William Preston, author of several poems, plays, and essays, was born in Dublin in 1753. Educated at Trinity College, and called to the Bar in 1777, he was at one time Commissioner of Appeals. He assisted in founding the Royal Irish Academy. His tragedy, Democratic Rage, published in 1793, was very successful. He died in Dublin, 2nd February 1807, aged 53. One notice of his life states that "he was a man of great literary attainments, ... not surpassed by any of his contemporaries."