Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Boscawen, William

BOSCAWEN, WILLIAM (1752–1811) author, younger son of General George Boscawen and Anne Trevor (vide pedigree in Mrs. Delany's Autobiography), and nephew of the admiral, Edward Boscawen [q.v.], was born 28 Aug. 1752, and was educated at Eton, where he is said to have been a great favourite of Dr. Barnard. He became a gentleman-commoner of Exeter College, Oxford, and on settling in London studied law under a Cornish lawyer, Mr. Justice Buller, about 1770, and went the western circuit. Boscawen published two or three law treatises, and was appointed a commissioner in bankruptcy. In 1785 he was made a commissioner of the Victualling Office. He was much attached to literary pursuits, and translated first the Odes, Epodes, and Carmen Seculare of Horace; then the Satires, Epistles, and Art of Poetry. He was much indebted for his notes to Dr. Foster, of Eton College. In 1792 he published a 'Treatise on Convictions on Penal Statutes,' and in 1798, 1800, and 1801 some original poems and other works. He was also a contributor to the 'Gentleman's Magazine,' and to the 'British Critic.' He died of asthma, at Little Chelsea, on 8 May 1811. By his wife, Charlotte Ibbetson, daughter of the Rev. Dr. Ibbetson, he had five daughters. He was of an affectionate and benevolent disposition, and the Literary Fund he considered almost as his own child, writing the annual verses for it till within five years of his death.

[Upcott's Original Letters, p. 43; Literary Memoirs of Living Authors, i. 61 (1798); Poetical Register for 1801, passim; The Sexagenarian, ii. 223; John Taylor's Records of my Life, i. 385, 388, ii. 397, 401; Literary Panorama for 1811; T. J. Mathias's Pursuit of Literature, p. 260; Tregellas's Cornish Worthies.]

W. H. T.