Born in Hampshire, Warton was appointed Poet Laureate in 1785, Warton was also a literary historian and critic and is listed as having produced the first History of English Poetry. He was a highly regarded scholar. Warton died before he was able to complete The History of English Poetry from the Close of the Eleventh to the Commencement of the Eighteenth Century,,, 3 vol. (1774–81), a work which preoccupied much of his writing life and gave insights on medieval and Elizabethan Literature.  An edited version of the work was published by W.C Hazlitt in 1871. Warton was a Professor of Poetry and Fellow at Trinity College. He edited Milton’s early poems and was Editor general of ‘The Oxford Sausage’.   

An early work, The Pleasures of Melancholy was published in 1747 and influenced poets writing in the romantic style and the so-called ‘Cult of Melancholy’.  After his appointment as Poet Laureate, he produced a series of Probationary Odes in formal style.  His poetry is thought to have been influenced by Chaucer, Drayton, Fairfax, and Spenser. 

Poems by Thomas Warton

While summer suns o’er the gay prospect play’d  - Thomas Warton - Read by Will Burns