Roscoe, William, a historian and poet, was born near Liverpool, March 8, 1753, and in 1769 was articled to an attorney for six years. During this time he paid great attention to English classics, and subsequently added an acquaintance with choice writers in the Greek, Latin, Spanish, Italian, and French languages. He was admitted to the bar in 1774, and retired from practice in 1796. His means, through unfortunate business speculations, became very limited, but he still continued his literary labors for many years. He was a member of Parliament for Liverpool in 1806, and died June 30, 1831. Among his works are, Scriptural Refutation of a Pamphlet on the Licitness of the
Slave-trade (1788, 8vo): — The Life and Pontificate of Leo X (Liverpool, 1805, 4 vols. 4to). See Allibone, Dict. of Brit. and Amer. Authors, s.v.; Darling, Cyclop. Bibliog. s.v.