Samuel Palmer (27 January 1805 - 24 May 1881) was a British landscape painter, etcher and printmaker. He was also a prolific writer. Palmer was a key figure in Romanticism in Britain and produced visionary pastoral paintings. Palmer, who was born in Newington, London in Surrey Square off the Old Kent Road, was the son of a bookseller and sometime Baptist minister, and was raised by a pious nurse. Palmer painted churches from around age twelve, and first exhibited Turner-inspired works at the Royal Academy at the age of fourteen. He had little formal training, and did not have a formal schooling, although he was educated briefly at Merchant Taylors' School. Through John Linnell, he met William Blake in 1824. Blake's influence can be seen in the works he produced over the next ten years or so, which are generally reckoned to be his greatest. These works were of landscapes around Shoreham, near Sevenoaks in the west of the county of Kent. He purchased a run-down cottage, nicknamed Rat Abbey, and it was there that he lived from 1826 to 1835, depicting the area as a demi-paradise, mysterious and visionary, and often shown in sepia shades under moon and star light. There Palmer also associated with the group of Blake-influenced artists known as The Ancients (including George Richmond and Edward Calvert). They were among the few who ever saw the Shoreham paintings since, as a result of attacks by critics in 1825, he only ever opened those early portfolios to selected friends.