Peter Birch 1651/2-1710
Peter BIRCH 1651/2-1710
Born at Birch, Lancashire, younger son of Colonel Thomas Birch of Birch Hall. Entered Emmanuel College, Cambridge 1667, moved to Oxford 1670 where his acceptance of the established church (contrary to family tradition) allowed him to graduate BA at Christ Church in 1674 (MA later the same year, BD 1688). He remained in Oxford as chaplain at Christ Church and became rector of St Ebbe’s there in 1686. Chaplain to the House of Commons and prebendary of Westminster 1689, vicar of St Bride’s, Fleet Street 1695. A number of his sermons were published.
The auction of Birch’s library, together with that of Samuel Wells, late minister of Ferne, Wiltshire, was advertised in The Daily Courant as beginning in London on 16 October 1710. The sale contained “a collection of very valuable, ancient and modern books, in Greek, Latin and English, neatly bound, and many of them gilt on the back, with a large collection of trials, atlases, sermons and other curious pamphlets”. No catalogue is known to survive. Birch’s will divided his property and estates between his two sons, with no specific mention of books, but all his goods and chattels (which would presumably include books) were inherited by the younger son John.
None of Birch’s books have been identified.
- Alston, R. C. Inventory of sale catalogues 1676-1800. St Philip, 2010.
- Booker, J. The history of the ancient chapel of Birch, Chetham Society 59, 1859, p.102.
- Cornwall, Robert D. "Birch, Peter (1651/2–1710), Church of England clergyman." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.