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DAVENANT, WILLIAM (d. 1681), translator, was the fourth son of Sir William D'Avenant [q. v.], and younger brother of Charles Davenant [q. v.] He was educated at Magdalen Hall, Oxford, where he proceeded B.A. 19 July 1677, and M.A. 5 July 1680. He took holy orders on leaving the university, and held a living in Surrey, to which Robert Wymondsold of Putney presented him. He accompanied his patron in the capacity of tutor on a tour in France, and was drowned in the summer of 1681 while swimming in the Seine near Paris. He translated into English from the French of François La Mothe le Vayer ‘Notitia Historicorum Selectorum; or Animadversions upon the famous Greek and Latin Histories,’ Oxford, 1678. Davenant is stated to have added something to his original. He dedicated the book to James, earl of Doncaster, the eldest son of James, duke of Monmouth.

[Wood's Fasti Oxon. (Bliss) ii. 360, 372, where Bliss wrongly identifies this William Davenant with another, who was appointed vicar of Watford 16 June 1661, and died before June 1662; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

S. L. L.