Born the first child of William Byrd the elder and Mary Horsmanden in 1674, William was designated as his father's successor in business and politics. In 1681 he was sent to England to be educated, to learn the world of business and trade, and to become a lawyer. As his father intended, Byrd soon became a polished gentleman with the training necessary to carry on his father's lucrative Indian, colonial, and trans-Atlantic trade. In 1696 he followed Cotton Mather as the second American elected to the Royal Society, the preeminent scientific body of the day. That same year he returned briefly to Virginia, was elected to the House of Burgesses, and sailed back to England to represent the colony before the Board of Trade, a position he held …
Lofaro, Michael A.. "William Byrd (2)". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 October 2001; last revised 30 November -1.
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=680, accessed 26 April 2015.]