Elizabeth Barrett Browning (March 6, 1806 – June 29, 1861) was one of the most prominent poets of the Victorian era. She was the wife of poet Robert Browning, whom she married in secret due to objections by her father. Her poetry was widely popular in both England and the United States during her lifetime. Browning published many poems in her lifetime, and many more were published by her husband after her death. Her works contained early examples of feminist thought and have been reprinted in several volumes including The Norton Anthology of English Literature.
Elizabeth Barrett Moulton-Barrett was born on March 6, 1806, in Coxhoe Hall, between the villages of Coxhoe and Kelloe in County Durham. Her parents were Edward Barrett Moulton Barrett and Mary Graham-Clarke; she was the eldest of their 12 children (eight boys and four girls). All the children survived except for one girl who died at the age of four, when Elizabeth was eight. All the children in her family had nicknames: Elizabeth's was `Ba`. The Barrett family, who were part Creole, had lived for centuries in Jamaica, where they owned sugar plantations and relied on slave labour. Elizabeth's father chose to raise his family in England while his fortune grew in Jamaica. The Graham-Clarke family was as wealthy as the Barretts family wealth.
Elizabeth was baptized in 1809 at Kelloe Parish Church, though she had already been baptized by a family friend in the first week after she was born.