Thomas Zouch

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Thomas Zouch (12 September 1737, Sandal Magna near Wakefield – 17 December 1815, Sandal Magna), was an English clergyman and antiquary, best known as a student of the works and life of Izaak Walton.

Sandal Magna human settlement in United Kingdom

Sandal Magna or Sandal is a suburb of Wakefield, West Yorkshire, England with a population in 2001 of 5,432. An ancient settlement, it is the site of Sandal Castle and of a parish church that predates the Domesday Book. It is 2 miles (3.2 km) south from Wakefield, 8 miles (13 km) north of Barnsley. The Battle of Wakefield was fought here in the 15th century during the Wars of the Roses.

Wakefield city in West Yorkshire, England

Wakefield is a city in West Yorkshire, England, on the River Calder and the eastern edge of the Pennines, which had a population of 99,251 at the 2011 census.

Izaak Walton English author and biographer

Izaak Walton was an English writer. Best known as the author of The Compleat Angler, he also wrote a number of short biographies that have been collected under the title of Walton's Lives.



Thomas Zouch, who claimed to be related to the noble Zouche family, was a younger son of Charles Zouch (died 27 March 1754), vicar of Sandal Magna, who married, on 14 July 1719, Dorothy (died 17 March 1760), daughter of Gervase Norton of Wakefield. Henry Zouch was his elder brother.

Baron Zouche A title that has been created three times in the Peerage of England

Baron Zouche is a title that has been created three times in the Peerage of England.

Henry Zouch, was an English antiquary and social reformer.

After his father had given him some elementary classical instruction, Thomas Zouch was sent to the free grammar school of Wakefield, under John Clarke. He was admitted pensioner at Trinity College, Cambridge, on 8 July 1756, under the tutorship of Stephen Whisson, and became scholar of his college on 6 May 1757. He won a Craven scholarship in 1760, and graduated B.A. as third wrangler in 1761. [1] Zouch proceeded M.A. in 1764, and D.D. in 1805. [2]

Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Wakefield independent, public school for boys in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, England

Queen Elizabeth Grammar School (QEGS) is an independent, public school for boys in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, England. The school was founded by Royal Charter of Queen Elizabeth I in 1591 at the request of leading citizens in Wakefield 75 in total and some of whom formed the first governing body.

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.

Wrangler (University of Cambridge)

At the University of Cambridge in England, a "Wrangler" is a student who gains first-class honours in the third year of the University's undergraduate degree in mathematics. The highest-scoring student is the Senior Wrangler, the second highest is the Second Wrangler, and so on. At the other end of the scale, the person who achieves the lowest exam marks while still earning a third-class honours degree is known as the wooden spoon.

Zouch remained at Cambridge until 1770. He was ordained deacon in 1761, and gained the members' prize for a Latin essay twice – in 1762 as a middle bachelor, and in 1763 as a senior bachelor. In 1762 he was elected minor fellow of his college, and became major fellow in 1764, sub-lector primus 1765–6, and lector linguæ Latinæ 1768. He was also appointed assistant tutor, at an annual salary of £60, to Thomas Postlethwaite, and in addition took private pupils, among whom was Pepper Arden, baron Alvanley. On 8 February 1768 he delivered in the college chapel a funeral oration in Latin on the death of Robert Smith, the master. The official verses on the accession of George III contained a Latin poem by him; to those on that king's marriage he contributed a Greek poem, and he supplied English verses for the sets on the birth of the Prince of Wales and the peace of Paris, which are quoted with praise in the Monthly Review (xxviii. 27–9, xxix. 43). The Greek verses in four of the university sets which bear the name of Michael Lort are said to have been composed by Zouch. He won the Seatonian prize in 1765 with a poem on the 'Crucifixion.' It was printed in that year, and included in the collections of Musæ Seatonianæ (1772 pp. 223–41, 1787 pp. 223–41, 1808 i. 183–98).

Thomas Postlethwaite mathematician

Thomas Postlethwaite was an English clergyman and Cambridge fellow, Master of Trinity College, Cambridge from 1789 to 1798.

Robert Smith (mathematician) English mathematician and music theorist

Robert Smith was an English mathematician and music theorist.

George III of the United Kingdom King of Great Britain and Ireland

George III was King of Great Britain and King of Ireland from 25 October 1760 until the union of the two countries on 1 January 1801, after which he was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until his death in 1820. He was concurrently Duke and prince-elector of Brunswick-Lüneburg ("Hanover") in the Holy Roman Empire before becoming King of Hanover on 12 October 1814. He was the third British monarch of the House of Hanover, but unlike his two predecessors, he was born in Great Britain, spoke English as his first language, and never visited Hanover.

Under the pressure of hard work Zouch's health broke down, and on 12 July 1770 he was instituted, on the presentation of his university, to the rectory of Wycliffe, on the south bank of the River Tees. The patronage was vested in the Roman Catholic family of Constable, and, as they resisted his nomination, it cost him much trouble and expense to establish his right to the living. The church and parsonage are delightfully situated, and the interest of this small parish was heightened in his eyes by its reputed connection with John Wycliffe. [3] Zouch remained in this pleasant position until 1793, and for the first ten years (from 1770 to 1780) took private pupils, three at a time. His sister Anne had married Sir William Lowther, rector of Swillington, and the list of Zouch's pupils included his two nephews, William and John Lowther) and Sir Levett Hanson. Here he found much time for study on his own account, and he acquired a full knowledge of French, Italian, Hebrew, as well as 'a certain portion of Chaldee and Arabic learning.' He thoroughly explored this district of Yorkshire for rare botanical specimens, and became so well known for his zeal in the pursuit that on 15 May 1788, within two months of its first meeting, he was elected a fellow of the Linnean Society. Marmaduke Tunstall, a distinguished antiquary and naturalist, was the squire of the parish. [4]

Wycliffe, County Durham village in United Kingdom

Wycliffe is a village on the south bank of the River Tees in the North East of England, situated a short distance to the east of Barnard Castle. Wycliffe is in the civil parish of Wycliffe with Thorpe.

