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"Rocky Island, and other Parables," (1840,) "History
of the Episcopal Church in America," (1844,) and, in
conjunction with his brother, the " Life and Correspond-
ence of William Wilberforce," (1838.) Died July 19,

J87J.

Wilberforce, (WILLIAM,) an illustrious English phi-
lanthropist and statesman, born at Hull on the 24th of
August, 1759, was a son of Robert Wilberforce, a mer-
chant, who died in 1768. When he was about twelve
years old, he felt deep religious impressions, which,
according to his own account, his friends spared no pains
to stifle. He entered Saint John's College, Cambridge,
in October, 1776, and became a general favourite among
the students. " There was no one," says T. Gisborne,
"at all like him for powers of entertainment." Wil-
berforce informs us that he was a good classic, but he
neglected mathematics almost entirely. Before he was
twenty years old he inherited an ample fortune. He
formed at Cambridge a slight acquaintance with William
Pitt, of whom he became an intimate friend soon after
he left college. Having resolved to enter public life, he
offered himself as a candidate and was elected a mem-
ber of Parliament for Hull in 1780. This election cost
him over ^8000. He entered Parliament as an opponent
of the American war and of Lord North's administra-
tion ; but he was rather an independent member than a
partisan. After Pitt became a cabinet minister, in 1782,
he often lodged in Wilberforce's villa at Wimbledon.
" With talents of the highest order, and eloquence sur-
passed by few, he entered upon public life possessed of
the best personal connections in his intimate friendship
with Mr. Pitt." ("Life of Wilberforce," by his sons.)
In 1783 he visited France, in company with Mr. Pitt
He made a famous speech against the coalition of Lord
North and Mr. Fox, at York, in March, 1784, and, as a
supporter of Pitt, was elected a member for Yorkshire.
He passed part of the years 1784 and 1785 in a conti-
nental tour with Isaac Milner, during which he became
deeply interested in vital religion. On his return he
commenced, in November, 1785, a private journal, in
which he kept a record of his spiritual conflicts and
devotional exercises. " He now began," say his sons,
41 to open to his friends the change which had passed
upon him." In a letter to Mr. Pitt, he wrote, "I can no
more be so much of a party man as I have been before."
" Pitt's answer was full of kindness," but " he tried to
reason me out of my convictions."

Among the results of his conversion was the devotion
of his life to the arduous enterprise of the abolition of
the slave-trade. In 1787 Thomas Clarkson, Granville
Sharp, and ten others formed a committee to promote
the suppression of the trade, in co-operation with Wil-
berforce, who also received from Mr. Pitt a promise
of assistance. In May, 1788, Pitt moved a resolution
binding the House to consider the subject of the slave-
trade early in the ensuing session. Wilberforce made a
long and able speech on the subject in May, 1789. " He
was supported in the noblest manner by Mr. Pitt, Mr.
Burke, and Mr. Fox" The movement, however, en-
countered long and bitter opposition. He opened the
campaign in 1790 by a motion, which was carried on the
27th of January, for referring to a special committee the
examination of witnesses. After the end of the session
he made himself master of the vast mass of evidence
which had been collected on the subject. In April,
1791, the motion for the abolition of the slave-trade was
rejected, eighty-eight members voting for it, and one
hundred and sixty-three against it.

The war against France, which he opposed, in 1792,
caused the first decided political separation between him
and Pitt He had the courage to withstand the popular
current, and offended many of his friends by moving
an amendment to the address on the war about the end



of 1794. In February, 1796, he again brought in an
abolition bill, which was defeated by a small majority,
seventy-four to seventy.

