Who was George Crabbe?
George Crabbe was an eighteenth century poet
and prose writer.
Date and Place of Birth:
24th December 1754, Aldeburgh, Suffolk, England.
Crabbe was the eldest son of George Crabbe, a
local customs official, parish clerk and schoolmaster.
Schools in Bungay and Stowmarket in Norfolk.
Apprenticed to a Surgeon at age 14.
Chronology/Biography of George Crabbe:
1767: Takes a job
with his father as a labourer at the docks at Slaughden Quay to
the South of Aldeburgh.
1768: George Crabbe
becomes apprenticed to two apothecaries and surgeons in Suffolk.
Becomes interested in botany and poetry.
1772: Meets Sarah
Elmy in Woodbridge, Suffolk and begins a long courtship. Publishes
his first poems.
1775: The poem "Inebriety"
is published anonymously at Ipswich. Returns to Aldeburgh to work
briefly at the docks and then sets himself up as a "doctor".
Continues to study natural history and poetry.
1776: Studies obstetrics
1777: Visits London.
1779: First Draft
of "The Library"
1780: Lives Aldeburgh
for London. (August) "The Candidate" is published anonymously.
Death of his mother.
1781: George Crabbe
writes to Edmund Burke in a desperate attempt
to find patronage. Is introduced to Charles James
Fox and Sir Joshua Reynolds. Burke
also secures him the the post of the Rector of Aldeburgh.
1782: Becomes the
chaplain to the Duke of Rutland at Belvoir Castle, Leicestershire.
1784: Birth and
death of his first child.
1785: George Crabbe
publishes "The Newspaper". Becomes curate at Stathern,
Leicestershire. Birth of his son George.
1786: Death of his
1789: Becomes curate
of West Allington in Lincolnshire and then Muston in Leicestershire.
1792: Moves to Parham
in Suffolk to live in property inherited by his wife.
"Natural History of the Vale of Belvoir" in "The
History and Antiquities of the County of Leicester".
1796: Sarah begins
to suffer from nervous problems.
1804: Begins writing
1805: The Bishop
of Leicester forces him to move back to Muston after a thirteen
1807: Destroys many
of his poems and novels in this period which he thought were not
up to standard but those which survived, such as "The Parish
Register" and "The Birth of Flattery" were published.
"Tales in Verse".
1813: Death of George
Crabbe's wife Sarah.
1814: Moves to Trowbridge
in Wiltshire as Rector. Briefly engaged to Charlotte Ridout. Over
the next few years he visits Bath, Suffolk, London and Edinburgh.
Meets Southey and Wordsworth
who admire his work in London and visits Sir Walter Scott
1816: His son now
married becomes his curate at Trowbridge.
1819: George Crabbe
publishes "Tales of the Hall" in two volumes.
"The Works of the Reverend George Crabbe in seven volumes.
- 1781: "The
- 1783: "The
- 1785: "The
- 1807: "Poems".
"Tales in Verse".
- 1819: "Tales
of the Hall".
1783 to Sarah Elmy
after an eleven year engagement. (Died 1813).
Date and Place of Death:
3rd February 1832, Trowbridge, Wiltshire, England.
Age at Death:
Site of Grave:
St. Jamesís Church, Trowbridge, Wiltshire.
Places of Interest:
The British Library