William Seward, the son of a London brewer of the same name, was educated at Charterhouse and Oriel College, Oxford, where he did not take a degree. After college Seward traveled on the Continent before returning to London where he was a friend of Samuel Johnson and the Thrales. Though he was a friend of Anna Seward, he was not related to her. Seward's chief literary productions were his collections of anecdotes, originally published in newspapers and magazines.
Anecdotes of some distinguished persons, chiefly of the present and two preceding centuries. 4 vols, 1795-96.
Biographiana. 2 vols, 1799.