Charles Lamb (1775–1834) was remembered in Coleridge’s will as ‘my oldest Friend, & ever-beloved Schoolfellow’. The school was Christ’s Hospital, then located in London, in Newgate Street, near Smithfield Market and St Bartholemew’s Hospital. Coleridge arrived in 1782, soon after his father’s death, and returned to his birthplace, Ottery St Mary in Devon, only three or four times during the nine years he spent as a schoolboy. Lamb, by contrast, was a Londoner born and bred whose family were on hand nearby. For the ‘poor friendless boy’ of Lamb’s essay, school-holidays offered only a burden of extra solitude; the boy is not explicitly a picture of the young Coleridge – he dreams of Calne in Wiltshire, not of Devon – but he does reflect part of the poet’s experience between the ages of nine and eighteen.