Birch, Thomas, Dd
Birch, Thomas, D.D., was born in London Nov. 23d, 1705, of Quaker parents. For several years he acted as usher in different schools, and pursued his studies assiduously. He was ordained deacon in 1730, priest in 1731, by Bishop Hoadley, without having attended either of the universities. He owed his advancement to the patronage of Lord-chancellor Hardwicke, to whom he had been recommended early in life. In 1734 he became vicar of Ulting, in Essex; rector of St. Margaret's, London, 1746; rector of Depden, Essex, 1761. In 1734 he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society, and in 1752 he became one of its secretaries. In 1753 the University of Aberdeen made him .D.D. Dr. Birch was indefatigable in literary pursuits. The first work of importance in which he was engaged was the General Dictionary, Historical and Critical, in which he was assisted by Lockman, Bernard, Sale, and others (10 vols. fol. 1734-1741). It in. eluded a new translation of Bayle, besides a vast quantity of fresh matter. In 1742 he published Thurloe's State Papers (7 vols. fol.). He published Lives of Ab. Tillotson and the Hon. Rob. Boyle in a separate form, and edited new editions of their works. He also published and edited a number of works in biography and general history. His biographer remarks that Dr. Birch's habit of early rising alone enabled him to get through so much work. He was killed by a fall from his horse, between London and Hampstead, January 9th, 1766. The "General Dictionary" is still a very valuable and useful work. It has been of great service in the compilation of this "Cyclopaedia." Jones, Christian Biography; Eng. Cyclopaedia.