John Harris (14 October 1820 – 7 January 1884) was born near Camborne, in Cornwall, in a two-bedroomed cottage high on the slopes of Bolenowe Carn. His father was a miner at Dolcoath Tin Mine and John too became a miner at the age of 12.
He became a fellow of the Royal Historical Society in April 1879 for being ″distinguished in letters″.
He attended Wesleyan Chapels wherever he lived.
After 20 years working in the mine, one of his poems was published in a magazine. It attracted attention, and he was able to get a collection of poems published in 1853. He seems to have been given some independence by this, and was able to leave the mine and become a Scripture Reader in Falmouth, where he stayed until his death.