William Dodd was born at Bourne, in Lincolnshire, (of which parish his father was vicar,) May 29, 1729, and received his education at Clare Hall, Cambridge; and in 1753, entering into orders, became a popular preacher in the metropolis. In 1766, he took the degree of LL.D., at which time he was chaplain to the king. The estimation in which he was held by the world, was sufficient to give him expectations of preferment, and hopes of riches and honour, and these he might probably have acquired, had he possessed a common portion of prudence or discretion. But impatient of his situation, and eager for preferment, he rashly fell upon means which in the end were the occasion of his ruin. To extricate himself those difficulties in which he was involved, he forged a bond for £4,200, upon the earl of Chesterfield, to whom he had been tutor; the fraud being discovered, he was tried and condemned; February 24, 1777, and executed the 27th of June following, at Tyburn. He was the author of several works of merit.