. Darton would publish engravings of Bloomfield’s ‘Death and Burial of Cock Robin’ and ‘The Fakenham Ghost, a true tale’ in 1806.
  • Darwin, Erasmus (1731–1802): doctor, man of science, and poet. An inventor and a theorist of evolution, Darwin achieved popularity with his poem The Botanic Garden (1789–1791), written in a playful, highly-ornamented style derived from Pope.
  • Davy, John (1763–1824): composer of songs and ballads, including a setting of Matthew ‘Monk’ Lewis’s ‘Crazy Jane’. Davy composed the music to the ‘opera’ made from Bloomfield’s ‘The Miller’s Maid’, performed 1804 (libretto by Waldron).
  • De Geer, Gerard, Baron (1787–1846): Swedish gentleman.
  • Dibdin, Charles (1745–1814): prolific and popular writer and singer of patriotic songs and ballads, many of them to do with sailors and seafarers.
  • Dilly, Charles (1739–1807): bookseller in Poultry renowned for his hospitality to literary men, including Johnson, Wilkes and Boswell. Retired 1801.
  • Disney, John, Revd (1746–1816): Unitarian clergyman at the Essex Street chapel Bloomfield frequented as a young man. In March 1805 Disney retired with his family and collection of antiquities to a country estate—the Hyde, near Ingatestone in Essex. There, shortly afterwards, Bloomfield visited him.
  • Drake, Nathan, Dr (1766–1836): early admirer of The Farmer’s Boy, whose published critique of the poem in the 2nd edition of his Literary Hours (1800) helped to establish its reputation. Drake was an essayist and physician in Hadleigh, Suffolk. Published Essays Illustrative of the ‘Rambler’, ‘Adventurer’, ‘Idler’ (1809); and Shakespeare and his Times (1817).
  • Drummond, Samuel (1765?–1844): history and marine and portraitist. Painter of Bloomfield’s portrait. Did illustrations for the European Magazine and achieved recognition for his portraits, which he could execute in one sitting lasting an hour and a half, charging 5 guineas for a head and 8 guineas for a three-quarter length.
  • Drury, Edward (1797–1843): the Stamford bookseller who promoted the unknown John Clare’s early work and introduced him to John Taylor, Drury’s cousin, who became Clare’s publisher.
  • Dyer, George (1755–1841): classicist, radical, friend of Coleridge and Charles Lamb, like Dyer also pupils at Christ’s Hospital. Dyer, famously impractical, was the author of many works including Poems (1792), Complaints of the Poor People of England (1793), Poems and Critical Essays (1802).
  • Edridge, Henry (1769–1821): engraver and miniaturist renowned for his portrait drawings. Also made landscape watercolours.
  • Erskine, Thomas, 1st Baron (1750–1823): brother of Lord Buchan. A great liberal lawyer who successfully defended Horne Tooke at his trial for treason in 1794 and was the advocate for many radicals accused of seditious libel. Became Lord Chancellor in 1806.
  • Evans, John (1767–1827): a Baptist minister who officiated at Worship Street, London from 1792 until his death and also ran a school in Islington for thirty years. A member of the Society of Antiquaries, Evans published locodescriptive as well as religious works; a friend of Bloomfield’s at Worthing, of which town he published a description—Picture of Worthing. To which is Added an Account of Arundel and Shoreham, with Other parts of the Surrounding Country (1805). Bloomfield also referred to his The Juvenile Tourist; or, Excursions through various parts ... of Great-Britain ... illustrated with maps, ... In a series of letters (1804). After 1815 Evans became paralysed from the waist down, but continued as a preacher.
  • Faux, James Burrell: of Thetford. During his time as Mayor of Thetford, Faux was responsible for developing the town’s chalybeate spring. Later he worked as a grocer and draper, as an Agent to the Norwich Fire and Life Insurance Office, and as a bank manager. He also served as an alderman in the town.
  • Fawcett, Joseph (c. 1758–1804): political radical, mentor of William Godwin, Unitarian preacher at the Old Jewry meeting house, London, whose eloquence educated the young Bloomfield.
  • Fellowes, Robert, Revd: philanthropist and editor, 1804-1811, of the Critical Review; Fellowes also served as Chaplain to the Duke of Grafton at Euston. In 1820 he acted as secretary to Queen Caroline, writing replies to the many pledges of support she received. On being left a fortune of nearly £200,000 in 1824, Fellowes used this money to help numerous individuals and charitable schemes. He was a promoter of the London University, and was involved in the opening of Regents Park. Over time, Fellowes slowly moved away from the beliefs of the Anglican Church, outlining his views in The Religion of the Universe (1836).
