Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Potts, Thomas (1778-1842)

POTTS, THOMAS (1778–1842), compiler, born in 1778, was son of Edward Potts (1721–1819) of Glanton, near Alnwick, Northumberland (Gent. Mag. 1819, i. 279). Thomas was a solicitor, and at one time was connected with Skinners' Hall. In 1803 he was residing in Camden Town. Subsequently he seems to have lived at Chiswick and other places, and to have had chambers in Serjeants' Inn. He died at Upper Clapton on 8 Nov. 1842.

Potts published: 1. ‘A Compendious Law Dictionary, containing both an explanation of the terms and the law itself, intended for the use of country gentlemen, the merchant, and the professional man,’ 1803, dedicated to Lord Ellenborough; it was reissued in 1814. In 1815 a new edition, both in 8vo and 12mo, was enlarged by Thomas Hartwell Horne [q. v.] 2. ‘The British Farmers' Cyclopædia, or Complete Agricultural Dictionary, including every Science or Subject dependent on or connected with improved modern Husbandry,’ 1806, 4to, with forty-two engravings, dedicated to the Duke of Bedford. Donaldson says it was an advance on preceding works, and that the author had ‘added a large mite to the progress of the art’ of agriculture. 3. ‘A Gazetteer of England and Wales, containing the Statistics, Agriculture, and Mineralogy of the Counties, the History, Antiquities, Curiosities, Trade, &c. of the Cities, Towns, and Boroughs, with Maps,’ 1810, 8vo. An historical introduction of twenty pages contains, among other statistics, a table of mitred abbeys, their valuation and founders.

[Biogr. Dict. of Living Authors, 1816; Gent. Mag. 1842, ii. 672; Allibone's Dict. of Engl. Lit. i. 891; Brit. Mus. Cat.; Donaldson's Agricultural Biography, p. 92.]

G. Le G. N.