Thursday, April 12, 2012

William Byrd II


During colonial days receiving a formal education was difficult and expensive.  Great lengths were made to send sons abroad for a proper eduction.  The younger William Byrd was probably the most accomplished gentleman produced by colonial Virginia.  After his obtaining his earliest instruction at home, he was sent by his ather to Holland.  In those days Holland possessed a high reputation, especially for the opportunities it offered for a training in business.  In 1685, he was receiving lessons from a tutor in England.  There was an estraordinary grace in his writings and his culture reflected the spirit of the most admirable literary schools of the day.  Nor was he content with a learning restricted to ancient and modern belles-lettres.  Before returning to Virginia in 1696, he was a student of the Middle Temple, and thus added a special knowledge of law to the literary and business information which he had already obtained.  Thus, several months before he completed his education, he was elected a member of the House of Burgesses   Sources: Letters of William Byrd, March 31, 1685; Institutional History of Virginia in the Seventeenth Century by Philip Alexander Bruce.
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