Thomas Seward

Last updated

Thomas Seward, engraving after Joseph Wright of Derby. Thomas Seward.jpg
Thomas Seward, engraving after Joseph Wright of Derby.

Thomas Seward (1708 – 4 March 1790) was an English Anglican clergyman, author and editor who was part of the Lichfield intellectual circle that included Samuel Johnson, Erasmus Darwin and his own daughter Anna Seward, amongst others.

England Country in north-west Europe, part of the United Kingdom

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.

An author is the creator or originator of any written work such as a book or determines responsibility for what was created. Holding the title of "author" over any "literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, [or] certain other intellectual works" gives rights to this person, the owner of the copyright, especially the exclusive right to engage in or authorize any production or distribution of their work. Any person or entity wishing to use intellectual property held under copyright must receive permission from the copyright holder to use this work, and often will be asked to pay for the use of copyrighted material. After a fixed amount of time, the copyright expires on intellectual work and it enters the public domain, where it can be used without limit. Copyright laws in many jurisdictions – mostly following the lead of the United States, in which the entertainment and publishing industries have very strong lobbying power – have been amended repeatedly since their inception, to extend the length of this fixed period where the work is exclusively controlled by the copyright holder. However, copyright is merely the legal reassurance that one owns his/her work. Technically, someone owns their work from the time it's created. An interesting aspect of authorship emerges with copyright in that, in many jurisdictions, it can be passed down to another upon one's death. The person who inherits the copyright is not the author, but enjoys the same legal benefits.

Editing Process of selecting and preparing media to convey information

Editing is the process of selecting and preparing writing, photography, visual, audible, and film media used to convey information. The editing process can involve correction, condensation, organization, and many other modifications performed with an intention of producing a correct, consistent, accurate and complete work.



Thomas Seward was the son of John Seward of Badsey, Worcestershire. He married Elizabeth, daughter of the Rev. John Hunter, headmaster of Lichfield grammar school, and was the father of Anna Seward the author.

Badsey village in United Kingdom

Badsey is a village and civil parish in the Wychavon district of Worcestershire, England. It has two parks and a small first school located in the centre of the village.

Worcestershire County of England

Worcestershire is a county in the West Midlands of England.

Education and career

He was admitted a foundation scholar of Westminster school in 1723. He was elected by the school to scholarships at Christ Church, Oxford, and Trinity College, Cambridge in 1727; but after his rejection by both universities he became a pensioner of St John's College, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. in 1730 and M.A. in 1734. [1] [2]

Christ Church, Oxford Constituent college of the University of Oxford in England

Christ Church is a constituent college of the University of Oxford in England. Christ Church is a joint foundation of the college and the cathedral of the Oxford diocese, which serves as the college chapel and whose dean is ex officio the college head.

Trinity College, Cambridge Constituent college of the University of Cambridge in England

Trinity College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge in England. With around 600 undergraduates, 300 graduates, and over 180 fellows, it is the largest college in either of the Oxbridge universities by number of undergraduates. In terms of total student numbers, it is second only to Homerton College, Cambridge.

St Johns College, Cambridge college of the University of Cambridge

St John's College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge founded by the Tudor matriarch Lady Margaret Beaufort. In constitutional terms, the college is a charitable corporation established by a charter dated 9 April 1511. The aims of the college, as specified by its statutes, are the promotion of education, religion, learning and research. It is one of the larger Oxbridge colleges in terms of student numbers. For 2018, St. John’s was ranked 9th of 29 colleges in the Tompkins Table with over 30% of its students earning First-class honours.