  • Fletcher, Andrew, of Saltoun (1653–1716): Scots parliamentary orator, opponent of the arbitrary rule of the Crown and of the Act of Union of Scotland and England.
  • Fox, Charles James (1749–1806): in Bloomfield’s time the leader of the Whig opposition to William Pitt’s government. A Francophile, Fox argued for peace with Napoleon and visited Paris during the short-lived Peace of Amiens (welcomed by Bloomfield). Having withdrawn from the Commons in 1797, Fox devoted himself to studying pastoral poetry in the original Greek and Latin. It was his love of rural verse, as well as his liberal opinions, that led both Bloomfield and Wordsworth to present copies of their publications to him.
  • Frend, William (1757–1841): Church of England clergyman and political radical who became a Unitarian and was deprived of his fellowship at Jesus College in the University of Cambridge, after a trial in Senate House attended by Coleridge. Frend published Peace and Union Recommended to the Associated Bodies of Republicans and Anti-Republicans in 1793, recommending extending the franchise and disestablishing the Church. He remained a radical for the rest of his life.
  • Gardiner, William Nelson (1766–1814): portrait engraver, scene painter and, later, bookseller.
  • Gedge, Peter (1758–1818): printer, bookseller and newspaper publisher (the Bury Post) of Norwich and subsequently Bury St. Edmunds. Intended to print and sell Nat Bloomfield’s poems, published in London by Vernor and Hood.
  • Gilchrist, Octavius (1779–1823): by trade a grocer in Stamford, Gilchrist became a contributor to The Quarterly Review, author of Examination of the Charges of Ben Jonson's Enmity towards Shakspeare (1808), editor of Jacobean drama and promoter of the work of John Clare.
  • Glover, Elizabeth [formerly Bloomfield] (d. 1804): Bloomfield’s mother. She married George Bloomfield of Honington in 1755. Nicknamed ‘Mrs Prim’; brought up a family of six, of whom George, the eldest, was only eleven when she was widowed in 1767 (her husband George succumbing to smallpox). Kept a dame school, where she educated her children. Remarried to John Glover in 1773.
  • Glover, Isaac: presumably Bloomfield’s step-brother, born shortly after his mother’s re-marriage in 1773.
  • Glover, John: stepfather, who married the widowed Elizabeth Bloomfield in Ampton, Suffolk in 1773.
  • Grafton, Augustus Henry Fitzroy, 3rd Duke of (1735–1811): of Euston, near Honington. Bloomfield’s patron, formerly Prime Minister, a Whig magnate attacked in print by Junius. In the period of Bloomfield’s acquaintance with him, a leading Unitarian.
  • Grafton, George Henry Fitzroy, 4th Duke of (1760–1844): son of Bloomfield’s patron.
  • Grant, Anne (1755–1838): Scots author and wife of minister in a Highland parish, who supported her family after being widowed by writing verse and essays. She published Poems on Various Subjects (1803) and The Highlanders: and Other Poems (1807).
  • Grant, Thomas, Dr (d. 1803): an early supporter of Bloomfield, Grant, originally from Scotland, was a surgeon at Towcester, Northamptonshire, who bought an estate at nearby Litchborough in 1792.
  • Grant, William (d. 1840): son of Thomas Grant. A barrister and Charity Commissioner (d.1840), William purchased the manor of Maidford in 1811.
  • Grieg, John: The engraver who, with J. Storer, engraved Views of Norfolk, Suffolk, and Northamptonshire, Illustrative of the Works of Robert Bloomfield. Grieg specialised in topographical engravings, of which he published several volumes organised by place.
  • Haydon, Benjamin (1786-1846): painter, writer and diarist. Haydon was one of Wordsworth’s oldest London friends, and hosted the ‘immortal dinner party’ of 1817 which included Wordsworth, Keats, and Lamb.
  • Hayward, Mr: an overseer of the poor in Thetford.
  • Hill, Thomas (1760–1840): by trade a drysalter at Queenhithe, was also the editor of The Monthly Mirror and a book-collector. He supervised the publication of The Farmer’s Boy and published in the Mirror verse by Bloomfield and other rural labouring-class poets including Thomas Dermody and Henry Kirke White. Hill occupied a house in Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, London, and a cottage at Sydenham, Kent, where he entertained writers, actors and artists. It may have been there that Bloomfield met Thomas Campbell.
