Dictionary of National Biography, 1912 supplement/Burbidge, Edward

BURBIDGE, EDWARD (1839–1903), liturgiologist, born on 9 Aug. 1839 at Laura Place, Upper Clapton, London, was younger son in the family of two sons and two daughters of William Smith Burbidge, distiller, of London, by his wife Sarah Jane Peacock. Privately educated owing to delicate health, he was on 26 May 1858 admitted to Emmanuel College, Cambridge. In 1859 he was elected to a Whichcote scholarship and to an Ash and Browne exhibition. In 1860 he won a Thorpe scholarship, and graduated B.A. in 1862 with a second class in the classical tripos, proceeding M.A. in 1865. He was ordained deacon in 1863 and priest in 1864. After serving curacies at Aldbourne, Wiltshire (1863–8) and at Warminster (1868–73), he became in 1873 rector, and in 1882 vicar of Backwell, Somerset. In 1887 he was appointed to a prebendal stall in Wells cathedral. On resigning his living in October 1902, he retired to Weston-super-mare. There he died on 7 Feb. 1903, and was buried at Backwell. He married on 21 April 1869 Susan Mary, youngest daughter of William Topley Humphrey, vicar of East Stockwith, Lincolnshire, who survived him with four sons and three daughters. Burbidge took an active interest in education, especially in the improvement of voluntary schools, and for many years he acted as diocesan inspector. But he was chiefly known as a zealous student of ancient liturgies. His valuable 'Liturgies and Offices of the Church' (1885), to which was prefixed a catalogue of the remains of Archbishop Cranmer's library, formed a scholarly commentary on the original sources of the Book of Common Prayer. It was generally recognised as a standard work, and was quoted as authoritative on 21 Nov. 1890 by archbishop E. W. Benson [q. v. Suppl. I] in delivering judgment in the bishop of Lincoln case. Burbidge also published: 1. 'The Parish Priest's Book of Offices and Instructions for the Sick,' 1871. 2. 'A Plain Manual of Holy Communion,' 1878; 2nd edit. 1882. 3. 'Peace with God,' a manual for the sick, 1880.

[The Times, 10 Feb. 1903; Brit. Mus. Cat.; information from Mrs. Burbidge.]

G. S. W.