- Jones, Sir William
- (1746-1794)Born in London of Welsh parentage, the youngest child of William Jones, he was educated at Harrow School and graduated M.A. from University College, Oxford, in 1773. A language prodigy, by the end of his life he had learned 28 languages, including Chinese, often by teaching himself. After several years in translating and scholarship, for financial reasons, he turned to the study of law and was called to the bar in 1774. He was knighted in 1783 and took up his appointment as judge of the supreme court in Calcutta. His reputation as an Oriental scholar rests on his Grammar of the Persian Language (1771) and similar works, including The Moallakat, or the Seven Arabian Poems which were suspended on the Temple at Mecca, published in 1783. He died in Calcutta and was buried there. Some of his (in English) poems: "A Chinese Ode Paraphrased," "A Hymn to Indra," "An Ode in Imitation of Callistratus," "Epigram," "From the Persian Poem of Hatifi," "Laura, an Elegy from Petrarch," "Sonnet, to G. Hardynge Esq.," "The First Nemean Ode of Pindar," "The Muse Recalled."Sources: Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite DVD, 2006. English Poetry: Author Search. Chadwyck-Healey Ltd., 1995 (http://www.lib.utexas.edu:8080/search/epoetry/author.html). The National Portrait Gallery (www.npg.org.uk). 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 Oxford Companion to English Literature. 6th edition. Margaret Drabble, ed. Oxford University Press, 2000. The Poetical Works of Sir William Jones. Thomas Park, ed. J. Sharpe, 1808.
British and Irish poets. A biographical dictionary. William Stewart. 2015.