The son of a tradesman, William Beloe studied at Stanmore School under Samuel Parr before attending Corpus Christi College Cambridge. He published translations of classical literature, and was assistant master under Parr at Norwich Grammar School. Beloe was afterwards Master of Emanuel Hospital, Westminster, and keeper of printed books at the British Museum (1803-06). With Robert Nares, he conducted the British Critic (1793-1813), probably the largest-circulation review of the era. He describes his education in his Shandyesque memoir, The Sexagenarian (1817).
The rape of Helen, from the Greek of Coluthus. 1786.
A free translation from the preface to Bellendenus. 1788.
Poems and translations. 1788.
Incidents of a youthful life; or the true history of William Langley. 1790, 1807.
Alciphron's epistles, now first translated [with T. Monro]. 1791.
The history of Herodotus. 4 vols, 1791.
The Attic nights of Aulus Gellius. 3 vols, 1795.
Julia, or last follies [poems]. 1795.
Miscellanies: consisting of poems, classical extracts, and oriental apologues. 3 vols, 1795.
A new and general biographical dictionary [ed. Beloe and others]. 15 vols, 1798-1810.
Anecdotes of literature and scarce books. 6 vols, 1807-12.
The sexagenarian: or recollections of a literary life. 2 vols, 1817, 1818.