William Barnes
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The Rev. William Barnes BD

Born on 22nd February 1801 at Bagber Common, near Sturminster Newton, he came of a small land-owning family. His mother died when he was five and he was brought up by two aunts. He went to a Dame School and then the Church of England Endowed School at Sturminster.Leaving school in 1814 he became an engrossing clerk with a local solicitor. Meanwhile the Vicar taught him Greek and Latin.

In 1820 he began writing for the "Weekly Examiner". He engraved wood blocks for James Criswick who in 1822 printed a poem by Barnes "Trial in Verse Orra - A Lapland Tale".His first small volume of verse was printed by G. Clark of High St., Dorchester in 1820.  He married in 1827 Julia Miles and his first child was born in 1829.

The first of the poems on "Rural Life in the Dorset Dialect" were published in 1834, of which many more were to follow.

He was ordained Deacon in February 1849, Priest in March and went into residence at St. John’s College Cambridge. Took B.D. in 1850 and for many years travelled all over the county lecturing.

In 1853 he was presented to the living of Winterborne Came. In 1878 he was elected to the Committee to provide new buildings for the Dorset County Museum.  After some years of ill-health he died on 7th. October 1886.

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