Prescott, William Hickling (1796-1859), was born at Salem, Massachusetts. He graduated at Harvard in 1814, and for a time studied law. After travelling in Europe, he determined, in spite of his defective eyesight, to pursue a literary career, and in 1826 began his Spanish studies. Ten years later appeared The History of Ferdinand and Isabella, which was followed by The Conquest of Mexico (1843), and The Conquest of Pern (1847). In 1850 Prescott came to England, and was made D.C.L. of Oxford, and in 1855 he published the first two volumes of a History of Philip II. which he did not live to finish. In the following year appeared his continuation of Robertson's History of Charles V.