  • Hingston, Elizabeth [Bet]: Bloomfield’s sister, who emigrated to the United States.
  • Holland, Joseph: poet. Author of An Appendix to the Season of Spring, in the Rural Poem, “The Farmer’s Boy” (1806), written while he was servant to a Mr. Partridge at Croydon. The motive for the poem’s composition was explained in an opening ‘Address to the Reader’: ‘In reading the charming Poem ‘The Farmer’s Boy, by Robert Bloomfield’ he was rather surprised to find the Haymaking passed over unnoticed; and therefore, determined to attempt something on that subject, by way of an Appendix to his Season of Spring––He has studiously avoided dwelling on such circumstances as had been handled by Mr. Bloomfield: but has introduced others which seemed to him not incongruous with the object he had in view’.
  • Holloway, William (1761–1854): a Dorsetshire printer and then London clerk in the East India House (with Charles Lamb), Holloway was inspired by The Farmer’s Boy. He published many short poems in the European Magazine and a dialect ‘An Epistle from Roger Coulter of Dorsetshire to his Friend Giles Bloomfield the Suffolk Farmer’s Boy’ (Monthly Mirror, 1802). By the offices of Thomas Hill, the Mirror’s editor, Holloway won a contract with Vernor and Hood to publish The Peasant’s Fate in 1802. Well-reviewed, it was followed by further volumes of rural verse and by works on natural history.
  • Honour: the Bloomfields’ servant in their London house near the Shepherd and Shepherdess, City Road.
  • Hood, Thomas (d. 1811): a bookseller in Dundee before 1799; partner in Vernor & Hood, London 1799–1811. Father of Thomas Hood the humourist and poet. Published The Farmer’s Boy, Rural Tales, Wild Flowers and the stereotype edition of the Poems of Robert Bloomfield. Argued with Capel Lofft over the latter’s editorial interventions in Bloomfield’s texts.
  • Horne Tooke, John (1736–1812): a philologist and radical whose etymological work The Diversions of Purley was also a political attack on corruption. Horne Tooke was, by the early 1800s when Bloomfield came to know him, already a veteran campaigner for parliamentary reform. Initially radicalised by the establishment’s efforts to exclude the newly-elected John Wilkes from parliament, Horne Tooke became an organiser of societies dedicated to widening suffrage—including the Society for Constitutional Information. He was arrested and charged with treason in 1794 when, in alliance with the London Corresponding Society, he attempted to organise a radical convention. Acquitted, after Thomas Erskine’s brilliant defence and William Godwin’s printed demolition of the prosecution’s arguments, he continued to argue for parliamentary reform, though now in more moderate form.
  • Horton, Mr: Bloomfield’s landlord and employer when he lived in lodgings, working as a shoemaker, in Bell-Alley, Coleman Street.
  • Incledon, Charles (1763–1826): the leading English tenor of the period, who sang in many operas and oratorios but was especially renowned for singing ballads such as ‘Sally in our Alley’ and ‘Black Eyed Susan’.
  • Inskip, Thomas (circa 1780–1849): watchmaker, Bloomfield’s Shefford neighbour and friend. Also befriended John Clare, whose poetry he printed in the Bedfordshire Times (1848). Amateur archaeologist and collector of Roman relics, his collection is now in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. He died of cholera in Hastings.
  • Jackson, John of Harrap Wood near Macclesfield. Jackson was the author of An Address to Time: to which are added Stanzas written on a Beautiful Day in January, 1807, etc. (Macclesfield, 1807) and Barythymia: a Poem addressed to the Sons and Daughters of Adversity (Macclesfield,? 1810)./>
  • Jenner, Edward, Dr (1749–1823): discoverer (1796) and tireless promoter of vaccination for smallpox with cowpox serum. Jenner enlisted Bloomfield, whose father and nephews had died from smallpox, in his public relations campaign to popularise the new treatment. He encouraged Bloomfield to write Good Tidings; or, News from the Farm and rewarded him after it was printed.
  • Lackington, James (1746–1815): self-made bookseller and publisher, son of a journeyman shoemaker, whose bookshop in Finsbury Square, reputedly the largest in the kingdom, was known as the Temple of the Muses.