He was re-elected a member for the county of York
in 1796. In 1797 he married Barbara Ann Spooner,
and published a work entitled a "Practical View of the
Prevailing Religious System of Professed Christians
contrasted with Real Christianity," which was received
with great favour. It ran through five editions before
the end of the year. In 1826 fifteen editions had been
issued in England, besides twenty-five editions in the
United States. In April, 1798, he renewed his motion
for the abolition of the slave-trade, and was defeated by
a majority of four votes. In March, 1799, he made a
speech in favour of immediate abolition, which was
rejected by a vote of eighty-four against fifty-four. He
was a liberal contributor to various charitable institu-
tions, and gave privately much money to the poor. He
took a prominent part in the foundation of the Bible
Society in 1803. In 1804 he procured the assent of the
House of Commons to the first reading of his abolition
bill. Pitt pressed earnestly for a postponement of the
abolition question, but Wilberforce said he would never
"make that holy cause subservient to the interests of
party." On the second reading he was defeated by
seventy-seven to seventy. The royal family opposed
abolition, but the ministers Fox and Grenville, who came
into power in 1806, cordially supported the measure,
which triumphed at last in February, 1807. On the
final passage of the bill in the House of Commons,
two hundred and eighty-three voted for it, and sixteen
against it "The whole House, surprised into a for-
getfulness of its ordinary habits, burst forth into
acclamations of applause."

He continued to represent Yorkshire until 1812
having been elected five times without a contest, anc
he was chosen a member for Bramber in that year. He
supported the motion for the emancipation of Romat
Catholics in 1813, though "all the religious people were
on the other side." In 1814 he dined in London with
Madame de Stael, who afterwards said, "Mr. Wilber-
force is the best converser I have met with in this
country. I have always heard that he was the most
religious, but I now find that he is the wittiest, man in
England." About 1818 he began to agitate the eman-
cipation of the West Indian slaves, on which he wrote
an Appeal to the Nation in 1823. On account of his
declining health, he intrusted the management of the
cause in the House of Commons to T. Fowell Buxton.
He retired from Parliament in 1825, and survived until
the bill for the abolition of slavery was read a second
time. Three days after this event, he died, in London,
in July, 1833.

Wilberforce was, according to Sir James Mackintosh,
"the very model of a reformer. Ardent without turbu-
lence, mild without timidity or coldness ; neither yielding
to difficulties, nor disturbed or exasperated by them ;
. . . just and charitable even to his most malignant
enemies, unwearied in every experiment to disarm the
prejudices of his more rational and disinterested oppo-
nents, and supporting the zeal without dangerously ex-
citing the passions of his adherents." Again he says,
alluding to Wilberforce's universal sympathies, " I never
saw one who touched life at so many points." "The
basis of Mr. Wilberforce's natural character," says Sir
James Stephen, " was an intense fellow-feeling with other
men. No one more readily adopted the interests, sym-
pathized with the affections, or caught even the transient
emotions of those with whom he associated. . . . The
most somnolent company was aroused and gladdened
by his presence." "Contemporary with Lord Grenville
and Mr. Pitt," says Lord Brougham, "appeared a man
in some respects more illustrious than either, one who,
among the greatest benefactors of the human race, holds
an exalted station, one whose genius was elevated by
his virtues and exalted by his piety. ... His eloquence
was of a very high order. It was persuasive and pathetic
in an eminent degree ; but it was occasionally bold and
Impassioned, animated with the inspiration which deep
feeling alone can breathe into spoken thought" (" States-
men of the Time of George III.")



a, e, !, o, u, y, long: i, e, o, same, less prolonged; a, e, 1, 6, u, y, short; a, e, j, o, obscure; far, fill, fat; mft; not; good; moon



WILBORD



2469



WILEY



and dramatist, born at Rostock, August 24, 1837.
was educated at Rostock, Berlin, and Munich.



See "The Life of William Wilberforce," by his sons, ROBERT I.
nd SAMUEL WILBERFORCH, 1838; "Correspondence of William
WUberforce,"2 vols., 1840: J. COLQUHOUN, " W. Wilberforce," 1866:
BKOUCHAM, " Statesmen of the Time of George III.," vol. ii. : J. S.
HARFORD, "Recollections of William Wilberforce," 1865: "Edin-
burgh Review" for April, 1807, and April, 1838; " Eraser's Maga-
tine" for September, 1838 : ALLIBONE, "Dictionary of Authors."

Wilbord. See WILLEBROD.

