Born at Honington in Suffolk, Robert Bloomfield (1766-1823) was one of the self-taught ‘peasant poets’ of the nineteenth century. Today his verse is all but forgotten, but in his own time he was very popular. His long poem, The Farmer’s Boy 1800, sold over 25,000 copies in three years.
Constable greatly admired Bloomfield’s verse, and quoted lines from The Farmer’s Boy when he exhibited ploughing and reaping subjects in 1814 and 1817. Here he has transcribed a section from the poem - lines from Winter describing swiftly-moving clouds - and appended an illustration.