Willmott, Robert Aris (1809 -1863)

Robert Aris Willmott was born at Bradford, Wiltshire on 30 January 1809, the son of a solicitor, about whom little is known. His father married Mary Ann (d. 1861), the only child of the Rev. John Cleeve of Ringwood, Hampshire about 1803. In October 1819 he was admitted at Merchant Taylors' school. He entered Harrow School in January or February 1825. In March 1828 he issued the first number of the Harrovian, which ran to six numbers. He entered Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1832, but his matriculation was deferred until 17 February 1834. While at Cambridge he earned his living by his pen. He graduated B.A. on 26 May 1841. In 1842 Willmott was ordained deacon to the curacy of St. James, Ratcliff. He was ordained priest on 11 June 1843. After serious illness he left St. James's on 2 June 1844, and for three months was stationed at Chelsea Hospital, and in June 1845 became curate at Launton, Oxfordshire. On 23 April 1846 Willmott became the first incumbent of the newly erected St. Catherine, Bearwood, Berkshire. About 1861 differences arose with the patron of St. Catherine, and Willmott resigned in May 1862 on a pension. He moved to Nettlebed in Oxfordshire, and began writing for the Churchman's Family Magazine. He died at Nettlebed on 27 May 1863, and was buried, with his mother and sister (Mary Cleeve Willmott, who died at Richmond on 9 May 1854, aged 47), in the churchyard of Bearwood. Willmott was a prolific writer, and contributed to the Church of England Quarterly Review, Fraser's Magazine, the London Magazine, and the Asiatic Journal. He also edited for George Routledge's British Poets the poems of Thomas Gray, Thomas Parnell, William Collins, Matthew Green, and Thomas Warton, as well as the works of George Herbert, the poems of Mark Akenside and John Dyer, William Cowper, and Robert Burns. He edited selections from the poetry of William Wordsworth, James Montgomery, and Oliver Goldsmith.
Stamp(s) Stamp Information
Crest: A tiger’s head erased
Arms: On a fess between three wolves’ heads three mullets
Heraldic Charges: mullets (3), Heraldic Charges: tiger's head, Heraldic Charges: wolves heads (3)