William Sotheby was educated at Harrow; he served in the dragoons (1774-80) before settling on his estate at Bevis Mount near Southampton. He was a member of the Dilettante Society and a sponsor of Coleridge's 1812 lectures. Sotheby was a close friend of Sir Walter Scott, whom he first met in Edinburgh when doing military service; he corresponded with Bishop Percy and collaborated with James Bland Burges on Richard the First (1800). Sotheby's translation of Weiland's Oberon (1798) went through several editions and was admired by Southey, Campbell, Byron, and Keats.
Poems: consisting of sonnets, odes, etc. 1790.
A tour through parts of Wales, sonnets, odes, and other poems. 1794.
Oberon: a poem, from the German of Wieland. 1798.
The battle of the Nile: a poem. 1799.
The Georgics of Virgil, translated. 1800.
The siege of Cuzco: a tragedy. 1800.
The Cambrian hero ... an historical tragedy [by Sotheby?]. 1800?
A poetical epistle to Sir George Beaumont. 1801.
Julian and Agnes: a tragedy. 1801.
Oberon: or Huon de Bourdeaux, a mask; and Orestes. 1802.
Orestes: a tragedy. 1802.
Saul: a poem, in two parts. 1807.
Constance de Castile: a poem; in ten cantos. 1810.
A song of triumph. 1814.
Ellen; or the confession: a tragedy. 1816.
Ivan: a tragedy. 1816.
Farewell to Italy, and occasional poems. 1818.
To the members of the Society of Diletanti. 1822.
Georgics [Virgil, ed. Sotheby.] 1827.
Italy, and other poems. 1828.
The first book of the Iliad. 1830.
Virgil ... the georgics, translated. 1830.
The Iliad of Homer, translated. 1834.
Lines suggested by the third meeting of the British Association. 1834.
The odyssey of Homer, translated. 1834.