Wilbrandt, wll'bRant, (ADOLF,) a German novelist

He
His
chief reputation has been won by his dramatic pieces.

Wil'bur, (HERVEY BACKUS,) M.D., an American
physician and philanthropist, born at Wendell, Massa-
chusetts, in 1820, was the founder of schools for idiots
in the United States. On the establishment in 1854 of
the New York State Asylum for Idiots at Syracuse, he
was appointed its superintendent. Died May i, 1883.

Wilbur, (JOHN,) a minister of the society of Friends,
or Quakers, born in Hopkinton, Rhode Island, in 1774.
He distinguished himself by his opposition to Joseph
John Gurney, a celebrated minister of the same society,
who visited New England in 1838, and whom he charged
with unsound doctrines. He attached a party to him-
self, but, being in a small minority, he was disowned or
excommunicated by the New England Yearly Meeting
in 1843. His adherents in New England, and in other
parts of the United States, are popularly designated as
" Wilburites." Died in 1846.

See " Jourral, etc. of John Wilbur," Providence, 1859.

Wilbye, wil'be, ? (JoHN,) an eminent English com-
poser, lived about 1570. His works are principally
madrigals, which are ranked among the most exquisite
compositions of the kind.

Wil'cocks, (JOSEPH,) an English writer, born in
1723, was a son of the Bishop of Rochester. He was
the author of a work entitled " Roman Conversations."
Died in 1791.

Wil'cox, (CARLOS,) an American poet, born at New-
port, New Hampshire, in October, 1794. He studied
theology at Andover, began to preach in 1819, and pub-
lished in 1822 the first book of a poem called " The
Age of Benevolence." He was ordained minister at
Hartford, Connecticut, in 1824, and soon obtained a
high reputation for eloquence. He produced in 1824
" The Religion of Taste," a poem. Died in 1827.

See "Remains of Carlos Wilcox," 1828; R. W. GRISWOLD,
" Poets and Poetry of America."

Wilcox, (ELLA WHEELER,) an American poet,
born at Johnstown Centre, Wisconsin, in 1855. She
is the author of "Poems of Passion," "Poems of
Pleasure," and other volumes of verse, and of a
number of novels.

Wilcox, (MARRION,) an American author, born
at Augusta, Georgia, in 1858. He wrote " A Short
History of the War with Spain," and several novels



and volumes of poetry.

Wild, (HENRY,) sometimes called



" the Learned



Tailor," was born in Norwich, England, about 1684.
He studied Latin and Greek at the grammar-school of
his native town, and afterwards, while working at his
trade, mastered the Hebrew, Arabic, Syriac, and other
Oriental tongues. He subsequently obtained an office
in the Bodleian Library, Oxford. He translated from
the Arabic the legend entitled " Mohammed's Journey
to Heaven." Died about 1730.

See " Pursuit of Knowledge under Difficulties," vol. i., 1839.

Wilda, wil'da, (WiLHELM EDUARD,) a distinguished
German jurist, born at Altnna in 1800, became in 1854
professor of German law at Kiel. He published sev-
eral legal works. Died in 1856.

'Wild'bore, (CHARLES,) an ingenious English mathe-
matician, born in Nottinghamshire, became curate of
Sulney. He died at an advanced age in 1802 or 1803.

Wilde, (HENRY,) an English electrician, born at
Manchester in 1833. He devoted his attention to
electricity and magnetism, making important discov-
eries and producing various useful inventions. His
electric search-light was adopted for the Royal Navy
in 1875. He also made valuable improvements in
electro-plating.



Wilde, vil'deh, (JAKOB,) a Swedish historian, born m
Courland in 1679. He published, besides other useful
works, " Pragmatic History of Sweden," (" Sueciae His-
toria pragmatica," 1731.) Died in 1755.

