13 April 1729
||30 September 1811
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Thomas Percy was educated at Christ Church, Oxford. He became vicar of Easton Maudit, Northamptonshire in 1753 and rector of Wilby three years later. In 1770 he became Doctor of Divinity at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. He was appointed chaplain to the Duke of Northumberland and George III and from 1778 he was the Dean of Carlisle. Finally he became Bishop of Dromore from 1782 to 1811 and lived in the Bishop’s Palace, Dromore.
In 1762 he published 'Miscellaneous Pieces', which was translated from Chinese. However, his most important offering to society was in 1765 when he edited and published a manuscript containing a collection of 176 medieval poems, 'Reliques of Ancient English Poetry'. This publication initiated a general interest in earlier literary forms.
Thomas Percy's interest in the literary antiquity of England also had a lasting influence on later poetry. This influence can be seen in Coleridge's 'Ancient Mariner' and it is openly avowed by Wordsworth in 'Lyrical Ballads'. Percy's rediscovery of medieval English poetry also inspired poets of the romantic revival in Germany.
Thomas Percy’s skills were not limited to editing as he also composed and published his own work and most famous of these was a ballad entitled 'The Hermit of Warkworth'.