January 31, 1784, Carlisle, Cumberland, England.

February 19, 1849, Woodbridge, Suffolk, England.

Quaker Burial Ground, Woodbridge, Suffolk, England.

© National Portrait Gallery

Barton was Bri­tain’s counterpart to American John Green­leaf Whit­ti­er. Like Whit­ti­er, he was called the Qua­ker Po­et.

Barton attended a Qua­ker school in Ip­swich. In 1798, he was apprenticed to a Mr. S. Je­sup, a shopkeeper at Hal­stead, Es­sex, with whom he stayed until 1806. Ba­rton then moved to Wood­bridge, Suf­folk, and entered into business with his brother as a coal and corn merchant. He married, but his wife died after only a year. Barton then moved to Li­ver­pool for a short while, but returned to Woodb­ridge in 1810. A bank clerk by profession, he wrote 10 books of poems, many of which became hymns. His works include:

  1. Around Bethesda’s Healing Wave
  2. Fear Not, Zion’s Sons and Daughters
  3. Hath the Invitation Ended?
  4. He Who Win a Warrior’s Fame
  5. Lamp of Our Feet
  6. Say Not the Law Divine
  7. See We Not Beyond the Portal?
  8. There Is a Life More Dear
  9. Those Who Live in Love Shall Know
  10. Walk in the Light
  11. We Journey Through a Vale of Tears
  12. Wouldst Thou Share This Benediction?