William Eddis was born in England about 1745. He came to this country in 1769, and settled at Annapolis, under the protection of Sir Robert Eden, governor of Maryland. He held the office of surveyor of customs, and was intimately acquainted with prominent men of all parties “until the unfortunate misunderstanding which arose between the parent state and the colonies rendered it impossible for every one like him, sincerely and steadily attached to the former, to continue in the country.”
On June 4, 1776, Eddis, with others, was summoned to appear before the patriot “committee of observation” and on June 11, 1776 refusing to give bonds for his conduct, he was ordered to leave the country before August 1, 1776. He was allowed to remain and hold his office, however, till April 1777, when he made his way to a British man-of-war and returned to England. He published an interesting collection of his "Letters from America" (London, 1792).