Poet's Humble Beginings
Henry Kirke White was a Nottingham poet who drew inspiration
for much of his poetry from Wilford and Clifton. He was born in 1785
in Nottingham where the Exchange Walk Arcade now stands on Cheapside. A
small slate plaque just inside the entrance to the Arcade marks the location.
He was the son of a butcher who became a lawyers Clerk in Bridlesmiths
Gate when 14 years old.
An Exhausting Pace
He put all his energy into his work and his studies before
taking his first steps into poetry. In a letter to a friend he wrote:-
'I have been for the last three months busily engaged
in preparing a volume of poems for the press. To this undertaking every
moment which I could snatch from business and sleep has been devoted ...
perhaps you will deem me presumptuous that I venture to appear before the
public at so early an age but I have been encouraged by ... men of eminence
in the literary world ... I have not the capacity to pursue my studies
as I would wish from a narrowness of income, this book if successful will
be a material health to me.' In fact he was expending so
much energy in work, studies and poetry that he was becoming ill.
He became so fragile he believed he was about to die and made it known
he wanted to be buried in one of his favorite locations, Wilford.