10/21/1772 Samuel Taylor Coleridge was born in Ottery St. Mary, youngest of the ten children of John Coleridge, a minister, and Ann Bowden Coleridge
Approx 1780 He was often bullied as a child by Frank, the next youngest, and his mother was apparently a bit distant, so it was no surprise when Coleridge ran away at age seven. He was found early the next morning by a neighbor, but the events of his night outdoors frequently showed up in imagery in his poems as well as the notebooks he kept for most of his adult life.
1781 John Coleridge died (His father), and young Coleridge was sent away to a London charity school for children of the clergy
1790 His brother Luke died.
1791 His only sister Ann died, inspiring Col to write Monody, one of his first poems. Coleridge was very ill around this time and probably took laudanum for the illness, thus beginning his lifelong opium addiction.
1793 He had started to hope for poetic fame, but by now, he owed about £150 (because of opium, alcohol, and women)and was desparate. So he joined the army. His family was furious. He`d used the improbable name of Silas Tomkyn Comberbache and had escaped being sent to fight in France because he could only barely ride a horse.
Approx 1793 His brother George finally arranged his discharge by reason of insanity and got him back to Cambridge.
1795 Marries Sara Fricker.
1796 David Hartley Coleridge was born. First son.
1797 Poems published
1798 Berkeley Coleridge born, second son
1798 The famous Lyrical Ballads was published, a collaboration between Coleridge and William Wordsworth. The authors didn`t realize this at the time,they went to Germany with William`s sister Dorothy.
1798 Col`s son Berkeley died while he was away; the baby had been given the brand-new smallpox vaccination and died of a reaction to it. Col, as was typical of him, returned home slowly so as not to have to deal openly with Berkeley`s death, and got little work done.
1800 Col named his first two sons after his favorite philosophers; his third son, was named Derwent, after the river near their house. Robert wondered, "Why will he give his children such heathenish names? Did he dip him in the river and baptize him in the name of the Stream God?"
1802 Birth of his daughter Sara.
1804 Coleridge spied a bit for his majesty, who wanted Malta as a British port, though officially Col was the temporary Public Secretary. Col had also hoped for a release from his addiction, but this was not to be.
1806 He returned to England and plucking up his courage, asked for a legal separation from his wife.
1834 Died. Coleridge summed himself up this way, in the epitaph he wrote for himself:
Beneath this sod
A Poet lies; or that which once was he.
O lift one thought in prayer for S.T.C.
That he, who many a year with toil of breath,
Found Death in Life, may here find Life in Death.