Burgess, ThomasAlternative names
Epithet: ironmonger, of Nottingham
British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000001030.0x000008
Epithet: RC Bishop of Clifton
British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000001030.0x00000a
Thomas Burgess was born at Odiham, Hampshire, on November 18th 1756. In 1763, he was sent to the local Grammar School, and in 1768 began attending Winchester School. He went on to study at Corpus Christi College, Oxford. Whilst a student, he re-edited Burton's 'Pentalogia'. In 1778 he received his BA, and was awarded his MA in 1782. Burgess then became a tutor at his college, and was made a fellow in 1783.
Burgess was ordained a deacon and priest in 1784. The following year he was appointed Examining Chaplain to Bishop Barrington of Salisbury. He remained at Oxford during this period, and published works on various points of scholarship. His attention was gradually drawn more and more to theology, and he went on to learn Hebrew. He also assisted with the promotion of Sunday Schools in the diocese of Salisbury, and wrote a pamphlet advocating the abolition of slavery in 1788.
In 1791, Bishop Barrington was transferred to Durham. Burgess left Oxford and followed him northwards. He was appointed prebendary of Durham Cathedral, and in 1795 was given the living of Wiston, County Durham.
In 1803, Burgess was made Bishop of St. David's, and he immediately recognised the need for improved educational standards in his impoverished diocese. He established four grammar schools, and insisted pupils studied there for seven years prior to ordination. He also founded the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge and Church Union in the Diocese of St. David's. As a result, he started collecting subscriptions for the establishment of a college to educate the diocesan clergy. By 1820, he had received over eleven thousand pounds. Grants from the king and Oxford and Cambridge Universities were added to this, and the foundation stone of the college was laid in 1822. Five years later, St. David's College, Lampeter received its first students. Although Burgess had by this time left the diocese for a less strenuous position as Bishop of Salisbury, he remained dedicated to the institution for the remainder of his life.
In 1804, Burgess helped found the Bible Society. In 1823, he drew up a plan for the establishment of the Royal Society of Literature, and later became its first president. Burgess published a great number of tracts during his lifetime on a variety of subjects, including a series on Unitarianism (1804-20). He also dedicated himself to disproving the theory that Milton was the author of the treatise 'De Doctrina Christiana'. In total, he published over 100 works. By the time he was transferred to the Bishopric of Salisbury, his health had begun to fail him. He died on February 19th, 1837.
From the guide to the Bishop Thomas Burgess Papers, 1792-[ca. 1828], (University of Wales, Trinity St David)
|associatedWith||Bartlett, Sidney, 1799-1889||person|
|associatedWith||Burgess Thomas 1756-1837||person|
|correspondedWith||Dellenbaugh, Frederick Samuel, 1853-1935||person|
|associatedWith||Milton John 1608-1674||person|
|associatedWith||More, Hannah, 1745-1833||person|
|associatedWith||Sumner Charles Richard 1790-1874||person|
|associatedWith||Wyttenbach Daniel 1746-1820||person|
|Place Name||Admin Code||Country|
|Mount Athos, Greece|
|Prince Edward Island, North America|
|Sheffield, West Riding of Yorkshire|
|Palestine, Asia Minor|
|North Erpingham, Hundred of, Norfolk|
|Falkland Islands, South America|
|Stanley, the Falkland Islands|