Honorary Associate, Royal Society of Literature


William Roscoe was born March 8, 1753, in Liverpool. In 1774 he became an attorney and during his long life proved a great supporter of the city and its arts. Of the several volumes of poetry that he published, some on the slavery trade, others on Liverpool and its environs, only one poem, The Butterfly's Ball and the Grasshopper's Feast, which he wrote for his son Robert, had lasting popularity. It first appeared in Gentleman's Magazine in November 1806 and in a volume of its own, in 1807, issued by John Harris, who initiated with it a series of children's books. He died on June 30, 1831, in Liverpool. His Poetical Works were published posthumously in London in 1853. For a life, see George Chandler, William Roscoe of Liverpool (London: B. T. Batsford, 1953; PR 5236 R56 1953 Robarts Library).