William Henry Ireland


The son of the engraver Samuel Ireland, William Henry Ireland was born in London. Inspired by Chatterton, he became a successful forger of Shakespeare manuscripts; his Shakespeare forgery, Vortigern and Rowena, was produced by Sheridan at Drury Lane. Ireland was exposed by Edmond Malone and spent his later years scribbling in poverty. In 1814 he had an interview with Napoleon, who appointed him to a position in the national library. There is a bibliography of criticism in Samuel Austin Allibone, Critical Dictionary of English Literature (1882).


1801Toe the Chaste Star of England, whose sheninge Lighte doth blesse our Lande with Plentie, Peace, and Honoure.
1812Edmund Spenser.
1812Elegiac Stanzas to the Memory of Thomas Chatterton.
1812Sonnet in imitation of the Style of Edmund Spenser.
1812The Tourneie, cleped Chevaulerie off the Poyntelles.
1815Introductory Lines.


Miscellaneous papers and legal instruments under hand and seal of William Shakespeare. 1796.
An authentic account of the Shakesperian manuscripts. 1796.
The abbess, a romance. 4 vols, 1799.
Vortigern: an historical tragedy; and Henry the Second: an historical drama, supposed to be written by the author of Vortigern. 1799.
Fimualdo, or the castle of Badajos, a romance. 4 vols, 1800.
Ballads in imitation of the ancients. 1801.
Mutius Scaevola: or the Roman patriot, an historical drama. 1801.
A ballade, wrotten on the feastynge and merriments of Easter Maunday, laste paste, by Paul Persius, a learnedd clerke. 1802.
Rhapsodies. 1803.
The angler: a didactic poem. 1804.
The woman of feeling. 4 vols, 1804.
Gondez, the monk, a romance. 4 vols, 1804.
The confessions of William Henry Ireland. 1805.
Effusions of love from Chatelar to Mary, Queen of Scotland: interspersed with songs, sonnets and notes explanatory, by the translator. 1805.
All the blocks! or an antidote to "all the talents": a satirical poem. 1807.
The Catholic, a romance. 3 vols, 1807.
The fisher boy: a poem. 1808.
The sailor boy: a poem. 1809.
The cottage girl: a poem. 1810.
Monody on the death of William Cavendish. 1811.
Sketch of the character of the late Duke of Devonshire. 1811.
The death of Bonaparte. 1812.
Neglected genius: a poem. 1812.
The state doctors, or a tale of the times: a poem. 1812.
Stultifer navis: a poem, illustrating the untimely and unfortunate fate of many British poets, containing imitations of their different styles. 1812.
Chalcographimania: or the portrait-collector and print-seller's chronicle, a humorous poem. 1814.
Jack Junk: or the sailor's cruise on shore. 1814.
Scribbleomania: or the printer's devil's polichronicon. 1815.
The maid of Orleans [Voltaire, trans.] 1822.
The life of Napoleon Bonaparte. 4 vols, 1828.