Wilde, wild, (OSCAR O'FLAHERTIE FINGAL WILLS,)
an Irish poet, a son of Sir William Wilde, noticed below,
was born in Dublin, October 16, 1856. He studied
at Trinity College, Dublin, and at Magdalen College,
Oxford, where he graduated in 1878. He was a pupil
of Ruskin, and the friend and travelling companion of
Professor Mahaffy, with whom he visited Greece. After
his college days he became noted as an apostle of
sestheticism in dress, manners, and literature. He
published " Poems," (1881,) " The House of Pome-
granates," (1891,) "Lady Windermere's Fan," a
play, (1893,) "Dorian Gray," a novel, (1895,) etc.
In 1896 he was sentenced to two years' imprisonment



with hard labour for vicious practices. Died Novem-
Wilde, (RICHARD HENRY,) an author, born at



ber 30, 1900.



Dublin in 1789, and taken as a child to the United
States. He became a lawyer in Georgia, was elected
to Congress in 1815, and again from 1828 to 1835,
and became a professor in the University of Louisiana
in 1844. He wrote a biographical work of much
merit upon Torquato Tasso. Died in 1847.

Wilde, (THOMAS.) See TRURO, LORD.

Wilde, (Sir WILLIAM ROBERT WILLS,) an eminent
Irish surgeon, born at Castlerea about 1810. He became
surgeon-oculist to the queen, and was knighted in 1864.
His writings include " Voyage along the Shores of the
Mediterranean," (1840,) a work on "Austria," (1843,)
" Irish Popular Superstitions," (1852,) " Aural Surgery,"
(1853,) "Diseases of the Organs of Sight," (1862,) etc.
He was the father of Oscar Wilde. Died April 19, 1876.

His wife, JANE ELGEE, born in 1826, was the author
of " Notes on Men, Women, and Books," " Poems,"
(1864,) "Driftwood from Scandinavia," (1884,) etc.
Died in 1896.

Wildenow. See WILLDENOW.

Wildens, wll'd?ns, QAN,) a Flemish landscape-
painter, born at Antwerp. He was employed by Rubens
to paint backgrounds for his pictures. Died in 1644.

Wilder, wild'er, (BuRT GREEN,) M.D., an American
naturalist, born in Boston, August 1 1, 1841. He graduated
at the Scientific School of Harvard University in 1862,
and at its Medical School in 1866, having served (1862-65)
in the medical department of the army. In i86S he was
appointed professor of comparative anatomy, physiology,
and zoology in Cornell University. Among his works are
"What Young People should Know," (1875,) "Emer-
gencies," (1879,) "Anatomical Technology as applied
to the Domestic Cat," (1883 ; prepared in part by S. H.
Gage,) " Health Notes for Students," (1883,) " Methods
of Studying the Brain," (1884,) etc.

Wild'er, (MARSHALL PINCKNEY,) an American mer-
chant and eminent horticulturist, born at Rindge, New
Hampshire, in 1798, became in 1825 a resident of Bos-
ton. He was one of the founders of the Massachusetts
Horticultural Society, of which he was for many years
president. He was' the first president of the United
States Agricultural Society, and also for many years
president of the American Pomological Society. Died
December 16, 1886.

Wi'ley, (CALVIN HENDERSON,) an American clergy-
man, born in Guilford county, North Carolina, February
3, 1819. He graduated at the University of North Caro-
lina in 1840, became a lawyer, was State superintendent
of schools for many years, and in 1866 was ordained
to the Presbyterian ministry. Among his works are
the novels "Alamance" (1847) and " Roanoke," (1850,)
"Life in the South," (1852,) various school-books, and
some pamphlets. Died January u, 1887.

Wiley, (ISAAC WILLIAM,) D.D., an American bishop,
born at Lewistown, Pennsylvania, March 29, 1825. He
graduated as M.D. from the University of New York in
1846, and studied in the arts department of the same
institution. He was a medical missionary in China,
1850-54, and was chosen a bishop of the Methodist
Episcooal Church in 1872. He published "The Fallen



as/6; 9asj; ghurd; gas/;G, H, Vi,guttural; K, nasal; R, trilled; sasz; *ha5in//5/j. (5l!P"See Explanations, p. 23.)