  • Lane, William (1745/6–1814): bookseller and proprietor of a circulating library in Leadenhall and Aldgate who ran the Minerva press, publishing cheap novels in quantity. The ‘great wholesale novel manufacturer’, to whom Bloomfield offered the manuscript of The Farmer’s Boy in 1798.
  • Langshaw, John (1763–1832): organ-maker and organist at Lancaster Priory Church 1798 onwards.
  • Lockwood, Edward and wife: a Bury St Edmunds trade directory of the time lists an Edward Lockwood as being responsible for an Academy. Hannah Bloomfield, perhaps, was at school in Bury.
  • Lofft, Capel (1751–1824): of Troston, Suffolk, Lofft was a Whig gentleman-landowner and lawyer who argued for parliamentary reform, the abolition of slavery and for the traditional rights of the rural poor to glean the fields at harvest. He became, like the Duke of Grafton and many of Bloomfield’s supporters among the gentry and aristocracy, a Unitarian. He was removed from the magistracy after having, in 1800, jumped into the tumbrel taking Sarah Lloyd, a servant girl, to the scaffold, and harangued the crowd about the injustice of the sentence. A writer of verse for magazines, especially sonnets, a collection of which he edited. The impetuous, energetic and tactless patron of Bloomfield who, having received the manuscript of The Farmer’s Boy from George Bloomfield, used his connections to have it published. His later falling-out with Bloomfield, precipitated by his insistence on including his own editorial comments as footnotes to Rural Tales, was never total.
  • Lofft, Sarah Watson, née Finch: a magazine poet published in The Monthly Mirror and The Morning Chronicle, became Capel Lofft’s second wife in spring 1802, with Bloomfield making her wedding shoes.
  • Lloyd Baker, Mary, née Sharp (1778–1812): Bloomfield’s close friend and correspondent whom he met in the company of her cousin Catherine Sharp at her aunt’s (Elizabeth Prowse) of Wicken Park, Northamptonshire. Daughter of the surgeon William Sharp and niece of Granville Sharp the abolitionist, Mary introduced Bloomfield to her extended family, allowing him to make visits to the houses of family members at South Mimms, Northamptonshire and Fulham as well as her own house at Uley in Gloucestershire.
  • Lloyd Baker, Thomas John: husband of Mary, he accompanied the Wye tour party in 1807. After his wife’s death, he re-married and built Hardwicke Court, near Gloucester.
  • Longman, Thomas Norton (1771–1842): bookseller of Paternoster Row. In about 1800 he purchased the copyright of Southey’s Joan of Arc and Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads, from Joseph Cottle of Bristol. He published the works of Thomas Moore and Walter Scott, and acted as London agent for the Edinburgh Review. Longman worked in partnership with Owen Rees and, from 1804, two more partners were admitted. In 1824 the title of the firm was changed to Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, Brown & Green.
  • Mackintosh, James (1765–1832): a lawyer famed in the 1790s for his liberal refutation of Burke’s attack on the French Revolution, Vindiciae Gallicae (1791). Mackintosh recanted his pro-revolution views, horrified by the Terror, and became a friend of Burke. From 1804–11 he was a judge in Bombay; on his return a Whig MP and professor of law at the East India Company’s college at Haileybury. He published works on English history and on philosophy and was a noted conversationalist.
  • Mainwaring, William, Justice: Burdett’s defeated opponent in the Middlesex election of 1802; he attempted to resist Burdett’s investigation of conditions in Cold Bath Fields prison.
  • Martin, John, Dr (1789–1869): physician and meteorologist; editor of the 1817 story of the young sailor William Mariner, whom he met soon after the latter’s return to Britain. Mariner had, in 1806, as a boy of thirteen, been shipwrecked on Tonga and adopted there by a chief, spending four years living on the island.
  • May, John (1775-1856): merchant, financier and business agent. May’s father and grandfather were successful wine merchants in Lisbon, and it was in Portugal in 1796 that May met Robert Southey, who was to become a lifelong friend.
  • Montgomery, James (1771–1854): brought up a Moravian, Montgomery became a dissenting radical pressman, imprisoned in 1796 for publishing political articles critical of the government in the paper he edited, the Sheffield Iris. Subsequently a hymnist and a poet, Montgomery’s most successful work was the anti-slavery The West Indies (1809). He edited The Chimney-Sweeper's Friend and Climbing-Boy's Album in 1824, publishing verse contributions from many labouring-class poets, including William Blake.
