William Cartwright was son of a gentleman of broken fortune, who was reduced to keep an inn at Cirencester, in Gloucestershire. He had the highest reputation of any man of his time in the university of Oxford, for poetry, oratory, and philosophy. His Royal Slave was acted before the king and queen, by his fellow-students of Christ Church; of who the most applauded was Mr. Busby, afterward the celebrated master of the Westminster School, who performed the part of Cratander. Wit, learning, judgment, elocution, a graceful person and behaviour, occasioned that well-known encomium of him from Dean Fell, "That he was the utmost that man could come to." This instance of the perfection of human nature, was also an instance of its vanity. He was suddenly snatched away by a fever in the prime of life, on the 29th of November, 1643, and had the honour to be regretted by his sovereign and his queen, who were in Oxford at the time of his death. Abraham Wright, fellow of St. John's College in that university, published five sermons, in the several styles of Bishop Andrews, Bishop Hall, Dr. Jasper Mayne, Mr. William Cartwright, the Presbyterians and Independents.