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William Thompson, second son of the Reverend Francis
Thompson, was probably born at Brough in Westmoreland, of which his father was vicar, about the year 1712. He was sent early to the University of Oxford, where he became a Fellow of Queen's College. Few anecdotes are recorded of his life ; nor is the time of his death as
certained. Two years before his entering into orders (1736), he ap
pears to have been attracted by the charms of a lady named Woodford, but it is not certain that she was the same who is celebrated as IANTHE, in most of his subsequent poems. IANTHE, however, could not be unknown to him about the year 1740, since she is introduced in his description of an illness that terminated in the smallpox, from which he was at that time recovering.
The Day was Valentine's, when lovers' wounds
And thus address'd the patron of the Spring :