Charles Swain, "the Manchester Poet," was born in Manchester and educated at a school run by the Unitarian minister William Johns. At the age of fifteen he was employed as a clerk in a dye-house. After 1830 he was employed by an engraving and lithography firm in Manchester. Throughout his long life he devoted himself to literary pursuits, contributing to the Manchester Iris, a literary magazine, and publishing in many of the annuals. Swain was awarded a civil list pension in 1856.
Metrical essays on subjects of history and imagination. 1827.
Beauties of the mind: A poetical sketch; with Lays historical and romantic. 1831.
Dryburgh Abbey, the burial place of Sir Walter Scott: A vision. 1832.
Memoir of Henry Liverseege. 1835.
Cabinet of poetry and romance. 1844.
Rhymes for childhood. 1846.
Dramatic chapters: poems and songs. 1847.
English melodies. 1849.
Letters of Laura d'Auverne. 1853.
Art and Fashion: with other sketches, songs, and poems. 1863.
Songs and ballads. 1867.