I. Alexander William, an English author, born in Taunton in 1802. He was educated at Eton and at Trinity college, Cambridge, was called to the bar in 1837, and in a few years acquired an extensive chancery practice in London. Not long after his admission to the bar he made an extensive tour in the East, of which he wrote home many graphic descriptions. Upon his return to England he was induced to revise his letters for publication; but having attempted in vain to find a publisher, he threw the manuscript aside, and for some years thought no more upon the subject. Happening one day to be conversing with a publisher on the recent appearance of a book of travels, he offered to give him his manuscript if he would print it. The offer was accepted, and the work, published under the title of "Eothen" (1844), was universally pronounced one of the freshest and most entertaining books of travel of the day. In 1857 he was returned to parliament for the borough of Bridgewater, and in 1860 took an active part in denouncing the annexation of Nice to the French empire. In 1868 he was again returned for Bridgewater, but was unseated on petition.
After "Eothen" he published nothing, except an article in the " Quarterly Review " on the political uses of the Mediterranean, till 1863, when the first two volumes of his history of "The Invasion of the Crimea" appeared; two more volumes were published in 1868, and a fifth in 1874, bringing the history down to and including the battle of Inker-man, the work being still unfinished. II. John Alexander, an English lawyer, cousin of the preceding, born in Taunton in 1805. He was educated at Eton, and Cambridge, was called to the bar in 1830, made a sergeant at law in 1844, and at the same time appointed recorder of Exeter, and in 1856 of Bristol. For many years, up to 1870, he was a member of parliament for Rochester, and an extreme liberal in politics, being in favor of the vote by ballot, the abolition of church rates, and other popular measures. He has contributed articles to the reviews, and the authorship of "Eothen" has frequently been erroneously attributed to him.