Askham, John

(1825-1894)
   Born the youngest of seven at Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, to a shoemaker father, Askham received very little education and at the age of ten he started work with his father. He found time and means to educate himself, and at the age of twentyfive, he published his verses in local newspapers and then as volumes, financed by subscriptions. He is buried in Wellingborough cemetery. His publications are: Sonnets on the Months and Other Poems, 1863. Descriptive Poems, Miscellaneous Pieces and Miscellaneous Sonnets, 1866. Judith and Other Poems, and a Centenary of Sonnets, 1868. Poems and Sonnets, 1875. Sketches in Prose and Verse, 1893. Askham's poem "Work While it is Day" vividly demonstrates his philosophy of working while it is day-when he is strong and his blood is young, and the hours are too precious to waste - possibly reflecting the phrase from John 9:4 "the night cometh when no man can work."
   Sources: Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997.

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

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