Thomas Beggs (1789 - 1847):
Thomas Beggs was born in Glenwhirry, County Antrim. When he was six years of age, the family moved to Whiteabbey on the shore of Belfast Lough, and Thomas went to sea in a coasting vessel. He was ship-wrecked off Rathlin Island, and returned home. He moved to Ballyclare, County Antrim, and became employed in a local bleachworks. He contributed poems to the Belfast Penny Journal, the News Letter and the Banner of Ulster. His first book, Miscellaneous Pieces in Verse, was published in 1819. He intended to go to France to work in a linen firm, but when this did not materialise, and he found himself unemployed, he set out on a north Antrim walking tour. The following year, Rathlin was published, and a year later, The Rhyming Pedagogue. He moved to Belfast in 1825 to work in the bleachworks, and in 1828 published The Momento, a Choice Variety of Original Poems. In 1830 he published a prose work, Nights in a Garrett. Despite again becoming unemployed, and having to rely on his brother for food and shelter for he and his family, he continued to publish. Eventually he was re-employed and given a cottage. He is buried in Ballylinny, near Ballyclare, County Antrim, in an unmarked grave.
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