Stagg, John

(1770-1823)
   "The Blind Bard" was born at Burg-by-Sands, near Carlisle, where his father, a tailor, possessed a small property. Blind from a young age, he made his living by playing the fiddle and running a small library in the town of Wigton, Cumberland. He married at twenty, moved to Manchester, which was his base for the rest of his life, and died at Workington. He traveled the countryside gathering information and impressions to include in his poetry, and was patronized by many well-to-do people of Cumberland and academics of Oxford and Cambridge, who encouraged him to publish Minstrel of the North (1810). It included one of the earliest original vampire poems in English, the Vampyre. His other publications: Miscellaneous Poems, 1804. Miscellaneous Poems, 1897. The Cumberland Minstrel, 1821 (3 volumes). Some of his poems: "A Prayer to Jehovah," "Auld Lang Seyne," "Frederick and Eliza; or, the Shipwreck," "On Hope," "The Apparition," "The Bridewain," "The Disappointment," "The Messiah," "The Pleasures of Contemplation," "The Vision: From the Fourth Chapter of Job."
   Sources: Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. Miscellaneous Poems, Some of Which Are in the Cumberland and Scottish Dialects. John Stagg (no publisher), 1807. The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry. 11th ed. The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry, Columbia University Press, 2005 (http://www.columbiagrangers.org). The Literary Gothic, Works by John Stagg (http://www.litgothic.com/Authors/stagg.html).

British and Irish poets. A biographical dictionary. . 2015.

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