Thomas Thurlow (bishop)

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Thomas Thurlow (1737–1791) was an English bishop.


He graduated M.A. from Magdalen College, Oxford in 1761. He became Dean of Rochester in 1775, Bishop of Lincoln in 1779, additionally Dean of St Paul's in commendam in 1782, and was Bishop of Durham from 1787. [1]

Magdalen College, Oxford constituent college of the University of Oxford in England

Magdalen College is a constituent college of the University of Oxford. It was founded in 1458 by William of Waynflete. Today, it is one of the wealthiest colleges, with a financial endowment of £273.2 million as of 2018, and one of the strongest academically, setting the record for the highest Norrington Score in 2010 and topping the table twice since then.

Dean of Rochester

The Dean of Rochester is the head of the chapter of canons at Rochester Cathedral, the mother church of the Church of England Diocese of Rochester. The current dean is Philip Hesketh, who has served in that role since June 2016.

Bishop of Lincoln Diocesan bishop in the Church of England

The Bishop of Lincoln is the ordinary of the Church of England Diocese of Lincoln in the Province of Canterbury.



His rectum is displayed in the Hunterian Museum in London, with the following description:

"A rectum showing the effects of both haemorrhoids and bowel cancer. The patient in this case was Thomas Thurlow (1737-1791), the Bishop of Durham. Thurlow had suffered from some time from a bowel complaint, which he initially thought was the result of piles. He consulted John Hunter after a number of other physicians and surgeons had failed to provide him with a satisfactory diagnosis. Hunter successfully identified the tumour through rectal examination, but recognised that it was incurable. Thurlow died 10 months later." [2]


He was brother of Edward Thurlow, 1st Baron Thurlow, who was Lord Chancellor from 1778 to 1792.

Edward Thurlow, 1st Baron Thurlow British lawyer and Tory politician

Edward Thurlow, 1st Baron Thurlow, PC, KC, was a British lawyer and Tory politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1765 to 1778 when he was raised to the peerage as Baron Thurlow. He served as Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain for fourteen years and under four Prime Ministers.

Lord Chancellor Highest-ranking regularly-appointed Great Officer of State of the United Kingdom

The Lord Chancellor, formally the Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, is the highest ranking among those Great Officers of State which are appointed regularly in the United Kingdom, nominally outranking the Prime Minister. The Lord Chancellor is outranked only by the Lord High Steward, another Great Officer of State, who is appointed only for the day of coronations. The Lord Chancellor is appointed by the Sovereign on the advice of the Prime Minister. Prior to the Union there were separate lord chancellors for England and Wales, for Scotland and for Ireland.


  1. "Thurlow, Thomas"  . Dictionary of National Biography . London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
  2. Abrahams, Marc (27 April 2010). "The bishop's rectum: The Hunterian Museum in London displays the rectum of Thomas Thurlow, an unfortunate bishop who died of a tumour in 1791". The Guardian. Improbable research ... Retrieved 8 September 2012.
Church of England titles
Preceded by
Benjamin Newcombe
Dean of Rochester
Succeeded by
Richard Cust
Preceded by
John Green
Bishop of Lincoln
Succeeded by
George Pretyman Tomline
Preceded by
Thomas Newton
Dean of St Paul's
Preceded by
John Egerton
Bishop of Durham
Succeeded by
Shute Barrington

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