Open main menu

ALLINGHAM, William, born at Ballyshannon, on the picturesque River Erne, in the north-west of Ireland, a locality to which many of his lyrics refer, and where his family, originally English, had been settled during many generations. After contributing to the Athenæum, Household Words (in the first number of which "The Wayside Well" appeared), and other periodicals, his first volume, "Poems," was published in 1850; in 1854 appeared "Day and Night Songs," and in 1855 an enlarged edition of the same, with illustrations by D.G. Rossetti, Millais, and A. Hughes; "Laurence Bloomfield in Ireland: a Modern Poem, in twelve chapters," first appeared in Fraser's Magazine, and subsequently in a volume, 1869. It extends to nearly 5,000 lines in decasyllabic couplets, and sketches the characteristic features of contemporary Irish life, a subject entirely new in narrative poetry. Mr. Allingham was for some years editor of Fraser, to which he also contributed many prose articles. A volume entitled, "Songs, Poems, and Ballads," was published in 1877, and contains revised versions of many former pieces, with the addition of many others "now first collected." The marriage of Mr. Allingham and Miss Helen Paterson, the artist, took place in 1874. They have three children, two boys and a girl, and reside at Witley, near Godalming, in Surrey.