William Coxe (17 March 1747 – 8 June 1828) was an English churchman and historian.
The son of Dr. William Coxe, physician to the Royal Household, he was born in London. After his father's death his mother Martha married John Christopher Smith, who was Handel's amanuensis. His brother was Peter Coxe, writer of the poem "Social Day"
Holy Orders and Gentlemen's Tutor
In 1771 he took holy orders, and afterwards visited many parts of Europe as tutor and travelling companion to various noblemen and gentlemen, including Lord Herbert, son of the Earl of Pembroke and Samuel Whitbread of the brewing family.
In 1786 he was appointed vicar of Kingston upon Thames, and in 1788 rector of Fugglestone St Peter-with-Bemerton, Wiltshire. He also held the rectory of Stourton, Wiltshire from 1801 to 1811 and that of Fovant from 1811 until his death. In 1791 he was made prebendary of Salisbury, and in 1804 Archdeacon of Wilts until his death in 1828.
During a long residence at Bemerton Coxe was mainly occupied in literary work. He wrote a series of works on the 18th century:
- Memoirs of Sir Robert Walpole (London, 1798),
- Memoirs of Horatio, Lord Walpole (London, 1802),
- Memoirs of John, Duke of Marlborough (London, 1818-1819),
- Private and Original Correspondence of Charles Talbot, Duke of Shrewsbury (London, 1821),
- Memoirs of the Administrations of Henry Pelham (London, 1829).
- History of the House of Austria (London, 1807, new ed. 1853 and 1873);
- Memoirs of the Bourbon Kings of Spain (London, 1813).
His other works are mainly accounts of his travels:
- Sketches of the Natural, Political and Civil State of Switzerland (London, 1779)
- Account of the Russian Discoveries between Asia and America (London, 1780)
- Account of Prisons and Hospitals in Russia, Sweden and Denmark (London, 1781)
- Travels into Poland, Russia, Sweden and Denmark (London, 1784)
- Travels in Switzerland (London, 1789)
- Letter on Secret Tribunals of Westphalia (London, 1796)
- Historical Tour in Monmouthshire (London, 1801).
He also edited Gay's Fables, and wrote a Life of John Gay (Salisbury, 1797), Anecdotes of G. F. Handel and J. C. Smith (London, 1798), and a few other works of minor importance. Some of his books have been translated into French, and several have gone through two or more editions.
- Coxe, William (1780). Account of the Russian discoveries between Asia and America London: Cadell. -University of Hong Kong Libraries, Digital Initiatives, China Through Western Eyes
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press
- William Coxe: Traveller and Historian
- Archival material relating to William Coxe listed at the UK National Archives
- Open Library. Coxe, William 1747 - 1828