Edward Young, an English poet, born at Upham, near Winchester, in 1684, died April 12, 1765. He was educated at Winchester school and Oxford university, and received in 1708 a law fellowship at All Souls' college. In 1714 he took the degree of LL. B., and in 1719 that of D. C. L., but did not practise law. He first published a poem entitled " An Epistle to the Eight Honorable the Lord Lansdowne " (1713), but became ashamed of its fulsome adulation and suppressed it. He next issued two long poems, "The Last Day" (1713) and "The Force of Religion" (1714), which were succeeded by a " Poem on the Death of Queen Anne " (1714). In 1719 he produced at Drury Lane his tragedy of " Busiris," and in 1721 " The Revenge," which is still occasionally performed. In 1725-8 appeared his satires, under the general title of " The Love of Fame, the Universal Passion," which brought him £3,000 and higher repute. In 1727 he took orders, and became one of the king's chaplains; and thinking dramatic authorship incongruous with his clerical standing, he withdrew his new tragedy, "The Brothers," which was on the eve of being produced on the stage.
In 1730 he received the rectory of Welwyn in Hertfordshire, and in 1731 married Lady Elizabeth Lee, daughter of the earl of Lichfield. The death of his wife in 1741, with several contemporaneous afflictions, gave rise to Young's most celebrated poetical work, the "Night Thoughts " (London, 1742-'6). From 1761 till his death he was clerk of the closet to the princess dowager of Wales. Collective editions of his works appeared in 1741 and 1757, and a revision in four volumes in 1762, to which two volumes were added after his death by Isaac Reed (1767).