Prince, John Critchley

(1808-1866)
   Born at Wigan, Lancashire, he was the son of a poor reed-maker for weavers. He learned to read and write at a Baptist Sunday school. For ten years from age nine he worked for his father, then sought work in France in 1830, but the country was once again caught up in revolution and he found no work. When he returned, destitute and starving, he found his wife and children in the poorhouse. He worked as a shopkeeper in Manchester but lived mainly off the sale of his poems that were written in the Lancashire dialect. In 1842 he traveled on foot to London and recorded his experiences in a series of letters to Bradshaw's Journal. From 1845 to 1851 he was paid editor of the Ancient Shepherd's Quarterly Magazine, published at Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire. He died at Hyde, Manchester, and was buried at St. George's Church. His poetry publications: Hours with the Muses, 1842. Dreams and Realities, 1847. The Poetic Rosary, 1850. Autumn Leaves, 1856. Miscellaneous Poems, 1861. Some of his poems: "Abjuration," "Anti-Corn-Law Lyric," "At My Wife's Grave Side," "Lyrics for the People," "Temperance Song," "Written in Affliction."
   Sources: Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. Lancashire Dialect Poets and Poems, Authors, Writers and Poets (http://www.manchester2002-uk.com/celebs/authors4.html). Stanford University Libraries and Academic Information Resources (http://library.stanford.edu). 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 Poetical Works of John Critchley Prince, Vols. 1 and 2. Abel Heywood and Son, 1880. The Poorhouse Fugitives: Self-Taught Poets and Poetry in Victorian Britain. Brian Maidment, ed. Carcanet, 1987.

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

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