William Preston


William Preston was born in Dublin and studied at Trinity College Dublin (B.A. 1770, M.A. 1773) and at the Middle Temple. He was called to the Irish Bar in 1777 and was later a Judge of Appeals. Preston was a founding member of the Royal Irish Academy (of which he was secretary from 1786) and an early supporter of Catholic emancipation. A member of the "Monks of the Screw," he died of overwork on 2 February 1807. His chief literary success, "Democratic Rage," a drama founded on events in the French Revolution, was produced in Dublin in 1793.


1770The Sirloin. Written in the Year 1770.
1781Epistle to a young Gentleman, on his having addicted himself to the Study of Poetry.
1793Despair. Translated from the French of Tristan, one of the early French Writers.
1800 ca.Somerville Gala.


Heroic epistle from Mr. Manly. 1775.
An heroic epistle to Mr. Twiss. 1775.
Heroic answer to Mr. Twiss. 1775.
A congratulatory poem on the late successes of the British arms. 1776.
The court mirrors, or the age of loyalty. 1776.
1777, or a picture of the manners and customs of the age. 1778?
The female congress, or the Temple of Cottyto, a mock-heroical poem. 1779.
The contrast, or a comparison of England and Ireland. A poem. 1780.
Poems on several occasions. 1781.
Offa and Ethelbert, or the Saxon princes. A tragedy. 1791.
Poetical works. 2 vols, 1793.
Messina freed. A tragedy. 1793.
Rosamunda, a tragedy. 1793.
Democratic rage, a tragedy. 1793.
Siege of Ismail, a tragedy. 1794.
A letter to Bryan Edwards ... on his History of the West Indies. 1794.
The natural advantages of Ireland. 1796.
The Argonautics of Apollonius Rhodius [trans. Preston]. 1803.
Epistle to Robert Anderson, M.D. 1806.
Posthumous poems. 1809.