William Somervile was born in Colwich, Staffordshire. He was educated at Winchester College (1690-94) before entering New College Oxford at the age of 18 (1694); he also studied at the Middle Temple (1696). Somervile courted Joseph Addison and was a close friend and neighbor of William Shenstone. In his later years he was a member of the Patriot opposition with Gilbert West and James Thomson, living the life of a proud if impoverished country gentleman and writing about it in Miltonic verse.
An imitation of the ninth ode of the fourth book of Horace. 1715.
Reasons against repealing the occasional and test acts. 1717.
The two springs: a fable. 1725.
Occasional poems, translations, fables, tales, etc. 1727.
The chace: a poem. 1735.
Hobbinol, or the rural games: a burlesque poem in blank verse. 1740.
Field sports: a poem. 1742.
Poetical works. 2 vols, 1766.
A collection of miscellaneous poetry, ed. F. G. Waldron. 1802.