  • Moore, Thomas (1779–1852): Irish poet whose performances as a singer and declaimer, not least of his own Irish Melodies (1808–34), won him fashionable success in London. The Oriental verse romance Lalla Rookh, for which Moore received an advance of £3000, appeared in 1817.
  • Mothersole, Mr: neighbour of the Bloomfields in Honington.
  • Mothersole, Mrs: neighbour of the Bloomfields in Honington.
  • Murray, John (1778–1843): bookseller respected for his generous terms. Publisher of Byron, Scott and The Quarterly Review. Murray paid Byron some £20,000 for his various poems. To Thomas Moore he gave nearly £5,000 for writing the life of Byron, and to George Crabbe £3,000 for Tales of the Hall. Bloomfield, however, did not publish with him.
  • North, Frederick, 2nd Earl of Guilford (1732–92): Prime Minister 1770–82, succeeding the Duke of Grafton. His policies were blamed by many for the loss of the American colonies.
  • Opie, Amelia (1769–1853): a friend of Horne Tooke, Godwin and Wollstonecraft, Opie published her first novel in 1801 and her first volume of poems in 1802. Adeline Mowbray followed in 1804, Simple Tales in 1806, Temper in 1812, Tales of Real Life in 1813, Valentine's Eve in 1816, Tales of the Heart in 1818, and Madeline in 1822.
  • Osborne, Sir George, 4th Baronet: of Chicksands Priory, near Shefford, Bedfordshire, he served in the American War of Independence, following which he became an MP. He carried out many improvements to the Priory.
  • Owen, Robert (1771–1858): the Welsh social reformer and cotton-mill owner who built a model town for his factory workers at New Lanark, intending to improve their social and moral condition. His ideas, published in, among other works, A New View of Society, Essays on the Formation of Human Character (1813), helped found the co-operative and socialist movements and attracted the support of humanitarian reformers such as Granville Sharp and Jeremy Bentham.
  • Paine, Thomas (1737-1809): outspoken republican author and feared revolutionary campaigner whose pamphlet Common Sense (1776) helped precipitate the American Revolution. In 1791, his The Rights of Man, a reply to Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790), earned him the enmity of the government, which had him tried in absentia for sedition. Paine fled to France where he was elected to the National Convention, only to be imprisoned in 1793 after the Jacobins took power. While in Paris, he wrote his attack on Christian doctrines, The Age of Reason (1793-94). He returned to America in 1802.
  • Park, Thomas (1758/9–1834): trained as an engraver, Park became a poet, book-collector, antiquary, bibliographer and editor—not least of Bloomfield’s poetry. He lived in Piccadilly, then Portman Square, and from 1804 at Church Row, Hampstead.
  • Perkins, Benjamin: American bookseller and quack healer, resident in London, who profited from his father Elisha’s ‘tractors’, metal rods supposed to cure illnesses if the points were applied to the diseased area. Perkins advertised the rods heavily and was satirised for his pains by Gillray, who depicted him tractorising a wart on John Bull’s nose.
  • Pitt, William (1759–1806): Prime Minister 1783–1801 and 1804–06. Pitt led the nation into the long war against revolutionary France.
  • Plumptre, James, Revd (1770–1832): Vicar of Great Gransden in Huntingdonshire, Fellow of Clare Hall, Cambridge, an evangelical clergyman who produced bowdlerised versions of popular songs, a comic opera about Lake District tourists (The Lakers), and critiques of Shakespeare. His interest in rural poetry led him to befriend Bloomfield and John Clare.
  • Polack, Solomon (c.1757–c.1839): Jewish miniature painter and engraver who had emigrated from Holland to Ireland and thence to England.
  • Polwhele, Richard, Revd (1760–1838): a Cornish rector and friend of Capel Lofft, Polwhele authored a History of Devonshire and, notoriously, in 1798 The Unsex’d Females, a poem attacking women authors and intellectuals.
  • Portland, William Henry Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of (1738–1809): Whig political magnate who, alarmed by the violence of the French Revolution, joined Pitt’s ministry, abandoning his old alliance with the pro-French Fox. Portland was Prime Minister twice, in 1783 and again in 1807 after Pitt’s death. He was also a vice-president of the Foundling Hospital in Coram’s Fields London, which cared for orphaned children.
