Nathaniel William Wraxall was born in Bristol, on 8 April 1751. He was the son of a Bristol merchant, Nathaniel Wrawall, by his wife, Anne, great niece of Sir James Thornhill the painter.
He entered the employment of the East India Company in 1769, and served in India till 1772 when he left the service of the company. He returned to Europe and visited Portugal and the North of Europe. In 1777, he travelled in Germany and Italy.
In 1779, he was in Naples where he met Sir William Hamilton and his first wife and became a lifelong friend.
In 1780, he entered parliament and sat till 1794 for Hinton in Wiltshire, Ludgershall and Wallingford. In 1789, he married Miss Jane Lascelles. He was made a baronet by the Regent in 1813. He died suddenly at Dover on 7 November 1831, on his way to Naples, aged 80.
His Historical Memoirs were published in 1815, met an immediate success and won him a fine and six months of prison for libel. They still make an entertaining reading and amongst others, the vivid portrait that he draws of the Court of Naples has often be quoted.download (232 Kb)
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