William Roscoe(1753-1831), Banker, historian and collector
Sitter in 6 portraits
Historian, poet, art collector, lawyer, politician and philanthropist, rose from humble beginnings in Liverpool to become one of the city's outstanding figures. He played an important role in developing the cultural life of the city. Roscoe was called to the Bar in 1774. He entered Parliament in 1806 where he fought against the slave trade. In 1795 he published his first historical work, The Life of Lorenzo de' Medici (1795), which made his reputation as a historian. His other major work, The Life of Pope Leo X (1805), proved controversial, but was again a best seller. His 1806 poem, The Butterfly's Ball and the Grasshopper's Feast, has become a children's classic.