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Selected Poetry of Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800-1859)

from Representative Poetry On-line
Prepared by members of the Department of English at the University of Toronto
from 1912 to the present and published by the University of Toronto Press from 1912 to 1967.
RPO Edited by Ian Lancashire
A UTEL (University of Toronto English Library) Edition
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries
© 2004, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto

Index to poems

To every man upon this earth
Death cometh soon or late.
And how can man die better
Than facing fearful odds,
For the ashes of his fathers,
And the temples of his Gods ...
  1. Dies Irae
  2. Epitaph on a Jacobite
  3. Horatius
  4. The Last Buccaneer

Notes on Life and Works

Thomas Macaulay was born October 25, 1800, at Rothley Temple, Leicestershire, was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, and was called to the Bar in 1826. His political career began in the House of Commons as a Whig member for the borough of Calne, and then for Leeds. In 1834, the year of his successful appointment to the Supreme Council of India codifying criminal law, Macaulay publiushed Essays Critical and Historical. He returned to Britain in 1838 and became a House of Commons member for Edinburgh from 1839 to 1847, during which period he served as Secretary for War in 1839-41 and Paymaster-General in 1846-47. In this period he brought out his immensely popular Lays of Ancient Rome (1842), out of which generations of school-children were taught the story of Horatius. After losing his seat, Macaulay brought out the work that remains a best-seller, his The History of England (1848-55) from James I (1688). This brought him an invitation to be member of the House of Commons for Edinburgh again in 1852, but five years later he was made 1st baron, Lord Macaulay of Rothley Temple. He retired to Holly Lodge, Westminster, and died December 28, 1859.

Biographical information

Given name: Thomas Babington
Family name: Macaulay
Title: Baron
Birth date: 25 October 1800
Death date: 28 December 1859
Nationality: English
Family relations
          father: Zachary Macaulay
          sister: Margaret Cropper
          sister: Jane Macaulay
          sister: Hannah Trevelyan
Language: English
          School at Little Shelford under Rev. Mr. Preston: 1812 to 1814
          Aspenden Hall, near Buntingford, Hertfordshire: 1814
          Trinity College, Cambridge: October 1818
          Gray's Inn: 1829
Politics: Whig
          Prize for Latin declamation, Trinity
          English prize-poem: 1819
          Craven scholarship: 1821
          English prize-poem: 1821
          College Prize for essay on William III: 1822
Literary period: Victorian
          Member of Parliament
          Birchin Lane: 1800 to 1802
          Rothley Temple, Leicestershire: 25 October 1800
          High Street, Clapham: 1802
          50 Great Ormond Street: 1823 to 1829
          8 South Square, Gray's Inn: 1829
          Calcutta: 1834 to 1837
          Holly Lodge, Campden Hill, Kensington: May 1856
Buried at: Westminster Abbey
First RPO edition: 1996-99