Thomas Burdsell d.1642

From Book Owners Online

Thomas BURDSELL d.1642

Biographical Note

Possibly the son of James Burdsell of Stockport, husbandman, whose will of 1622 refers to his sons Thomas and John, and the aspiration of Thomas to become a Bachelor of Arts. He cannot however be traced in the university lists for Oxford or Cambridge. Thomas’s will, made in 1641, describes him as “of the Churchgate, Stockport, clerk, minister of the word of God”; he may have been a curate for Edmund Shallcross, rector of Stockport 1637-45, who he describes as his “worthy friend and master”.


Burdsell’s probate inventory includes books valued at £40 17s, from a total estate value of £112 (largely made up, otherwise, of simple household stuff, and livestock). In his will, he bequeathed “all my books and library unto the ministers of Stockport for the time being for ever, in manner and form following: … that the same library and books shall be kept safe by my said wife and such as shall hereafter dwell in my house wherein I now live; in the little parlour of the same house below the entry next unto the street; to be viewed read and used, [by] the same ministers only, so often as they please to repair unto them; and that a door shall be made in the said parlour unto the Churchgate street, and that each of the said ministers shall have a several key to open the same door; and have liberty to come to the same room and books at their pleasure”.

It is not known whether any of this was put into effect, and if so for how long; there is no record in the standard directory of parochial libraries for one at Stockport before 1843.


  • Perkin, M., A directory of the parochial libraries of the Church of England, London, 2004, 359.
  • Phillips, C. (ed), Stockport probate records 1620-1650, 1992, 231.