John Masefield was born in Ledbury in 1878. Following the deaths of his parents, he embarked at the age of thirteen on a brief career in the merchant navy. He sailed, in 1894, aboard a ship bound for Chile, but returned home after a breakdown. He went to sea again in 1895, this time arriving in the USA. After working at a variety of menial jobs in New York (including barman and factory hand), he returned to England in 1897. In 1903 he married Constance de la Cherois Crommelin. During this time, he read widely and began to write poetry.
Salt Water Ballads, his first collection, was published in 1902. Many pieces in this early collection – “The Tarry Buccaneer”, “A Night at Dago Tom's”, “A Ballad of John Silver�…
Bridges, James. "John Masefield". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 24 September 2003
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=2971, accessed 24 March 2017.]