Zouch, Thomas (DNB00)

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ZOUCH, THOMAS (1737–1815), divine and antiquary, who thought himself allied to the noble family of Zouche, was younger son of Charles Zouch, vicar of Sandal Magna, near Wakefield (d. 27 July 1754), who married, on 14 July 1719, Dorothy, daughter of Gervase Norton of Wakefield; she died on 17 March 1760, aged 64.

Thomas was born at Sandal Magna on 12 Sept. 1737, and, after receiving the rudiments of a classical education from his father, was sent to the free grammar school of Wakefield, under John Clarke (1706–1761) [q. v.] 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. in 1761. His name is printed as third in the list of wranglers for that year, but he himself claimed the second position. Possibly one of the two graduates above him had received, as was not uncommon at that date, an honorary degree. Zouch proceeded M.A. in 1764, and D.D. in 1805.

Zouch remained at Cambridge until 1770. He was ordained deacon in 1761, and for two years gained the members' prize for a Latin essay—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 60l., to Thomas Postlethwaite [q. v.], and in addition took private pupils, among whom was Pepper Arden, baron Alvanley. On 8 Feb. 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 [q. v.] 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).

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 southern bank of the Tees and in the North Riding of Yorkshire. 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 (Whitaker, Richmondshire, i. 197–200). In this pleasant position Zouch remained until 1793, and for the first ten years (from 1770 to 1780) took private pupils, three at a time. His sister Anne (d. 3 April 1759, aged 35) had married Sir William Lowther, rector of Swillington (d. 15 June 1788, aged 81), and the list of the youths with him included his two nephews (William Lowther, created Earl of Lonsdale in 1807, 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 (d. 1790), a distinguished antiquary and naturalist, was the squire of the parish. Zouch's character of him is in Whitaker's ‘Richmondshire’ (ii. 37) and Nichols's ‘Literary Illustrations’ (v. 512*–13).

On the appointment of Richard Pepper Arden as master of the rolls, in 1788, Zouch became his chaplain, and in 1791 he obtained the position of deputy-commissary of the archdeaconry of Richmond. Pitt, who was under great 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. In this he did not succeed; but he bestowed on him in 1793 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 from the date of the widow's death in 1796 he resided there. Pitt thought of him for the mastership of Trinity College in 1798; but Mansel had superior 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 the cathedral of Durham. When Vernon (afterwards Vernon-Harcourt) was translated at the close of 1807 from Carlisle to the archbishopric of York, the vacant see was offered by the Duke of Portland to Zouch. He is said to have accepted the offer, but one day later to have withdrawn his acceptance. In early life he was attacked with deafness, which grew on him with increasing years, and he was now in bad health. Moreover, the change would have brought little, if any, pecuniary advantage (Notes and Queries, 3rd ser. vi. 279; Hist. MSS. Comm. 13th Rep. vii. 232–3).

Zouch died at Sandal Magna on 17 Dec. 1815, and was buried there on 23 Dec., the Rev. James Tate drawing up a Latin inscription for him. He married at Winston, Durham, on 9 July 1772, Isabella, daughter of John Emerson, rector of that parish. She died on 18 Oct. 1803. His second wife, whom he married at Sandal Magna on 25 Aug. 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. Zouch was best known as a student of the works and life of Izaak Walton. He edited in 1795, with notes, and a preface and a dedication to his brother Henry Zouch, a thin quarto entitled ‘Love and Truth in two modest and peaceable letters … from a quiet and conformable citizen of London to two busie and factious shopkeepers in Coventry,’ a reprint of a rare tract dated 1680 in Emmanuel College Library, Cambridge, and ascribed to Walton (cf. Walton, Compleat Angler, ed. Nicolas, vol. i. pp. c–cii). His edition of Walton's ‘Lives of Donne, Wotton, Hooker, Herbert, and Sanderson, with Notes and Life of the author,’ which was first issued at York in 1796, was reissued in this country in 1807 and (with inclusion of ‘Love and Truth’) in 1817, and was published at New York in 1846 and 1848, and at Boston in 1860. He was attacked for some of his comments in the ‘Monthly Magazine’ (May 1803, pp. 299–300), and defended himself in the ‘Gentleman's Magazine’ (1803, ii. 1016). Zouch's ‘Life of Izaak Walton,’ with notices of his contemporaries, was separately published with illustrations in 1823, and was reissued in 1825. ‘The fruits of his researches’ were embodied in the life of Walton which was prefixed to the 1808 issue by Samuel Bagster of Sir John Hawkins's edition of ‘The Compleat Angler.’ Zouch's biography of Walton was superseded by that of Sir N. H. Nicolas.

The other works of Zouch included, in addition to sermons: 1. ‘An Inquiry into the Prophetic Character of the Romans, as described in Daniel viii. 23–5,’ 1792. 2. ‘An attempt to illustrate some of the Prophecies of the Old and New Testament’ [1800]. 3. ‘A Letter to Bishop Horsley on his Opinion concerning Antichrist. By a Country Clergyman [i.e. Zouch],’ 1801. 4. ‘Memoir of John Sudbury, Dean of Durham’ (anon.), 1808. 5. ‘Memoirs of Sir Philip Sidney,’ 1808; 2nd ed. 1809; a ‘meagre book,’ says Southey (Letters, ed. Warter, ii. 97, 123; Life, ed. C. C. Southey, iii. 224). He assisted in drawing up ‘The Life and Character of John, Lord Viscount Lonsdale,’ printed for private distribution in 1808, and prefixed to the ‘Memoirs of James II,’ 1808. Zouch's works were edited by Francis Wrangham at York in 1820, both in a private impression of four copies only, and also for sale (2 vols. 8vo).

[Memoir by Wrangham prefixed to Works (1820) and issued separately; Nichols's Literary Anecdotes, vii. 720; Notes and Queries, 8th ser. iii. 125, 198, 334; Lupton's Wakefield Worthies, pp. 191–6; Peacock's Wakefield School, pp. 103, 214; Whitaker's Loidis, i. 255, 291–2, 360; Lonsdale MSS. (Hist. MSS. Comm. 13th Rep. pt. vii.) 135, 146, 150–4, 232–4, including several of Zouch's letters; Hunter's Familiæ (Harl. Soc.), ii. 766, 783; information from Dr. Aldis Wright, Trin. Coll. Cambridge.]

W. P. C.