1828 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Belsham

Anonymous, Obituary in Gentleman's Magazine 98 (March 1828) 274-75.



Nov. 17. In Portland-place, Hammersmith, aged 75, William Belsham, Esq. author of a History of Great Britain, &c. &c.

This gentleman was brother to the Rev. Thomas Belsham, the Unitarian minister. As a Whig historian, and a political writer enthusiastically devoted to his party, he has long been known. His literary career was commenced in 1789, by Essays, Historical, Political, and Literary, in 2 vols. 8vo. These went through several editions, and were followed by a long series of similar labours on the Test Laws, the French Revolution, the distinctions between the old and new Whigs, Parliamentary Reform, the Poor Laws, &c. &c. In 1793 he published, in two volumes 8vo., Memoirs of the Kings of Great Britain of the House of Brunswick Lunenberg. This led to his larger History. In 1795 there appeared with his name four volumes of Memoirs of the Reign of George III. to the Session of Parliament ending 1793; and a fifth and sixth volume followed in 1801. In 1798 he published in two volumes 8vo. a History of Great Britain from the Revolution to the Accession of the House of Hanover; and finally, in 1806, all these parts were brought into one body in his History of Great Britain to the conclusion of the Peace of Amiens in 1802, in twelve octavo volumes.

Mr. Belsham lived in great intimacy with the late Mr. Whitbread, and with other gentlemen of the Whig party. He formerly resided at Bristol.