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Thomas Thurlow (bishop)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Thomas Thurlow (1737–1791) was an English bishop.


Thurlow studied at Magdalen College, Oxford as a demy 1755–1759, graduating B.A. 1758, M.A. 1761, B.D. 1769, D.D. 1772, and was a Fellow of Magdalen 1759–1772.[1]

He became Rector of Stanhope, County Durham in 1771, Master of the Temple in 1772, Dean of Rochester in 1775, Bishop of Lincoln in 1779, additionally Dean of St Paul's in commendam in 1782, and was Bishop of Durham from 1787 until his death.[1][2]

He died in Portland Place, London, on 27 May 1791, and was buried in Temple Church.[2]


His rectum is displayed in the Hunterian Museum in London, with the following description:

"A rectum showing the effects of both haemorrhoids and bowel cancer. The patient in this case was Thomas Thurlow (1737-1791), the Bishop of Durham. Thurlow had suffered from some time from a bowel complaint, which he initially thought was the result of piles. He consulted John Hunter after a number of other physicians and surgeons had failed to provide him with a satisfactory diagnosis. Hunter successfully identified the tumour through rectal examination, but recognised that it was incurable. Thurlow died 10 months later."[3]


He was the son of Rev. Thomas Thurlow (died 1762), and a younger brother of Edward Thurlow, 1st Baron Thurlow, who was Lord Chancellor from 1778 to 1792.

His son was Edward Hovell-Thurlow, 2nd Baron Thurlow.


  1. ^ a b Foster, Joseph. "Thurlow, Thomas" . Alumni Oxonienses  – via Wikisource.
  2. ^ a b "Thurlow, Thomas" . Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
  3. ^ Abrahams, Marc (27 April 2010). "The bishop's rectum: The Hunterian Museum in London displays the rectum of Thomas Thurlow, an unfortunate bishop who died of a tumour in 1791". The Guardian. Improbable research ... Retrieved 8 September 2012.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
Church of England titles
Preceded by
Benjamin Newcombe
Dean of Rochester
Succeeded by
Richard Cust
Preceded by
John Green
Bishop of Lincoln
Succeeded by
George Pretyman Tomline
Preceded by
Thomas Newton
Dean of St Paul's
Preceded by
John Egerton
Bishop of Durham
Succeeded by
Shute Barrington

This page was last edited on 1 September 2020, at 16:10
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