Roscoe, William, William Stanley, and William Caldwell

(1753-1859)
   • William, the father, 1753-1831
   Lawyer, banker, book collector historian, botanist and benefactor, he was born Mount Pleasant, Liverpool, the son of a market-gardener. In October 1806 he was elected Whig member of Parliament for Liverpool, and his stand against the slave trade created many enemies. In 1816 the bank suspended trading and in 1820 he and the partners were declared bankrupt. In 1817 he was chosen the first president of the Liverpool Royal Institution, and in 1824 he was elected an honorary associate of the Royal Society of Literature, and was afterwards awarded its gold medal. He died from influenza and was buried in the ground attached to the chapel on Renshaw Street, Liverpool. Two of his historical books are: The Life of Lorenzo dé Medici (1795) and The Life of Leo X (1805). In 1819 he published Observations on Penal Jurisprudence, advocating milder punishments as efficacious in reforming the criminal. His poetry publications: Mount Pleasant, a descriptive poem, 1777. Ode on the Institution of a Society of Art in Liverpool, 1777. The Nurse, 1804. The Butterfly's Ball and the Grasshopper's Feast, 1806 (set to music by Sir George Smart for the young princesses Elizabeth, Augusta, and Mary, daughters of George III). The Wrongs of Africa, 1787.
   • William Stanley, the son, 1782-1843
   Educated at Peterhouse, Cambridge, he became a partner in his father's bank. When the bank failed, like his father he was bankrupt. In order to pay his creditors, the father sold off his priceless library, something his son portrays in "On Being Forced to Part with His Library." Like his father he studied languages, particularly Italian, literature and poetry. Poems by William Stanley Roscoe was published in 1834. He carried on his father's work against the slave trade and developed a passion for the cause of the Polish patriots, expressed in On the Last Regiment of Polish Patriots Being Ordered by the French Government to Serve in the Island of St. Domingo (1834) (Polish soldiers fought under Tadeusz Kosciuszko during the Polish Revolution of 1794, when 2/3 were killed.) In his latter years he was sergeant-at-mace to the court of passage at Liverpool (the mayor's attendant who is the only person entitled to touch the mace, carrying it before the civic head to and from meetings of the full council and other civic occasions). Some of his other poems: "A Dirge," "On the Death of an Infant Boy," "Sonnet to My Father," "The Camellia," "The Prisoner of War," "To a Favorite Myrtle," "To Spring: On the Banks of the Cam," "To the Harvest Moon."
   • William Caldwell, the grandson, 1823-1859
   He was educated privately and graduated from University College, London, in 1843, and was called to the bar in 1850, but after two years relinquished practice, partly for health reasons and partly from doubts that law was his vocation. He married in 1855 and afterwards lived principally in Wales, where he was interested in slate quarries and devoted much of his time to literary pursuits. He died of typhoid fever at Richmond, Surrey. He published two tragedies, Eliduc (1846) and Violenzia (1851), a considerable amount of fugitive poetry, and numerous essays. His two poetry publications are Poems (1860) and Poems (1891). Some of his poems: "A Christmas Sonnet," "A Nightingale in Eastbury Woods," "After the Hungarian War," "Love's Creed," "Opportunity," "Parting," "Spiritual Love," "The Poetic Land."
   Sources: A Century of Sonnets: The Romantic-Era Revival, 1750-1850. Paula R. Feldman and Daniel Robinson, eds. Oxford University Press, 1999. Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. English Poetry: Author Search. ChadwyckHealey Ltd., 1995 (http://www.lib.utexas.edu:8080/search/epoetry/author.html). Folk Songs. John Williamson Palmer, ed. Charles Scribner and Company, 1867. The National Portrait Gallery (www.npg.org.uk). Roscoe, "On the Last Regiment." (http://www2.bc.edu/Roscoe, William, William Stanley, and William Caldwellricharad/asp/ wsrlr.html\#int). Stanford University Libraries and Academic Information Resources (http://library.stanford.edu). The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry. 11th ed. The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry, Columbia University Press, 2005 (http://www.columbiagrangers.org). The Home Book of Verse. Burton Egbert Stevenson, ed. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1953. The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse. Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. Oxford University Press, 1971. The Oxford Companion to English Literature. 6th edition. Margaret Drabble, ed. Oxford University Press, 2000.

British and Irish poets. A biographical dictionary. . 2015.

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