WILFORD



2470



IV1LKIE



Missionaries of Foo-Chow," (1858,) "The Religion of
the Family," etc. Died in 1884.

Wil'ford, (FRANCIS,) a distinguished officer and
Oriental 'scholar, born in Hanover, was sent in 1781 as
lieutenant of reinforcements to the British troops in
India, where he acquired the language of the country,
and became one of the first members of the Asiatic So-
ciety. He was the author of numerous contributions to
the " Asiatic Researches." Died in 1822.

Wil'fred, [Lat. WILFRE'DUS,] SAINT, a celebrated
Saxon prelate, of noble birth, was born in Bernicia in
634 A.D. He visited Rome at an early age for the pur-
pose of obtaining information on disputed theological
points, and, after his return, received from the King of
Northumbria a grant of land and a monastery at Ripon.
Having been ordained a priest in 664, he attended the
conference at Whitby the same year, when the con-
troversy between the Scottish clergy and the rest of
Christendom on the observance of Easter was decided
against the former. He was soon after appointed Bishop
of York by Alchfred, King of Northumbria, whose suc-
cessor, Egfred, fearing the ambition of Wilfred, divided
the bishopric into three. He was involved in a pro-
tracted contest for the see of York, but eventually
retired to a monastery, where he died in 709 A.D.

Wilfredua. See WILFRED.

'Wilfrid. See WILFRED.

Wilhelm, the German of WILLIAM, (which see.)

Wilhelm, wll'helm, (JANUS,) a German philologist,
born at Lubeck in 1554. He published a work "On
the Magistrates of the Roman Republic," (1577,) " Veri-
similium Libri tres," (1582,) and other works, which
evince much critical sagacity. Died at Bourges in 1584.

Wilhelmina I., Queen of the Netherlands, was
born at La Haye in 1 880, and succeeded to the throne
on the death of her father, William III., in 1890.
Her mother, Queen Emma, acted as regent till she
came of age, August 31, 1898, when she was installed
as sovereign.

Wil'helmj, (AUGUST,) a German violinist, born at
Usingen, September 21, 1845. He became widely
distinguished as a performer, and was a successful com-
poser of violin music.

Wilhem, vS'lem', (GUILLAUME Louis Bocquillon
bo'ke'y6N',) a French composer, born in Paris in
1781. He became professor of harmony at the Lyc^e
Napoleon in 1810, and applied Lancaster's method of
mutual instruction to teach singing in schools. He com-
posed music for some songs of Beranger. Died in 1842.

Wilken, wll'ken, (FRIEDRICH,) a German historian
and Oriental scholar, born at Natzeburg in 1777. He
studied at Gottingen, became professor of history at
Heidelberg in 1805, and was appointed chief librarian
and professor in the University of Berlin in 1817. He
published a "History of the Crusades according to
Oriental and Western Accounts, "(7 vols., 1807-32,) and
several other works. Died in 1840.

Wilkes, wllks, (CHARLES,) an American naval officer,
born in the city of New York in 1801, entered the navy
in 1816, and became a lieutenant in 1826. He com-
manded an exploring expedition which was sent out by
the United States government to the Antarctic regions
in 1838. He discovered the Antarctic Continent, ex-
plored many islands and coasts, completed a voyage
round the world, and returned in June, 1842. He pub-
lished a narrative of this expedition, in 5 vols., (1845.)
He obtained the rank of captain in 1855. In November,
1861, he captured J. M. Mason and J. Slidell from the
British steam-packet Trent. For this act he received
the thanks of Congress ; but his conduct was not ap-
proved by the President. He was promoted to be a
commodore in 1862, after which he commanded a squad-
ron in the West Indies. In July, 1866, he was made a
rear-admiral. Died February 8, 1877.

