Samuel Johnson



Samuel Johnson is buried in 'Poet's Corner', Westminster Abbey, London, England.

Burial Stone of Samuel Johnson
Photograph by Mike Reed

Johnson died in a house in Bolt Court which lay to the north of Fleet St. but has now been demolished. Bolt Court led into Gough Square where he lived from 1749-1759. The Gough Square residence is the only one of his houses to have survived. It was here that he worked on his famous Dictionary compiled by himself, and six full time clerks who he employed.

In 1777, at the request of various booksellers, Johnson undertook to write The Lives of the English Poets - a work which is now regarded as one of his greatest achievements.


Johnson's own life was meticulously written up by his friend and travelling companion James Boswell and first appeared in 1791.

Although a considerable poet, Johnson is better remembered for his witty conversation, his eccentricities and his disparaging remarks about  Scots, Whigs and Americans, He famously defined  'oats' as: "A grain, which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people."

See also 'Poets on Poetry'.

His fall was destined to a barren strand,
A petty fortress, and a dubious hand;
He left the name, at which the world grew pale,
To point a moral, or adorn a tale.

Charles XII of Sweden (complete poem)






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