She was born in 1820 in Lincolnshire, the daughter of a local banker, her mother originally from Scotland. Brought up initially in Boston, the family moved during her childhood to Ipswich before finally settling in London where Ingelow would spend most of the rest of her life.
In London she lived in Kensington but is also recorded at Streatham Place.
Her work was influenced by the likes of Wordsworth and, of course, Tennyson- her lifelong friend and the verses show a range of dramatic insights that were often lacking in some of her contemporaries. The collection even made it across the pond to America where it reputedly sold over 200,000 copies in a very short time.