A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature/Hayley, William

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Hayley, William (1745-1820). -- Poet and biographer, was b. at Chichester, and ed. at Eton and Camb. Though overstrained and romantic, he had some literary ability, and was a good conversationalist. He was the friend of Cowper, whose Life he wrote; and it was to his influence with Pitt that the granting of a pension to the poet was due. He was the author of numerous poems, including The Triumph of Temper, and of Essays on History and Epic Poetry, and, in addition to his biography of Cowper, wrote a Life of Milton. On the death of Thos. Warton in 1790 he was offered, but declined, the Laureateship. Of him Southey said, "Everything about that man is good except his poetry."