Seward became travelling tutor to Lord Charles FitzRoy, third son of Charles FitzRoy, 2nd Duke of Grafton, who died while on the tour in Italy in 1739. The Duke promised some preferment for Seward: he became rector of Eyam in Derbyshire, and Kingsley, Staffordshire. He also obtained the prebend of Bubbenhall in Lichfield Cathedral, though the date of his admission does not appear, and on 30 April 1755 he was collated to the prebend of Pipa Parva in the same church. He was installed in the prebend of Lyme and Halstock in Salisbury Cathedral on 5 June 1755. [2]

Charles FitzRoy, 2nd Duke of Grafton Irish and English politician

Charles FitzRoy, 2nd Duke of Grafton, was an Irish and English politician.

Eyam village and civil parish in Derbyshire Dales district, Derbyshire, England

Eyam is an English village and civil parish in the Derbyshire Dales. It lies within the Peak District National Park. The population was 969 at the 2011 Census.

Derbyshire ceremonial county in East Midlands, England

Derbyshire is a county in the East Midlands of England. A substantial portion of the Peak District National Park lies within Derbyshire, containing the southern extremity of the Pennine range of hills which extend into the north of the county. The county contains part of the National Forest, and borders on Greater Manchester to the northwest, West Yorkshire to the north, South Yorkshire to the northeast, Nottinghamshire to the east, Leicestershire to the southeast, Staffordshire to the west and southwest and Cheshire also to the west. Kinder Scout, at 636 metres (2,087 ft), is the highest point in the county, whilst Trent Meadows, where the River Trent leaves Derbyshire, is its lowest point at 27 metres (89 ft). The River Derwent is the county's longest river at 66 miles (106 km), and runs roughly north to south through the county. In 2003 the Ordnance Survey placed Church Flatts Farm at Coton in the Elms as the furthest point from the sea in Great Britain.

Seward resided at Lichfield from 1749, moving into the Bishop's Palace in 1754, and was acquainted with Samuel Johnson, whom he used to entertain on his visits to Lichfield. James Boswell described him as a great valetudinarian. Seward died at the Bishop's Palace, Lichfield, on 4 March 1790. [2]

Lichfield Cathedral city in Staffordshire, England

Lichfield is a cathedral city and civil parish in Staffordshire, England. Lichfield is situated roughly 16 mi (26 km) north of Birmingham, 9 miles (14 km) from Walsall and 13 miles (21 km) from Burton Upon Trent. At the time of the 2011 Census the population was estimated at 32,219 and the wider Lichfield District at 100,700.

James Boswell 18th-century Scottish lawyer, diarist, and author

James Boswell, 9th Laird of Auchinleck, was a Scottish biographer, diarist, and lawyer, born in Edinburgh. He is best known for his biography of his friend and older contemporary, the English writer Samuel Johnson, which is commonly said to be the greatest biography written in the English language. A great mass of his diaries, letters and private papers were recovered in the 1920s to 50s, and their ongoing publication has transformed his reputation.


His progressive ideas on female education, authoring "The Female Right to Literature" (1748), facilitated his daughter's career, although he was later to regret this. [3] The Female Right to Literature and four other poems by Seward were printed in Robert Dodsley's Collection of Poems. Seward also edited, with Thomas Sympson, the Works of Beaumont and Fletcher, and wrote the preface, 10 vols. London, 1750. [2]

Female education complex set of issues and debates surrounding education for girls and women

Female education is a catch-all term of a complex set of issues and debates surrounding education for girls and women. It includes areas of gender equality and access to education, and its connection to the alleviation of poverty. Also involved are the issues of single-sex education and religious education, in that the division of education along gender lines as well as religious teachings on education have been traditionally dominant and are still highly relevant in contemporary discussions of educating females as a global consideration. In the field of female education in STEM, it has been shown that girls’ and women under-representation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education is deep rooted.

Robert Dodsley British writer and bookseller

Robert Dodsley was an English bookseller, poet, playwright, and miscellaneous writer.

Beaumont and Fletcher were the English dramatists Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher, who collaborated in their writing during the reign of James I (1603-25).

