Seán Rafferty was born in Dumfriesshire in 1909. He studied Classics at Edinburgh University, and moved eventually to South Devon in 1948. He and his second wife ran a pub, The Duke of York, until 1975. He took over the garden on the estate of Farms for City Children in the same parish, Iddesleigh, until his death in 1993.
His work was admired by Hugh MacDiarmid and Sorley MacLean. His collected poems were published in two editions, by Carcanet and etruscan in 1995 and 1999, and Poems, Revue Sketches and Fragments, published by etruscan in 2004. This was a posthumous assemblage made from his papers, a collaboration between Nicholas Johnson and Rafferty’s daughter, Christian Coupe.