River Tees river in northern England

The River Tees is in northern England. It rises on the eastern slope of Cross Fell in the North Pennines, and flows eastwards for 85 miles (137 km) to reach the North Sea between Hartlepool and Redcar near Middlesbrough.

John Wycliffe English theologian and early dissident in the Roman Catholic Church

John Wycliffe, was an English scholastic philosopher, theologian, Biblical translator, reformer, English priest, and a seminary professor at the University of Oxford, became an influential dissident within the Roman Catholic priesthood during the 14th century and is considered an important predecessor to Protestantism.

When Richard Pepper Arden was appointed master of the rolls in 1788, Zouch became his chaplain, and in 1791 obtained the position of deputy-commissary of the archdeaconry of Richmond. William Pitt, under obligation to the family of Lowther, wrote to Sir William Lowther in January 1791 that he hoped to procure the living of Catterick for Zouch. Though Pitt did not manage this, in 1793 he secured Zouch the valuable rectory of Scrayingham in the East Riding of Yorkshire, whereupon the benefice of Wycliffe became vacant. By the death of his elder brother, Henry, in 1795, an estate at Sandal Magna came to Zouch, and after the widow's death in 1796 he resided there. Pitt considered him for the mastership of Trinity College in 1798; but William Lort Mansel had better claims for a post which then required a man of exceptional firmness of character. In April 1805 Zouch obtained through Pitt the second prebendal stall in Durham Cathedral. When Edward Vernon (afterwards Vernon-Harcourt) was translated at the close of 1807 from Carlisle to the archbishopric of York, the Duke of Portland offered the vacant see to Zouch. He is said to have accepted the offer, but to have withdrawn his acceptance a day later. Hard of hearing from early life, his deafness had worsened with age, and he was now in bad health. Moreover, the change would have brought little, if any, financial advantage.| [5]

William Pitt the Younger 18th/19th-century British statesman

William Pitt the Younger was a prominent British Tory statesman of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. He became the youngest British prime minister in 1783 at the age of 24. He left office in 1801, but was Prime Minister again from 1804 until his death in 1806. He was Chancellor of the Exchequer for most of his time as Prime Minister. He is known as "the Younger" to distinguish him from his father, William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham, called William Pitt the Elder or simply "Chatham", who had previously served as Prime Minister.

Catterick, North Yorkshire Village, civil parish and electoral ward in North Yorkshire, England

Catterick is a village, civil parish and electoral ward in the Richmondshire district of North Yorkshire, England. Historically part of the North Riding of Yorkshire, it is 8.5 miles (13.7 km) north-west of the county town of Northallerton just to the west of the River Swale. It lends its name to nearby Catterick Garrison and the nearby hamlet of Catterick Bridge, the home of Catterick Racecourse where the village Sunday market is held. It lies on the route of the old Roman Road of Dere Street and is the site of the Roman fortification of Cataractonium.

Scrayingham village in the United Kingdom

Scrayingham is a village and civil parish in North Yorkshire, England. the population was less than 100 at the 2011 census. Details are included in the civil parish of Howsham, North Yorkshire. The village is situated approximately 9 miles (14 km) north-east from the centre of the city and county town of York.

Zouch died at Sandal Magna on 17 December 1815, and was buried there on 23 Dec, the Rev. James Tate drawing up a Latin inscription for him. He had married at Winston, Durham, on 9 July 1772, Isabella, daughter of John Emerson, rector of that parish. She died on 18 October 1803. His second wife, whom he married at Sandal Magna on 25 August 1808, was Margaret (1743–1833), second daughter of Dr. William Brooke of Field Head, Dodworth, Yorkshire, and sister of J. C. Brooke, Somerset herald; she was buried with her husband at Sandal (July 1833). Zouch was a governor of Wakefield school from 14 June 1799 to 13 May 1805, and he founded the endowed school at Sandal.


Thomas Zouch was best known as an editor and biographer of Izaak Walton, though his biography of Walton would be superseded by that of Nicholas Harris Nicolas.

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  1. Though his name was printed as third in the year's list of wranglers, he himself claimed to have come second. The DNB suggests the possibility that "one of the two graduates above him had received, as was not uncommon at that date, an honorary degree".
  2. "Zouch, Thomas (ZC756T)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  3. Whitaker, Richmondshire, i. 197–200
  4. Zouch's character of him is in Thomas Dunham Whitaker's Richmondshire (ii. 37) and John Nichols's Literary Illustrations (v. 512*–13).
  5. Notes and Queries, 3rd ser. vi. 279; Hist. MSS. Comm., 13th Rep. vii. 232–3.
  6. cf. Walton, Compleat Angler , ed. Nicolas, vol. i. pp. c–cii.
  7. A 'meagre book,' recorded Robert Southey (Letters, ed. Warter, ii. 97, 123; Life, ed. C. C. Southey, iii. 224).
  8. "Review of Memoirs of the Life and Writings of Sir Philip Sidney by Thomas Zouch". The Quarterly Review. 1: 77–92. 1809.

Wikisource-logo.svg  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : "Zouch, Thomas". Dictionary of National Biography . London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.