Knowles, Herbert

(1798-1817)
   He was born at Gomersal, near Leeds, and both his parents died when he was young. Rather than let him become a clerk in an office in Liverpool, three clergymen helped raise enough money to send him to Richmond grammar school, Yorkshire, with the hope of his gaining a scholarship to St. John's College, Cambridge. His brother, J.C. Knowles (subsequently Q.C.) sent a copy of Herbert's poem "The Three Tabernacles" (composed in 1816) to Robert Southey, who approached Earl Spencer and Samuel Rogers (see entry). They agreed to help finance Herbert, who died before he could even start at Cambridge. Several verses were published in the Literary Gazette for 1819 and 1824 and the Literary Souvenir for 1825 (reprinted in Saturday Magazine, Vol. 16.). "The Three Tabernacles" (better known as "Stanzas in Richmond Churchyard") had a large circulation on a separate sheet and first appeared in book form in Carlisle's Endowed Grammar Schools. The opinion of experts is that this poem heralded the rising of another poetic star, whose short life was only nineteen years.
   Sources: A Sacrifice of Praise: An Anthology of Christian Poetry in English from Caedmon to the Mid-Twentieth Century. James H. Trott, ed. Cumberland House Publishing, 1999. Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry. 11th ed. The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry, Columbia University Press, 2005 (http://www.columbiagrangers.org).

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

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