William Wordsworth was born on April 7, 1770 in Cockermouth, Cumberland, England, United Kingdom. He was the second of the five children of John Wordsworth, attorney and agent to Sir James Lowther (afterwards first Earl of Lonsdale). William's ancestry on his father's side was from Yorkshire.
His mother was Anne Cookson of Penrith.
His father had died, with several thousand pounds owing to him from his employer, the Earl of Lonsdale, who refused to acknowledge the debt.