William was born on 4th March 1787 at Dundraw, Cumberland, England. Almost immediately after his birth his family took up residence at Branthwaite Hall the ancestral home of the Skelton family of Cumberland. Branthwaite Hall is now a scheduled monument and a Grade 1 listed building protected by law. The hall was to be the inspiration for one of his poems and the title of his first book of poetry.Around 1835 he moved to Cockermouth, Cumberland where he began working as a land surveyor & valuer working on tithe maps of England amongst other things. It was also around this time (1837) that he published his first works of poetry under the name William Hetherington, of Cockermouth. His second and final book followed in 1850. Sometime between 1850 and 1861 he relocated again, this time to Ullock, Cumberland where he remained until his death on 16th January 1865. He was buried in the churchyard at Dean.
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