Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Burrell, William

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1324074Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 07 — Burrell, William1886Charles John Robinson

BURRELL, Sir WILLIAM (1732–1796), antiquary, third son of Peter Burrell of Beckenham, Kent, was born in Leadenhall Street 10 Oct. 1732 (Add. MS. Brit. Mus. 5691, fol. 50). He was educated at St. John's College, Cambridge, whence he graduated as LL.B. in 1755, and LL.D. in 1760, and in the latter year (3 Nov.) was admitted as an advocate at Doctors' Commons. He practised chiefly in the admiralty court, and there are in the possession of his grandson, Sir Walter Burrell, two volumes of his own manuscript reports of cases decided in that court between the years 1766 and 1774. They were edited by Mr. R. G. Marsden in 1885. He was made chancellor of Worcester in 1764, and held the same office in the diocese of Rochester, continuing in both posts till his death, was elected M.P. for Haslemere in 1768, and became a commissioner of excise in 1774, being re-elected for Haslemere in that year. He was also F.R.S. and F.S.A., and a director of the South Sea Company. By his marriage in 1773 with Sophia [see Burrell, Lady Sophia], daughter of Charles Raymond, he not only acquired considerable wealth, but also the reversion to the baronetcy conferred upon his father-in-law in 1774. To this he succeeded in 1789. From an early period in life he was interested in antiquarian pursuits, and ultimately concentrated his attention upon the history of the county of Sussex. Nearly every parish was personally visited by him, and its records inspected and partly copied. Drawings were made for him of churches, houses, and sepulchral monuments, and he spared no labour in tracing the descent of the county families. He did not print any portion of his work, but bequeathed the entire collection to the British Museum Library, where it is now deposited among the Add. MSS. Burrell was seized with paralysis in August 1787, and, though he partially recovered, found it necessary to resign his public appointments. He retired to Deepdene in Surrey, and there died 20 Jan. 1796. He was buried at West Grinstead, Sussex, where a simple monument to his memory by Flaxman has been placed in the church.

[Gent. Mag. 1796; Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 5691 et seq.; Elwes and Robinson's Western Sussex, 110; information from Mr. R. G. Marsden.]

C. J. R.

Dictionary of National Biography, Errata (1904), p.44
N.B.— f.e. stands for from end and l.l. for last line

Page Col. Line  
ii 26 Burrell, Sir William: after Rochester insert continuing in both posts till death
28 for 1771 read 1774, being re-elected for Haslemere in that year