The life of William Wordsworth’s son

A talk at Rydal Mount will open the pages on the life of William Wordsworth’s oldest child, John Wordsworth.

The world-renowned poet and his wife Mary had five children, two of whom died in infancy. But John, born in 1803, lived to the age of 72, was married four times (after three of his wives died) and was a vicar, latterly at Brigham Church between Keswick and Cockermouth.

It is through John’s line that the current owners of Rydal Mount, Wordsworth’s great-great-great-great grandsons, are descended.

His life has been researched by Muriel Strachan who will present the talk at Rydal Mount on November 14.

garden in autumn

A one-time nurse and midwife who took a degree in later life and graduated at the age of 60, Mrs Strachan developed a fascination with the Wordsworth family when she and her husband Robert, a retired doctor, moved to live in Cumbria.

Her son, Professor John Strachan, the pro-vice-chancellor of Bath Spa university, and a specialist in Romanticism, is working on a book about the Wordsworth family and asked his mother if she would help research the lives of the children.

Mrs Strachan has also researched the lives of the two children who died in childhood, Thomas, and Catherine who, she discovered, is highly likely to have been born with Down’s Syndrome.

“John was a fascinating character,” said Mrs Strachan. “Not a writer, like his father, though he wrote many sermons!

“He married into one of the notable Cumbrian families, Isabel Curwen of Workington Hall, and they had six children. He had a further daughter with his third wife, Mary Dolan.”

The talk is at 2pm on Thursday November 14 at Rydal Mount and entry is free. Booking here:

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