Wilkes, w!lks, (JOHN,) a celebrated English politician,
born in London in 1727, was educated at Leyden, and
became a good classical scholar. His manners were
fascinating, and his habits dissolute. In 1749 he married
a Miss Mead, a rich heiress, ten years older than himself.
He was elected a member of Parliament for Aylesbury in



1757, and re-elected in 1761. In 1762 he founded the
"North Briton," a journal which assailed Lord Bute's
administration with great animosity and rendered Bute
so unpopular that he resigned office. "Wilkes had,"
says Macaulay, "the requisites for the character of
demagogue. He was clever, courageous, unscrupulous.
He was a good scholar, expert in resource, humorous,
witty, and a ready master of the arts of conversation.
He could ' abate and dissolve a pompous gentleman'
with singular felicity." (Review of the" Works of Charles
Churchill," 1845.) In No. xlv. of the "North Briton,
published in April, 1763, he accused the king of an
"infamous fallacy" which appeared in the speech from
the throne. For this offence he was committed to the
Tower on a general warrant issued by Lord Halifax,
secretary of state. Having been brought into the court
of common pleas by the writ of habeas corpus, he was
discharged in May, 1763. He was convicted of libel by
the House of Commons, expelled in January, 1764, and,
having absented himself from the island, was outlawed.
He returned in 1768, and was elected member for Mid-
dlesex, but was arrested, and punished by fines and
imprisonment. This persecution rendered him a great
favourite with the people. He was re-elected by the
voters of Middlesex in February, 1769; but the House
of Commons declared that he was incapable of sitting
in that Parliament. In 1769 he obtained a verdict of four
thousand pounds against Lord Halifax for false imprison-
ment. Great excitement was produced by the repeated
expulsion or exclusion of the popular champion from
the House of Commons. He was chosen lord mayor
of London in 1774, and a member for Middlesex in the
same year. The ministry then ceased to defy the people,
and permitted him to take his seat. He was afterwards
a member of Parliament for many years, and was a
strenuous opponent of the American war. Died in



"His name," says Dr. Johnson, "has been sounded
from pole to pole as the phcenix of convivial felicity."
Among the anecdotes related of him is the following :
George III. once inquired of him, " How is your friend
Serjeant Glynn ?" and received this answer : " He is not
my friend ; he is a Wilkesite, which I never was."

See CRADOCK, "Life of John Wilkes," 1773 : J. ALMON, " Life of
John Wilkes," 1805: "Wilkes's Correspondence with his Friends,"
2 vols., 1805; "Monthly Review" for November, 1777; "Edinburgh
Review" for January, 1805.

Wilkie, wil'ke, (Sir DAVID,) a celebrated Scottish
painter, born in Fifeshire in 1785. He studied for a time
in the Trustees' Academy at Edinburgh, and in 1805
entered the Royal Academy, London, having previously
executed several works of great merit. His "Village
Politicians," exhibited in 1806, met with enthusiastic ad-
miration, and at once established the reputation of the
artist. This picture, which was sold to the Earl of Mans-
field, was succeeded by "The Blind Fiddler," "The
Rent-Day," "The Card-Player," "The Cut Finger,"
"The Jews-Harp," "The Village Festival," (which
brought eight hundred guineas, and is now in the Na-
tional Gallery,) " The Wardrobe Ransacked," and other
works of a similar character. He was elected a Royal
Academician in i8ll,and in 1813 exhibited his "Blind-
man's Buff," painted for the prince-regent. In 1814 he
visited Paris, and after his return produced his " Dis-
training for Rent," " The Sheep-Washing," " The Penny
Wedding," " The Reading of the Will," (for the King of
Bavaria,) " Sir Walter Scott and his Family," and " Chel-
sea Pensioners listening to the News of Waterloo,"
which ranks among his master-pieces. In 1825 he visited
the continent, and spent three years in studying the
works of the Italian, Spanish, and German artists. He
succeeded Sir Thomas Lawrence as painter-in-ordinary
to the king, in 1830, and in 1832 produced his "John
Knox preaching the Reformation in Saint Andrew's,"
" Benvenuto Cellini presenting a Silver Vase of his Own
Workmanship to Pope Paul III.," and various other
pictures, showing the results of his foreign studies, but


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Online LibraryJoseph ThomasUniversal pronouncing dictionary of biography and mythology (Volume 2) → online text (page 400 of 425)