1800 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Seward

Anonymous, Obituary in Universal Magazine 107 (August 1800) 103.



William Seward, Esq. was the son of Mr. Seward, a partner in Calvert's brewery, and was born January 1747. He first went to the Charter-house, whence he was removed to Oxford, where he finished his education. Being possessed of an easy fortune, he did not apply to any profession, but devoted his life to learned leisure, cultivating his talents for his own amusement, and the entertainment and instruction of the public. He possessed an uncommonly active benevolence, being always ready to promote the interest of his friends, and solicitous to relive those who were in distress. His charity was unbounded, and it would be difficult to point out a person, with whom he was intimate, who had not obligations to acknowledge from him. He was a great gleaner of information, which he dealt out to the public in those entertaining volumes "Anecdotes of distinguished Persons" 5 vols, 1795, and his more recent publication, not long before his death, entitled "Biographiana," 2 vols, 1799. Although he could not draw characters like Clarendon, yet he had a felicity of his own in hitting off the leading features of his subject. He died at his lodgings in Dean-street, Soho, of a dropsy, in the prime of life, April 24, 1799, and was interred May 1, in his family vault at Finchley.