1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Somervile, William

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

SOMERVILE, WILLIAM (1675–1742), English poet, eldest son of a country gentleman, was born at Edstone, Worcestershire, on the 2nd of September 1675. He was educated at Winchester College and at New College, Oxford. After his father’s death in 1705 he lived on his estate, devoting himself especially to field sports, which supplied the subjects of his best-known poems. His publications were The Two Springs (1725), a fable; Occasional Poems. . . (1727) ; The Chase (1735) Hobbinol, or the Rural Games (1740), a burlesque poem; and Field Sports (1742), a poem on hawking. Somervile died on the 19th of July 1742.

His Chase passed through many editions. It was illustrated by Bewick (1796), by Stothard (1800), and by Hugh Thomson (1896), with a preface by R. F. Sharp.