Jonathan Swift was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1667, and died in 1745. His parents were English. His father died before he was born, and his mother was supported on a slender pittance by his father's brother. He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, and all through his early life was dependent on the generosity of others. His college career was not highly creditable, either from the point of view of manners, morals, or learning. After leaving college, he travelled through England on foot, and found employment with a relative of his mother's, Sir William Temple, in whose house was a noble library; and for two years Swift made up for some of his shortcomings by studying diligently therein. He went to Oxford in 1692, took a degree and was ordained in 1694. He was given a parish in Ireland, which he soon resigned, returning to the home of Sir William Temple, where he remained until the death of the latter in 1699.
Jonathan Swift - A Video Biography
Jonathan Swift was born at No. 7, Hoey's Court, Dublin, and was the second child and only son of Jonathan Swift and wife Abigail Erick. Swift arrived seven months after his father's untimely death. Most of the facts of Swift's early life are obscure, confused and sometimes contradictory. It is widely believed that his mother returned to England when Jonathan was still very young, then leaving him to be raised by his father's family. His uncle Godwin took primary responsibility for the young Jonathan, sending him with one of his cousins to Kilkenny College.
In 1682 he attended Dublin University (Trinity College, Dublin), receiving his B.A. in 1686. Swift was studying for his Master's degree when political troubles in Ireland surrounding the Glorious Revolution forced him to leave for England in 1688, where his mother helped him get a position as secretary and personal assistant of Sir William Temple at Moor Park, Farnham. Temple was an English diplomat who, having arranged the Triple Alliance of 1668, retired from public service to his country estate to tend his gardens and write his memoirs. Gaining the confidence of his employer, Swift "was often trusted with matters of great importance." Within three years of their acquaintance, Temple had introduced his secretary to William III, and sent him to London to urge the King to consent to a bill for triennial Parliaments.