From 1779 until 1787 William attended the
lodging with Ann Tyson at Colthouse initially, then with his brothers. At
Hawkshead William thrived - receiving encouragement from the headmaster to read
and write poetry. During these years he made many visits to the countryside,
gaining inspiration as the powers of nature exercised their influence.
He then went to St John's College Cambridge, where he was not a notable
student, but inevitably matured in thought and sophistication. In 1795 he
received a bequest of £900 which gave hive the means to pursue a literary
In 1795 the Wordsworths stayed in a cottage in Dorset, where they met Samuel
Taylor Coleridge and Robert Southey. In the years ahead a close relationship
developed between William, Dorothy and Coleridge. William and Coleridge then
undertook a tour of the Lake District, starting at Temple Sowerby, and finishing
at Wasdale Head, via Grasmere. At Grasmere they saw Dove Cottage, then an empty
Inn called the Dove and Olive Branch.
In December 1799 William and Dorothy moved into
Coleridge having previously moved to
Dorothy was William's secretary as William dictated his poetry. In 1802 William
married his childhood companion Mary Hutchinson, and the first three of their
five children were born. Thomas de Quincey was a permanent guest, and in 1808 as
the cottage became inadequate, they moved to
Bank in Grasmere, a large house that William had condemned as an eyesore
when it was being built. They lived here for two years, with poet and friend
Coleridge. They then moved to the Old Rectory, opposite St Oswald's Church, a
cold and damp house where his two youngest children died.
In 1813 they moved to
Mount, where William and Mary stayed until their deaths in 1850 and 1859.
Whilst at Rydal Mount William became Distributor of Stamps for Westmorland, and
had an office in Church St
In 1820 he published his 'Guide through the District of the Lakes'. In 1842 he
became the Poet Laureate, and resigned his office as Stamp Distributor.
He helped to choose the site of
Mary's Church, built just below Rydal Mount, and where he was church warden
from 1833 to 1834.