BIRCH, THOMAS: Church of England clergyman and author; b. in London Nov. 23, 1705; d. there Jan. 9, 1766. He was ordained priest in 1731, although of Quaker parentage and without a university education; was an ardent Whig and, having influential patrons, received many good preferments, holding at the time of his death the rectories of St. Margaret Pattens, London, and Depden, Suffolk. He was an indefatigable writer, and his works have been criticized as showing more industry than judgment; they include a number of volumes relating to English history; lives of Robert Boyle (London, 1744), Archbishop Tillotson (1752), and others, as well as most of the English biographies in the General Dictionary (10 vols., 1734-41); editions of Milton's prose (1738), Sir Walter Raleigh's works (1751), and the works and letters of Lord Bacon (1765); History of the Royal Society of London (4 vols., 1756-57); numerous communications in the "Philosophical Transactions" and other periodical publications.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: J. Nichols, Literary Anecdotes of the Eighteenth Century, i, 585-637, ii, 507, iii, 258, v, 40-43, 53, 282-290, London, 1812-15; DNB, v, 68-70.
BIRD, FREDERIC MAYER: Protestant Episcopalian; b. at Philadelphia June 28, 1838; d. in South Bethlehem, Pa., Apr. 3, 1908. He was educated at the University of Pennsylvania (B.A., 1857) and Union Theological Seminary (1860). He was ordained to the Lutheran ministry in 1860, and after serving as an army-chaplain in 1862-63, held several pastorates. In 1870 he became Protestant Episcopal rector of Spotswood, N. J., from 1870 to 1874. Seven years later he was appointed professor of psychology, Christian ethics, and rhetoric in Lehigh University, remaining there in this capacity, as well as in that of chaplain, until 1886. He was also acting chaplain there in 1896-98, and from 1893 to 1898 was editor of Lippincott's Magazine. In the latter year be became associate editor of Chandler's Encyclopedia. In addition to numerous contributions to periodicals and encyclopedias, including most of the American matter in Julian's Dictionary of Hymnology (London, 1892), he has edited Charles Wesley Seen in his Finer land Less Familiar Poems ( New York, 1867); the Hymns of the Lutheran Pennsylvania ministerium (Philadelphia, 1865; in collaboration with S. M. Schmucker); and Songs of the Spirit (New York, 1871; in collaboration with Bishop W. H. Odenheimer). He made a noteworthy collection of hymnology, now in Union Theological Seminary, New York City.
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