Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/West, Thomas (1720-1779)

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WEST, THOMAS (1720–1779), topographer, was born in Scotland in 1720, received his education in the public schools of Edinburgh, and was for some time a mercantile traveller. He entered the Society of Jesus at Watten on 7 Sept. 1751, under the name of Daniel, made his higher studies and theology in the college of the English jesuits at Liège, and was professed of the four vows on 2 Feb. 1769. Being sent on the English mission, he was stationed first at Holywell, next at Ulverston, afterwards at Titcup Hall, near Dalton in Furness, and finally at Sisergh, Westmorland. He died at Sisergh on 10 June 1779, and was buried in the choir or chapel belonging to the Strickland family in Kendal church.

He was the author of: 1. ‘The Antiquities of Furness; or an Account of the Royal Abbey of St. Mary, in the Vale of Nightshade, near Dalton in Furness,’ London, 1774, 4to; new edit., with additions by William Close, Ulverston, 1805, 8vo; reprinted, Ulverston, 1813, 8vo. 2. ‘A Guide to the Lakes: dedicated to the Lovers of Landscape Studies, and to all who have visited, or intend to visit, the Lakes in Cumberland, Westmorland, and Lancashire,’ London, 1778, 8vo, pp. 203; 2nd edit., revised throughout and greatly enlarged, London, 1780, 8vo; 11th edit., Kendal, 1821, 8vo. He also wrote an ‘Account of Antiquities discovered in Lancaster, 1776,’ which appeared in ‘Archæologia’ (1779, v. 98), and a description ‘Of a Volcanic Hill near Inverness,’ printed in 1777 in ‘Philosophical Transactions.’

[Antiquities of Furness, ed. Close, 1805, p. 409; Catholic Miscellany, ix. 42; Stothert's Catholic Missions in Scotland, p. 625; Gibson's Lydiate Hall, p. 45; Oliver's Jesuit Collections, p. 39; Foley's Records, v. 357, vii. 192; Watt's Bibl. Brit.; De Backer's Bibl. des Écrivains de la Compagnie de Jésus.]

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