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edition of the Poet's works. It is a modest mansion, of a sober hue, tinged with weather stains, with two tiers of five windows; on the right of these is a porch, and above, and to the right, are two other windows; the highest looks out of what was the Poet's bedroom. The gable end at the east, that first seen on entering the grounds from the road, presents on the ground-floor the window of the old hall or dining-room. The house is mantled over here and there with roses and ivy, and jessamine and Virginia creeper.
We may pause on the threshold of the porch at the hospitable “Salve” inscribed on the pavement brought by a friend from Italy.
a friend from Italy. But the privacy of the interior shall not be invaded. Suffice it to say, that in the old hall or dining-room stands the ancestral almery brought from Penistone; and here are engravings of poets — Chaucer, Spenser, Shakspeare, Ben Jonson, and Milton - and also of the royal children, a gift from Her most Gracious Majesty the Queen to the Poet Laureate.
In the library — if by such name it may be called, for books are found dispersed indifferently in all the sitting-rooms of the ground floor, -are pictures from the pencil of the Poet's dear friend Sir G. H. Beaumont, illustrating two of the Poet's works—the “ White Doe of Rylstone” and the “ Thorn.” In the adjoining room hangs the portrait which suggested those beautiful lines beginning with the words
“ Beguiled into forgetfulness of care
Due to the day's unfinished task, of pen
Before my window, oftentimes and long
gaze upon a portrait. On the staircase hangs the picture brought with some others by the author's eldest son from Italy, and celebrated in the sonnet?, “ Giordano, verily thy pencil's skill Hath here pourtrayed with Nature's happiest grace
The fair Endymion couched on Latmos hill.” Opposite is an engraving from Haydon's picture of the Duke of Wellington upon the field of Waterloo, commemorated in another sonnet3 ; and, not much further on, the Cuckoo Clock, immortalised by the Poet's imaginative and tender lines“,
“For service hangs behind his chamber door;" and the voice which cheered him in his sleepless nights, and presented to his mind a train of blithe and vernal thoughts in winter nights,
“ When tempests howl Or nipping frosts remind thee trees are bare,” still sounds from its retreat, and is heard throughout the house.
This clock struck twelve at noon, on Tuesday, April 23. 1850, when the Poet breathed his last.
| See vol. iv. p. 249., written 1834. 2 Vol. iv. p. 141, written 1846.
3 Vol. ii. p. 311. “By art's bold privilege warrior and warhorse stand,” &c.
4 “ The Cuckoo-Clock," vol. ii. p. 204, beginning “Would'st thou be taught," &c.
BIRTH AND PARENTAGE OF WILLIAM WORDSWORTH.
WILLIAM WORDSWORTH was born at Cockermouth, in Cumberland, on the 7th of April, 1770, at 10 o'clock at night, and was baptized on the 13th day of the same month. The house in which he first saw the light is a large mansion (the property of Lord Lonsdale, and now occupied by Mr. Wood) on the lefthand side of the road on entering Cockermouth from Workington. He was the second son of John Wordsworth, and of Anne his wife.
The family of Wordsworth appears to have been settled at Penistone near Doncaster in the reign of Edward III., and from that reign (to quote the words of an eminent antiquarian and genealogist) " no name appears more frequently than that of Wordsworth in deeds relating to that parish.” In the reign of Henry VIII. A. D. 1525, one of the family recorded some generations of his pedigree by carving an inscription on an oak chest or almery, now at Rydal Mount.
In the notes to the ancient ballad, entitled “ The Dragon of Wantley,” A. D. 1603, published by Dr. Percy?, Wordesworth of Penistone is described as cousin to the Dragon of Wantley, i. e. to Sir Francis Wortley
I The Rev. Joseph Hunter, in his “ History of the Deanery of Doncaster.”
? Reliques, vol. iii. p. 296.
The branch of the family from which the Poet sprang was planted at Falthwaite near Stainborough, and thence removed to Sockbridge in Westmoreland in the earlier part of the last century."
John Wordsworth, the father of the Poet, was the second son of Richard Wordsworth of Sockbridge near Penrith, and Mary, daughter of John Robinson of Appleby. He, the Poet's father, was born on November 27. 1741, and was an attorney-at-law of some eminence: he resided at Cockermouth, and was lawagent to the Earl of Lonsdale, and is described as a person of considerable mental vigour and eloquence. He was in the prime of life, and was rising rapidly to fame and opulence, when he died, in consequence of a cold caught on Coldfell, where he lost his
and passed the night in the open air, in a professional ride from Broughton to Cockermouth. His death took place December 30. 1783. His remains were interred at Cockermouth. He left four sons and a daughter.
Anne, his wife, the Poet's mother, was born in January, 1747, and was the daughter of William Cookson, of Penrith, mercer, and Dorothy, daughter of James Crackanthorpe, of Newbiggen Hall. She was therefore descended by her mother's side from a very ancient family — one also, distinguished in the annals of learning by the name of Richard Crackan. thorpe, D.D., one of the ablest and most learned divines in the most erudite age of English theology,
For some further particulars concerning the genealogy of the family of Wordsworth, which will be found in the Appendix,
am indebted to the kindness of a valued friend and relative, Captain ROBINSON, R.N., of Ambleside, and to communications addressed to Mr. Wordsworth by the Rev. JOSEPH HUNTER.
the reign of James I. Anne Cookson was married to John Wordsworth, at Penrith, on the 5th February, 1766, and was buried there on March 11th, 1778, about five years and nine months before the death of her husband.
The issue of this marriage was as follows: 1. RICHARD WORDSWORTH, born at Cockermouth,
19th August, 1768 ; baptized August 29. Attorney-at-Law, of Staple Inn, London. Died
May 19. 1816. 2. William WORDSWORTH, the poet, born April 7.
1770; baptized April 13. The subject of this
Memoir. 3. DOROTHY WORDSWORTH, born on Christmas Day,
1771; baptized 18th January, 1772. 4. JOHN WORDSWORTH, born 4th December, 1772;
baptized at Cockermouth. Commander of the Earl of Abergavenny East Indiaman, in which he perished by shipwreck off Weymouth, on the
night of Friday, Feb. 5. 1805. 5. CHRISTOPHER WORDSWORTH, born at Cockermouth,
June 9. 1774; baptized July 8. 1774. Elected Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, October 1. 1798. Married Priscilla, daughter of Charles Lloyd, Esq., banker, of Birmingham, October 6. 1804. Chaplain to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Manners Sutton. Dean of Bocking, May 30th, 1808. Rector of Lambeth, Surrey, and Sundridge, Kent, April 10. 1816. Installed Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, July 26.
1820. Died at Buxted, Sussex, Feb. 2. 1846. The scene of William Wordsworth's birth-place, Cockermouth, was very favourable to the formation