1787 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir William Young

Anonymous, "Account of William Young" in European Magazine 11 (1787) 59.



William Young, Esq. is the eldest son of Sir William Young, Bart. of Delafude, in the county of Bucks, by Elizabeth, only daughter of Brook Taylor, Esq. B.L.D. of Bifrons, in the County of Kent, well known in the literary world from his correspondence with Leibnitz, his Treatise on Fluxions, Essay on Linear Perspective, &c. Mr. Young was born in 1749, and received his school-education at Eton, and under the private tuition of Dr. Foster, afterwards Master of that School. In 1777 he was entered at Clare-Hall, Cambridge; but some disputes arising in that College, he the next year was admitted at University College, Oxford, where he continued nearly three years, under the private tuition of Dr. William Scott, the present eminent Civilian. From Oxford he went abroad, and pursued his travels, out of the ordinary route, through Sicily and the Magna Graecia; the Journal of which he printed a few copies of, but never published. On his return to England in 1774, he resumed the study of the Classics, and then planned the subjects of those works which have made his name known in the literary world. In 1777 he published The Spirit of Athens; being a political and philosophical Investigation of the History of that Republic, in one volume octavo; and this has been followed by a larger work, intitled, The History of Athens, in quarto. During the war, Mr. Young served in the Militia; and on the preliminaries of peace being signed, was deputed by the Proprietary of Tobago to negotiate their interests with the Court of France, in which mission he was very successful. On the dissolution of the Parliament 1783, he was returned to the new one Member for St. Mawe's; and in the spring of 1786 was chosen Fellow of the Royal Society.