James Boswell died in 1795 believing he had touched and kissed a cache of Shakespeare's original letters and papers discovered by a Mr. Ireland. His friend, Edmond Malone, publicly exposed the lot as a forgery just a year later.
Laurence SterneBorn Nov 24, 1714 in Clonmel, County Tipperary
Died Mar 18, 1768 at 41 Old Bond Street, London
Novelist and clergyman. Son of Roger Sterne (d. 1731) and great-grandson of Richard Sterne (1596-1683), Archbishop of York (1664-1683). Sterne graduated B.A. from Jesus College, Oxford in 1737 and was awarded his M.A in 1740. Shortly after receiveing his B.A. he was awarded the vicarship of Sutton-On-The-Forest in Yorkshire, and from 1743 was also vicar of neighbouring Stillington. In 1741 he married Elizabeth Lumley, with whom he had one surviving child, Lydia (b. 1747).1
In 1759 he wrote and had published the first part of the novel The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, a unique story which eventually grew to 9 volumes (the last being published in 1767), and which made him an instant celebrity both in the UK and on the European continent. In 1760 he published the Sermons of Parson Yorick, the eponymous character having been introduced in Tristram Shandy.
His final work, published shortly before his death, was A Sentimental Journey purporting to be an account of the travels of Parson Yorick on the continent.