Richard Abbot

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For the New Zealand architect, see Richard Atkinson Abbot.

Richard Abbot (1818 – 15 July 1904)[1] was an English poet. He was born in Burton-in-Kendal, Westmorland (now Cumbria). His father worked as a subcontractor on the Lancaster and Kendal Canal, which was then being extended to Tewitfield.[2][3] His mother died when he was three years old.[1] Abbot's initial education, from the age of four, was undertaken at Dame schools in Shap Fell and Galgate, Lancashire, before he studied at a National school in Ingleton, North Yorkshire.[1] When the family was in Ingleton, Abbot's father began farming on the fells of Ingleborough, and from the age of 11, Abbot assisted him as a shepherd.[2] Around 5 years later, his father suffered a serious accident that affected his sight and brain function, forcing him to end his farming business.[4] Abbot gained new employment as a labourer on the construction of railways in Scotland, and parts of northern England.[2][4] At the age of 50, he became the manager of a limestone quarry in the parish of Forcett, North Yorkshire.[2][4] He continued in this position for 32 years. After retiring, he passed the quarry to his son. He also had two daughters.[4] He died at his home in Forcett in 1904, at the age of 86.[4] He is buried in the graveyard of St Cuthbert's Church in Forcett.[1]

Four collections of his poetry were published between 1868 and 1901.[2] In 1884, he became a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. His 1879 collection The pen, the press, and the sword features a lithograph portrait by Ralph Hedley, and another portrait is included in his 1901 collection The Wanderer.[1] His poetry was also printed in magazines in England and colonial territories.[1] They often appeared in the Teesdale Mercury. Three of his poems appeared in North Country Poets: "The Song of Ingleton Bells", "O, Turn Aside Thy Loving Eyes" and "Fading Beauty".

Published works[edit]

  • War!: a descriptive poem on passing events (Bishop Auckland: G. E. Briggs, 1868)
  • War, Canto III: Raby, Keverstone, Staindrop, &c; The railway jubilee; Ode to Ingleborough, and other select poems and songs (London: Simpkin, Marshall & Co., 1876)
  • The pen, the press, and the sword, with other poems and balsams for wounded hearts (Darlington: William Dresser, 1879)
  • The Wanderer, in special trains of grave thoughts, with other poems and songs (Darlington: William Dresser, 1901)


  1. ^ a b c d e f Fawcett, J. W. (1923). "Some Local Authors". In Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Proceedings. G. Nicholson. p. 317. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Reilly, Catherine (2000). Mid-Victorian Poetry, 1860-1879. Continuum. p. 4. ISBN 978-0-7201-2318-0. 
  3. ^ Rowell-Waller, John (1889). "Richard Abbot". In William Andrews. North Country Poets, Volume II. London: Simpkin, Marshall & Co. p. 66. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Death of a Local Poet". The Teesdale Mercury. 27 July 1904.