Welcome to The British Literary Ballads Archive, a site dedicated to a unique genre of literary imitations of traditional ballads. The site contains a growing archive of over 700 poems, as well as short biographical sketches of the poets who wrote them.

FacebookTwitterGoogle Bookmarks

Charles Wolfe (1791-1823)


Irish poet, born in Kildare, Ireland 14 December 1791. He is related to Wolfe Tone (1763-98) who headed the Irish democracy movement. His father died in 1799, and therefore his bereaved family went to London. He was educated in England for about 10 years and matriculated at Trinity College, Dublin in 1809.

After graduation, he read an account which Southey wrote about Sir John Moore’s death in the Edinburgh Annual Register. He was impressed by the account, and created his own elegiac ode, “The Burial of Sir John Moore”, published anonymously in 1817. The controversy as to the original author and Byron’s praise aroused people’s interest in this poem, which was read widely in the middle of the 19th century. (M. I.)

1.The Burial of Sir John Moore