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William Falconer

Falconer, William (1732–1769). — Poet, son of a barber in Edinburgh, where he was born, became a sailor, and was thus thoroughly competent to describe the management of the storm-tossed vessel, the career and fate of which are described in his poem, The Shipwreck (1762), a work of genuine, though unequal, talent. The efforts which F. made to improve the poem in the successive ed. which followed the first were not entirely successful. The work gained for him the patronage of the Duke of York, through whose influence he obtained the position of purser on various warships. Strangely enough, his own death occurred by shipwreck. F. wrote other poems, now forgotten, besides a useful Nautical Dictionary.

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