Selected publications


Anna Seward caused a monument to be erected to her parents in Lichfield Cathedral. The monument was executed by John Bacon, and the verses which form part of the epitaph were the composition of Sir Walter Scott. [2] In 1779 he was portrayed as the Canon in the novel Columella by Richard Graves. [2]

Related Research Articles

Erasmus Darwin English physician, botanist; member of the Lunar Society

Erasmus Darwin was an English physician. One of the key thinkers of the Midlands Enlightenment, he was also a natural philosopher, physiologist, slave-trade abolitionist, inventor and poet.

Anna Seward English Romantic poet (1742-1809)

Anna Seward was a long-eighteenth-century English Romantic poet, often called the Swan of Lichfield.

Charlotte Lennox Scottish writer

Charlotte Lennox, néeRamsay, was a Scottish author and poet, mostly remembered today as the author of The Female Quixote, and for her association with Samuel Johnson, Joshua Reynolds and Samuel Richardson. However, she had a long career in her own right, writing poetry, prose and drama.

William Shenstone 18th-century English poet and gardener

William Shenstone was an English poet and one of the earliest practitioners of landscape gardening through the development of his estate, The Leasowes.

Richard Farmer 18th-century English Shakespearean scholar and academic

Dr Richard Farmer FRS FSA (1735–1797) was a Shakespearean scholar and Master of Emmanuel College, Cambridge. He is known for his Essay on the Learning of Shakespeare (1767), in which he maintained that Shakespeare's knowledge of the classics was through translations, the errors of which he reproduced.

Edward Harley, 4th Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer British noble and politician

Edward Harley, 4th Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer, styled Lord Harley from 1741 to 1755, was a British peer and Tory politician.

Francis Noel Clarke Mundy British poet

Francis Noel Clarke Mundy 1739 – 1815 was an English poet. His most noted work was written to defend Needwood Forest which was enclosed at the beginning of the 19th century. He was the father of Francis Mundy.

Michael Lort (1725–1790) was a Welsh clergyman, academic and antiquary.

Anthony Scattergood (1611–1687) was an English clergyman and scholar.

James Bentham was an English clergyman, antiquarian and historian of Ely Cathedral.

James Tunstall (1708?–1762) was an English cleric and classical scholar.

Sneyd Davies British writer

Sneyd Davies (1709–1769) was an English poet, academic and churchman, archdeacon of Derby from 1755.

Edward Cobden, D.D. (1684-1764) was a British divine, poet, and Archdeacon of London, from 1742–1764.

John Hoadly (playwright) British priest and writer

John Hoadly (1711–1776) was an English cleric, known as a poet and dramatist.

Thomas Chapman (1717–1760) was an English churchman and academic, Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge from 1746.

Spencer Madan (1758–1836) was an English cleric, known as a translator of Hugo Grotius.

Honora Sneyd English writer (1751-1780)

Honora Edgeworth was an eighteenth-century English writer, mainly known for her associations with literary figures of the day particularly Anna Seward and the Lunar Society, and for her work on children's education. Sneyd was born in Bath in 1751, and following the death of her mother in 1756 was raised by Canon Thomas Seward and his wife Elizabeth in Lichfield, Staffordshire until she returned to her father's house in 1771. There, she formed a close friendship with their daughter, Anna Seward. Having had a romantic engagement to John André and having declined the hand of Thomas Day, she married Richard Edgeworth as his second wife in 1773, living on the family estate in Ireland till 1776. There she helped raise his children from his first marriage, including Maria Edgeworth, and two children of her own. Returning to England she fell ill with tuberculosis, which was incurable, dying at Weston in Staffordshire in 1780. She is the subject of a number of Anna Seward's poems, and with her husband developed concepts of childhood education, resulting in a series of books, such as Practical Education, based on her observations of the Edgeworth children. She is known for her stand on women's rights through her vigorous rejection of the proposal by Day, in which she outlined her views on equality in marriage.


  1. "Seward, Thomas (SWRT727T)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Seward, Thomas"  . Dictionary of National Biography . London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
  3. Barnard 2004.