Gurdon, Thornhagh (DNB00)

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GURDON, THORNHAGH (1663–1733), antiquary, elder brother of Brampton Gurdon [q. v.], was born in 1663. As a member of Caius College, Cambridge, he received the degree of M.A. 'comitiis regiis' in 1682 (Cantabr. Graduati, edit. 1787, p. 171), and in the reign of Queen Anne was appointed receiver-general of Norfolk. He resided mostly at Norwich, where in 1728 he published anonymously a valuable 'Essay on the Antiquity of the Castel of Norwich, its Founders and Governors from the Kings of the East Angles down to modern Times,' 8vo (reprinted, 8vo, Norwich, 1834). Another work of great merit was his 'History of the High Court of Parliament, its Antiquity, Preheminence, and Authority; and the History of Court Baron and Court Leet, together with the rights of Lords of Manors in Common Pastures and the growth of the privileges the Tenants now enjoy there,' 2 vols. 8vo, London 1731. He died in November 1733, aged 70, and was buried in the church of Cranworth with Letton, Norfolk (note appended to reprint of 'Essay,' 1834; will registered in P.C.C. 61, Ockham). By his wife Elizabeth, one of the daughters and coheirs of Sir William Cooke, bart. of Brome, Suffolk, he had two sons, Brampton, who died before him, and Thornhagh, and three daughters, Jane, Elizabeth, and Letitia. Mrs. Gurdon survived until 1745 (Norfolk Archæceology, ii. 370n.) Gurdon was elected F.S.A. in March 1718 (Original List of Fellows in Library of Soc. Antiq.); he erroneously appears as 'Brampton Gourdon, esq.' in Gough's 'Chronological and Alphabetical Lists,' 1798, pp. *2, 69.

[Blomefield's Norfolk, 8vo edit. iii. 92; John Chambers's General Hist. of Norfolk, ii. 1018; Burke's Landed Gentry, 7th edit. i. 799; Gough's British Topography, ii. 11.]

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