  • Pratt, Samuel Jackson [pseudonym Courtney Melmoth] (1749–1814): a colourful, much disliked, man of letters who, when a young clergyman, had eloped with and married a ‘boarding-school miss’ (NDNB), abandoning the cloth and turning, with little success, to acting. Pratt authored numerous works, including several plays. But it was his interest in poverty, reflected in poems including The Triumph of Benevolence (1786), Humanity, or, The Rights of Nature (1788), Bread, or, The Poor (1801) and The Lower World (1810) that led him to write to Bloomfield. Pratt made himself the patron of Bloomfield’s fellow shoemaker poet Joseph Blacket.
  • Preston, Edward Bailey [Ned]: a ‘Calligraphist’ based in Barnwell, Cambridge, whose work also took him to other places including Thetford. According to an account of his life given to John Clare, following his time in the navy he had lived ‘seven years’ as a ‘planter’ in the West Indies, before ‘losing all I possesed in the tremendous hurricane of 1812’. A poet himself, Preston wrote to and visited poets, including Bloomfield. Clare described him thus: ‘he made me believe that he was a very great Poet and that he knew all the world and that almost all the world knew him he had a vast quantity of M.S.S. he said by him but had not published much at present . . . —he was for ever quoting beautys from his own poetry and he knew all the living poets in England and scotland as familiar as his own tongue—he was a living hoax-he had made two or three visits to Bloomfield and talkd of him as familiar as if he had been his neighbour half a life time he calld him “brother bob”’.
  • Priestley, Joseph (1733–1804): Unitarian writer on religious and political subjects who welcomed the French Revolution and campaigned for a reform of parliament. Priestley was also a pioneering man of science who made important discoveries about electricity and about the composition of air. In 1791 his Birmingham laboratory was burnt down by a pro-establishment mob; subsequently, Priestley emigrated to America.
  • Prowse, Elizabeth, née Sharp, (1733–1810), of Wicken Park, Northamptonshire: one of the circle of Sharps to which Bloomfield gained access through Mary Lloyd Baker. A sister of Granville and William Sharp, Mrs Prowse was the aunt of Mary Lloyd Baker and Catherine Sharp.
  • Rees, Owen (1770–1837): bookseller in partnership with Longman.
  • Rickman, Mr: possibly John Rickman (1771–1840), friend of Southey, Charles Lamb and Thomas Telford, statistician who introduced the first national census.
  • Rickman, Thomas Clio (1761–1834): a radical writer and publisher and an admirer of Thomas Paine, whose biography he wrote. Himself a rural poet, Rickman was a bookseller of The Farmer’s Boy (2nd and 3rd edns., 1800, with woodcuts; 4th and 5th edns., 1801).
  • Ridley, William (1764–1838): one of the leading engravers of the time, Ridley stipple-engraved many portraits, including Bloomfield’s (after Drummond’s design, published in The Monthly Mirror (1800)).
  • Rogers, Samuel (1763–1855): a wealthy banker as well as the poet of The Pleasures of Memory (1792) and Italy (1822–28), Rogers was a generous host with a wide acquaintance among literary and political men. He aided Bloomfield with advice, hospitality and by acting as banker for the monies subscribed on Bloomfield’s behalf.
  • Romilly, Sir Samuel (1757–1818): law reformer who reduced the number of offences punishable by capital punishment and acted as Solicitor General in Lord Grenville’s government (1806).
  • Savage, Richard (1697/8–1743): poet and subject of the Life of Savage by his friend Dr. Johnson. Savage claimed to be the illegitimate son of the 4th Earl Rivers and blackmailed Rivers’s family. He also killed a man in a drunken fight. Savage’s lack of status and his continual poverty, if not his wayward life, made him a suitable subject of comparison with Bloomfield.
  • Service, David (1776–1828): a shoemaker and poet, who published several volumes including The Caledonian Herd-Boy; a Rural Poem (1802), Crispin, or the Apprentice Boy (1804) and The Wild Harp’s Murmurs; or, Rustic Strains (1806). Service was born in Scotland, before settling in Great Yarmouth. He died in Yarmouth Workhouse at the age of 52.
  • Seward, Anna (1747–1809): of Lichfield, friend of Erasmus Darwin, author of many volumes of verse and a novel. Seward corresponded with most of the literary figures of the age.
