William Hayden English (August 27, 1822–February 7, 1896) was an American politician.
Born in Lexington, Indiana, he pursued classical studies at Hanover College and then studied law. He was admitted to the bar in 1846 and commenced practice at Lexington.
He was the principal clerk of the Indiana House of Representatives in 1843; a clerk in the United States Treasury Department at Washington, D.C. from to 1844 to 1848.
He was secretary of the Indiana state constitutional convention in 1850. He served in the Indiana House in 1851 and 1852, including a stint as Speaker of the House.
He elected as a Democrat to Congress in 1853 and served four terms, through 1861. He was chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Post Office and Post Roads during the 35th Congress, and was a close associate of powerful Indiana Democratic Senator Jesse D. Bright, noted for his pro-southern views. English served as a Regent of the Smithsonian Institution while in Congress. The English Bill is named for him.
He moved to Indianapolis, Indiana at the end of his congressional term; unsuccessful candidate for Vice President of the United States on the Democratic ticket in the U.S. presidential election, 1880.
English was the author of several books; died at his home in Indianapolis in 1896 and is interred in Crown Hill Cemetery.
His son William Eastin English was also a Congressman.
This article incorporates facts obtained from the public domain Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.