Thomas Eden d.1645

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Thomas EDEN d.1645

Biographical Note

The son of Richard Eden (d.1604) of South Hanningfield, Essex and his wife Margaret. He was educated at Sudbury grammar school followed by Pembroke College, Cambridge. In 1596 he acquired a scholarship to study civil law and transferred to Trinity Hall, where he obtained a BCL in 1600, followed by a LLD in 1614. Three years later he was elected as a Fellow.

In 1613 he was elected Professor of Civil Law at Gresham College, London, which he resigned in 1640. During the later 1610s he presided over several of London’s ecclesiastical courts. By 1623 he was also Chancellor to the Bishop of Ely. Eden was elected MP for Cambridge University in 1626, and was re-elected in 1628 and 1640. He was Master of Trinity Hall from 1626 until his death in 1645.


Eden gave approximately 110 legal works to the Library at Trinity Hall, Cambridge including a manuscript of his own work, Commentarius in titulum De Regulis Iuris, containing his lecture notes in Latin. A few other volumes are held in other Cambridge college libraries.

Eden's inscription, from a book in Trinity Hall Library

Characteristic Markings

He regularly inscribed "Tho: Eden" on the title pages of his books.