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Thomas Moore

Thomas Moore (May 28, 1779 - February 26, 1852) was an Irish poet, now best remembered for the lyrics of The Last Rose of Summer. Born in Dublin, Ireland, he was educated at Trinity College, and studied law at the Middle Temple in London. It was, however, as a poet, translator and singer that he found fame, and his work soon became immensely popular.

Moore was far more than a balladeer, however. He had major success as a society figure in London, and in 1803 was appointed registrar to the Admiralty in Bermuda. From there, he travelled in Canada and the USA. He returned to England and married an actress, Elizabeth "Bessy" Dyke, in 1811. Moore had expensive tastes, and, despite the large sums he was earning from his writing, soon got into debt, a situation which was exacerbated by the embezzlement of money by the man he had employed to deputise for him in Bermuda. Moore became liable for the 6000 which had been illegally appropriated. In 1819, he was forced to leave Britain -- in company with Lord John Russell -- and live in Italy until 1822, when the debt was finally paid off. Some of this time was spent with Lord Byron, whose literary executor Moore became. He was much criticised later for allowing himself to be persuaded into destroying Byron's memoirs. Moore did, however, edit and publish Letters and Journals of Lord Byron, with Notices of his Life (1830).

He finally settled in Wiltshire, and became a novelist and biographer as well as a successful poet. He received a state pension, but his personal life was dogged by tragedy.

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