William Unwin was born circa 1745 to Morley Unwin (1703-1767) and Mary Cawthorne (1724-1796) and died 29 November 1786 Winchester, England, United Kingdom of unspecified causes. He married Ann Shuttleworth (-1825) .


Offspring of Morley Unwin (1703-1767) and Mary Cawthorne (1724-1796)
Name Birth Death Joined with
William Cawthorne Unwin (c1745-1786) 1745 29 November 1786 Winchester, England, United Kingdom Ann Shuttleworth (-1825)
Susannah Unwin (1747-1835)
Henry Unwin (-)

In the autumn of 1765, William Cowper made the acquaintance of William Cawthorne Unwin, and he was so pleased with what he saw of the family that in October that year he became (as a paying boarder) a regular inmate of their house. The details of the home life which he shared with the Unwins at Olney are familiar to all readers of Cowper's Correspondence.

In July 1769, William Cawthorne Unwin, who had been educated at Charterhouse school and at Christ's College, Cambridge (B.A. 1764, M.A. 1767), quit Olney upon being instituted to the rectory of Stock, near Ramsden in Essex. Like his father, he had attached himself to the evangelical party. His ‘spiritual and lively notions in religion’ had from their first meeting attracted Cowper, and from 1770 until his early death he became the poet's chief confidant and the recipient of many of the most delightful letters in the whole range of our literature. Conspicuous among them is that masterpiece of its kind, dated 31 October 1779, in which Cowper accuses Johnson of plucking some of the most beautiful feathers from the wing of Milton's muse, and ‘trampling them under his great foot.’


Offspring of William Unwin and Ann Shuttleworth (-1825)
Name Birth Death Joined with
John Unwin (1775-)
Mary A. Unwin (1779-)
William Unwin (1781-)


Footnotes (including sources)

‡ General

Robin Patterson