William Barnes was born in Sturminster Stowe in Dorset, came from a working-class background and was essentially self-taught, leaving school at thirteen to begin working life as a solicitor's clerk. He moved to Dorchester in 1816, where he continued to work as a clerk and began to educate himself in his spare time.
In 1823 – after publishing two books – he started his own school in Mere, Wiltshire. He returned to Dorchester with his wife and children in 1835, where he opened a school in Durngate Street. Barnes was rector of Winterborne Came from 1862 until his death in 1886 and was buried in the churchyard – not, I repeat – Whitcombe churchyard.
My other William Barnes post:
William Barnes in Dorchester and Winterborne Came, Dorset