  • Shakespear, John: possibly John Shakespear (1774-1858) or John Talbot Shakespear (1783-1825). The former was Professor of Oriental languages at the East India Company’s Military Seminary at Adiscombe, and author of a Hindustani grammar (1813) and dictionary (1817); the latter, a merchant in the East India Company and member of the Bengal civil service. John Shakespear believed himself to be a descendant of William Shakespeare and in 1856 donated money to help preserve Shakespeare’s house at Stratford upon Avon. John Talbot Shakespear’s family also claimed to be descended from the playwright.
  • Sharp, Catherine (1770–1843): daughter of James Sharp of Clare Hall, South Mimms, cousin of Mary Lloyd Baker and niece of Granville Sharp and of Mrs Prowse of Wicken Park, Northamptonshire.
  • Sharp, Granville (1735–1813): campaigner for the abolition of the slave trade, for a reform of parliament, and for the abolition of the press gang by the navy. Helped to establish the colony for freed slaves in Sierra Leone. He lived mainly in Garden Court, Temple, London, until the death of his brother William, when he resided with William’s widow at Fulham, where Bloomfield visited. Uncle of Catherine Sharp and Mary Lloyd Baker.
  • Sharp, James, of Clare Hall, South Mimms: brother of Granville and William.
  • Sharp, Mrs: wife of James Sharp, of Clare Hall, South Mimms.
  • Sharp, William [Surgeon] (1729–1810): of Fulham, surgeon to George III, brother of Granville and James Sharp.
  • Sharpe, C.: bookseller; partner of Thomas Hood, in Vernor and Hood, Bloomfield’s publishers, from 1806, until 1811, when Hood died. Continuing alone, Sharpe went bankrupt in 1812, involving Bloomfield in severe financial loss.
  • Sheridan, Richard Brinsley (1751–1816): Irish playwright of The Rivals (1775), School for Scandal (1777) and Pizarro (1799), theatre-manager and Whig politician. Sheridan was renowned as a great orator, drinker and wit. A friend of Fox and the Prince of Wales.
  • Shield, William (1748–1829): a composer who became Master of the King’s Musicians, Shield was famous for his light opera Rosina (1781) and his settings of songs on rural themes including ‘The Ploughboy’, ‘Old Towler’, ‘Comin through the Rye’ and ‘The Thorn’. A friend of Granville Sharp.
  • Simms’s: Mr Simms was Bloomfield’s landlord at his lodgings at No. 7, Fisher’s-court, Bell-alley, Coleman-street.
  • Smy, Mr: shoemaker/tradesman of Bury St Edmunds, where Smy is still a common surname. In 1800, determined to become his own master and employ shoemakers to work for him, so as to avoid depending solely on literary earnings, Bloomfield came close to taking Smy’s business over from him.
  • Southey, Robert (1774–1843): author of many rural ballads, Southey reviewed Rural Tales admiringly in The Critical Review of 1802. His editions of the works of Chatterton and of Kirke White, for the benefit of the families of the prematurely deceased poets, showed his commitment to aiding poverty-stricken, labouring-class writers, as did his Attempts at Verse, by J. Jones with an Essay on Uneducated Poets (1831). In 1817 when Poet Laureate, he helped Bloomfield by advising over the best means to raise money to support him.
  • Stothard, Thomas (1755–1834): a Londoner, Stothard was a prolific engraver of designs for magazines and books as well as a painter in oils of history subjects. He specialised in illustrating classic novels and poems, including Goldsmith’s Vicar of Wakefield (1792), Pope’s The Rape of the Lock (1798), the works of Solomon Gessner (1802), Cowper's Poems (1825) as well as The Farmer’s Boy.
  • Swan, James (d. 1818): Bloomfield’s neighbour in London, printer of the 6th to 8th editions of The Farmer’s Boy and of the 2nd edition of Rural Tales.
  • Thomson, James (1700–1748): author of The Seasons (1726–30) and The Castle of Indolence (1748), the poems that most influenced Bloomfield.
  • Thurlow, Edward, 1st Baron (1731–1806): of Ashfield and of Thurlow (Suffolk), Lord Chancellor under four Prime Ministers. Thurlow was a Tory politician and friend of George III.
  • Tillbrook, Samuel Revd: rector of Freckenham, Suffolk. A Fellow of Peterhouse, Cambridge, Tillbrook was acquainted with Southey and Wordsworth, near whose home at Rydal he purchased a cottage.
  • Tsar: see Alexander, Tsar Alexander.
