Birch, Thomas Ledlie (DNB00)

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BIRCH, THOMAS LEDLIE (fl. 1808), Irish presbyterian minister, was ordained minister of Saintfield, co. Down, on 21 May 1776. In 1794 he preached a sermon before the synod of Ulster, in which he specified 1818 as the date of the fall of the papacy. He was much opposed to the doctrines and ways of the seceders, and in 1796 published a pamphlet in which he tells how, by taking the bull by the horns, he kept them out of Saintfield. In 1798 he was mixed up with the insurrection, and, having been tried by court martial at Lisburn on 18 and 20 June, was permitted to emigrate to America, where he died on 12 April 1808. He published: 1. ‘The Obligation upon Christians, and especially Ministers, to be Exemplary in their Lives; particularly at this important period when the prophecies are seemingly about to be fulfilled,' &c., Belfast, 1794 (synodical sermon, Matt. v. 16). 2. ‘Physicians languishing under Disease. An Address to the Seceding or Associate Synod of Ireland upon certain tenets and practices, &c.,' Belfast, 1796.

[Belfast News-Letter, June 1798; Witherow's Hist. and Lit. Mem. of Presbyterianism in Ireland, and series, 1880.]

A. G.