William Combe was born in Bristol on 25 March 1741 to Robert Combes, an ironmonger, and Susanna Hill, who died in 1748. He was named after his father’s business partner, William Alexander, a London Alderman, who was also Combe’s godfather and later his guardian. Combe was educated at Eton College, which he left after his father’s death in 1756; it is unclear how Combe spent the next few years. On 22 February 1760 Combe entered the Temple as a bencher, but did not stay long enough to be called to the Bar. When he came of age in 1763, Combe inherited a substantial legacy from his father’s and guardian’s estates. He used this money to travel to France and to live extravagantly, but appears to have exhausted his funds by 1770.…
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Harris, Kirsty J.. "William Combe". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 10 November 2014
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