NEW Sevenoaks Quiz Trail now available!
There’s more to Sevenoaks than the Seven Oaks that this wonderful town is named after – so much more to discover!
- It’s where the late Diana, Princess of Wales, went to school
- It’s where Henry VIII danced with his mistress Anne Boleyn whilst still married to his first wife
- and it’s where ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ star Anton Du Beke learnt to dance! Plus tons more!
William Henry Davies was born in Wales on 3rd July 1871 and he spent much of his life as a poet and tramp in the United Kingdom and the United States.
From his early twenties he travelled back and forth to America - travelling on cattle ships. He served time in prison, lived hand to mouth and also went to the Klondike in Canada joining the gold rush in 1899. It was here that he had an incident with a train which resulted in him losing half a leg from the knee down. He wrote poetry and was 'discovered' in 1905.
Edward Thomas, a literary critic for the Daily Chronicle, brought Davies to Sevenoaks and housed him in a rented cottage in Eggpie Lane, near to his own farm. The coming years brought progression and increasing success. In 1908 William's book 'The Autobiography of a Super-Tramp' was published. The 1970s pop group Supertramp took their name from the title of this book.
After lodging at several addresses in Sevenoaks, Davies moved back to London in 1914, settling in the Bloomsbury district where he lived in a tiny two-room apartment, initially infested with mice and rats and next door to the rooms of a noisy Belgian prostitute!
He married 23 year old Helen in 1923 when he was 52 - we'd like to say that calmed life down ... but it didn’t! He had vast amounts of work published and had built a name for himself as a respected poet by the time he passed away in 1940, aged 69. One of his famous poems starts …
"What is this life if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare...."