Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Thurland, Edward

THURLAND, Sir EDWARD (1606–1683), judge, born at Reigate, Surrey, in 1606, was the eldest son of Edward Thurland of Reigate, by his wife Elizabeth, daughter and coheir of Richard Elyot of Reigate. The family was originally descended from that of Thurland Castle in Nottinghamshire. His great-great-grandfather was Thomas Thurland of Gamelton Hall, Nottinghamshire. His grandfather, Gervase Thurland, and his father, Edward, were London merchants.

The younger Edward was admitted to the Inner Temple on 20 Oct. 1625, and called to the bar on 15 Oct. 1634. On 13 March 1639–40 he was returned to the Short parliament for the borough of Reigate, but was not re-elected in the Long parliament (Official Returns of Members of Parliament, i. 483). About the same time he was made steward of the manor of Reigate, and on 24 Nov. 1652 was called to the bench of the Inner Temple. He represented Reigate in Richard Cromwell's parliament which met on 27 Jan. 1658–9, was returned for the same borough to the Convention parliament on 9 April 1660, and sat in the parliament of the Restoration from 1661 to 1672 (ib. i. 516, 529; Manning, Hist. of Surrey, ed. Bray, i. 292). In 1661 Thurland was chosen recorder of Reigate and of Guildford, and soon after was selected by James, duke of York, as his solicitor and knighted (ib. i. 40, 342). On 24 April 1672 he was created a serjeant-at-law, and on 24 Jan. 1673 he was appointed a baron of the exchequer, having refused a seat in the common pleas. After sitting six years his infirmities compelled him to retire on 29 April 1679 (Luttrell, Brief Hist. Relation, 1857, i. 11). He died at Reigate on 14 Jan. 1682–3, and was buried in the chancel of the parish church (Manning, Hist. of Surrey, ed. Bray, i. 317). By his wife, Elizabeth Wright of Buckland in Surrey, he left an only son, Edward, who died five years later, leaving issue.

Thurland was an intimate friend of John Evelyn (1620–1706) [q. v.] and Jeremy Taylor [q. v.] He composed a treatise on prayer which won Evelyn's warmest praise, but which was not published. He employed John Oldham as tutor to his two grandsons 1678–80. His portrait is in the possession of Lord de Saumarez at his residence, 43 Grosvenor Place, London. Lady de Saumarez is a descendant of Thurland through his granddaughter Elizabeth, who was married to Martin Bowes of Bury St. Edmunds. Another portrait of Thurland is in the mayor's court office in the Guildhall, London.

[Foss's Judges of England, vii. 173; Haydn's Book of Dignities, pp. 384, 410; Gent. Mag. 1782, p. 69; Le Neve's Mon. Ang. iii. 38; Pepys's Diary, ed. Braybrooke, ii. 67; Evelyn's Diary, ed. Bray, ii. 33, 100, iii. 63, 74, 87, 91, 106; Harl. Soc. Publ. viii. 191; The Lord Chancellor's Speech in the Exchequer to Baron Thurland at his taking the Oath, 1672.]

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