Bloomfield, Robert (1766–1823)

Brought up in Suffolk as a farmhand, Bloomfield became a shoemaker in London. His Georgic poem The Farmer’s Boy (1800) sold over 25,000 copies, and later collections Rural Tales (1802) and Wild Flowers (1806) also sold by the thousands. After 1813, owing to the bankruptcy of his publisher, Bloomfield was afflicted by poverty; Southey advised on schemes to raise money for his benefit. Bloomfield and Southey briefly corresponded in 1817.