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THE RIGHT HONOURABLE
WILLIAM WINDHAM was the descendant of a line of ancestors which is traced to a very remote period. The name is derived from a town in Norfolk, England, generally written Wymondham, but pronounced Windham, at which place the family appears to have been settled as early as the eleventh, or the beginning of the twelfth century, Ailward de Wymondham having been a person of some consideration in the time of Henry the First. His posterity remained there till the middle of the fifteenth century, when one of them, in the reign of Henry the Sixth, purchased considerable estates on the north-east coast of Norfolk, in Felbrigg and its neighbourhood, which, from that time, became their principal residence.
WILLIAM WINDHAM was born in 1750, on the 3d of May (old style), in Norfolk. At seven years of age, young Windham had been placed at Eton, where he remained till he was about sixteen; distinguishing himself, by the vivacity and brilliancy of his talents, among school-fellows of whom many were afterwards highly eminent for their genius and acquirements. He was the envy of the school for the quickness of his progress in study, as well as its acknowledged leader and champion in all athletic sports and youthful frolics. The late Dr. Barnard, then Headmaster, and afterwards Provost of Eton College, used to remark when Fox and Windham had become conspicuous in the senate, that they were the last boys he had ever flogged. Their offence was, that of stealing off together to see a play acted at Windsor. On leaving Eton, in 1766, he was placed in the university of (1 *)