Joseph Skipsey image
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Born in March 17, 1832 / Died in September 3, 1903 / United Kingdom / English


Born March 17, 1832, in Percy, Northumberland, Joseph Skipsey was a colliery worker at seven years of age. He made himself educated, publishing verse in local newspapers until he was gradually able to leave harsh labour behind him. He earned a living as caretaker to schools and colleges. He and his wife Sara Ann Hendley, married in 1854, had eight children. Skipsey had several literary positions: Assistant Librarian, Newcastle Literary and Philosophical Society (1863), and custoldian of Shakespeare's birthplace at Stratford-on-Avon (1889-91). He was awarded a annual civil list pension in 1880 for his literary work, which included preparing popular editions of important poets. Skipsey died at Gateshead on Sept. 3, 1903, and was interred in Gateshead Cemetery.


  • Langton, John. "Skipsey, Joseph (1832–1903)." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Online ed. Ed. Lawrence Goldman. Oxford: OUP, 2004.
  • Skipsey, Joseph. A Book of Miscellaneous Lyrics. Bedlington: George Richardson, 1878.
  • --. Carols from the Coalfields. London: Walter Scott, 1886.
  • --. The Collier Lad, and Other Lyrics. 1864.
  • --. Poems. Blyth: William Alder, 1871
  • --. Poems, Songs, and Ballads. Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 1862.
  • --. Selected Poems. Ed. Basil Bunting. Sunderland: Ceolfrith Press, 1976. PR 5452 S74A17 1976 Robarts Library
  • --. Songs and Lyrics. London: W. Scott, 1892. PR 5452 S8S6 1892 Robarts Library
  • Watson, Robert Spence. Joseph Skipsey, his Life and Work. London: T.F. Unwin, 1909. PR 5452 .S8Z96 Robarts Library