Harrison, William

(1685-1713)
   Born in the parish of St. Cross, Winchester, he entered Winchester College in 1698, gained a scholarship to New College, Oxford, in 1704 and was awarded a fellowship in 1706. Through his friend Joseph Addison (see entry) he secured the post of governor to the son of the Duke of Queensberry. Addison introduced him to Jonathan Swift, who found him a personable and likeable young man, not least because he was a Whig. Around 1711 he became secretary to Lord Raby, the ambassador extraordinary at the Hague. Harrison's job was to arrange a barrier treaty with France, which he did and returned in 1713. However, it appears he was very ill and heavily in debt because of this trip and only at the intervention of Lord Bolingbroke was he able to survive for a few weeks. Some of his poems: "In Praise of Laudanum," "The Medicine, a Tale," "To the Yacht Which Carried the Duke of Marlborough to Holland," "Woodstock Park."
   Sources: Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. Oldpoetry (www.oldpoetry.com). 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 New Oxford Book of Eighteenth Century Verse. Roger Lonsdale, ed. Oxford University Press, 1984.

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

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