  • Vaughan, William (1752–1850): merchant and director of Royal Exchange Assurance; son of the Unitarian merchant, slave owner and friend of Benjamin Franklin and Joseph Priestley—Samuel Vaughan. William published pamphlets advocating the building of canals and the extension of London’s docks.
  • Vernor, Thomas: bookseller; partner in Vernor and Hood, Bloomfield’s publishers from 1798–1812.
  • Violet, Pierre (1749–1819): painter of numerous portraits in miniature that were then engraved and published, including one of Hester Lynch Piozzi (Mrs Thrale). He painted Bloomfield in miniature in 1804; a mezzotint of the portrait was engraved by John Young and published on 1 January 1805.
  • Walker, Adam (1731–1821): of Conduit Street, London. Walker was an experimentalist and public lecturer on scientific subjects, who taught Shelley as a schoolboy.
  • Wass, Mr: clerk at Vernor and Hood booksellers and subsequently Grosvenor and Chater’s.
  • Watts, Alaric Alexander (1797–1864): poet and journalist. Watts was the editor of the New Monthly Magazine for six months in 1819; in 1822 he published a book of verse, Poetical Sketches; from 1824-35 he edited and published an annual, the Literary Souvenir, which featured verse contributions by Coleridge, Southey and Walter Scott.
  • Wayman, John: the Coroner in Bury St. Edmunds. In August 1828, he served as Coroner in the trial of William Corder, who was found guilty and executed for the murder of Maria Marten, the so-called Red Barn Murder, which became a national sensation.
  • Wedgwood and Bentley: the Staffordshire firm of Josiah Wedgwood (1730–95) and Thomas Bentley (1730–80) sold, from its London showroom, tableware, plaques, bas-reliefs and seals.
  • Westall, Richard (1765–1836): a painter and illustrator who made designs for the 1827 edition of The Farmer’s Boy.
  • Weston, Joseph: Bloomfield’s friend in Shefford, a draper by trade, subject to depression. He moved to Twickenham, where Hannah Bloomfield lived with him and his family, acquiring experience in a trade. Edited Remains.
  • Whitbread, Samuel (1758–1815): brewer and radical MP for Bedford, owning an estate at Southill near Shefford bought by his father in 1791. Whitbread led the Whigs in parliament, opposing the war with France. Committed suicide after Napoleon’s defeat.
  • White, Henry Kirke (1785–1806): a butcher’s son from Nottingham, White became a lawyer’s clerk who, encouraged by Capel Lofft, published Clifton Grove, A Sketch In Verse With Other Poems in 1803 and, perhaps in response to reviews, subsequently went to improve his education at Cambridge University. He died there at twenty-one, apparently worn-out by overwork. Southey edited his work for the benefit of his family, making White a lamented embodiment of the delicate rural labouring-class poet. White was admired in Bloomfield’s circle: Lofft, William Holloway and Thomas Park all wrote tributary verses to him.
  • Wilberforce, William (1759–1833): evangelical campaigner against slavery in the colonies and immorality at home.
  • Williamson, Edmund, Revd (1762-1839): Rector of Campton-cum-Shefford, Bedfordshire. Bloomfield's local clergyman after his move to Bedfordshire in 1812.
  • Wilson, William: printer of 9th, 10th and 11th editions of The Farmer’s Boy and the 2nd edition of Rural Tales for Vernor and Hood.
  • Windham, William (1750–1810): a politician who opposed parliamentary reform and assisted Pitt’s repression of political protest. Argued against the peace of 1802 and helped Cobbett in founding the Political Register (initially a Tory, anti-Jacobin paper).
  • Wordsworth, William (1770-1850): poet. Bloomfield admired Wordsworth’s poetry and stated that there was ‘much truth’ in parts of the Preface to Lyrical Ballads.
  • Young, John (1755–1825): mezzotint engraver and etcher. Mostly did portraits, including engraving Pierre Violet’s and John Rising’s portraits of Bloomfield in 1805. Keeper of the British Institution (art gallery) and secretary of the Artists' Benevolent Fund, 1810–13.
  • Young, Thomas, Dr (1773–1829): Charles Bloomfield’s physician at Worthing in 1804 had only just begun practising in the town but had already, although his reputation was not yet established, made his great scientific breakthroughs. A former lecturer at the Royal Institution, he devised experiments proving the wave theory of light and demonstrating the way in which the eye focuses. He also advanced the three-colour theory of vision and made the breakthrough in deciphering the Rosetta Stone.


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