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Thomas, Francis Sheppard (DNB00)


THOMAS, FRANCIS SHEPPARD (1794?–1857), archivist, was born at Kington in Herefordshire in 1793 or 1794. In 1826 he entered the Public Record Office in Chancery Lane, where he rose to the position of secretary. In 1846 he privately printed a useful collection of passages from public records relating to the departments of state under the title ‘Notes of Materials for the History of Public Departments,’ with an account of the contents of the state paper office (London, fol.) This was followed in 1848 by a more elaborate work on the exchequer, which comprised a sketch of the entire central financial machinery of England and Ireland. It was entitled ‘The Ancient Exchequer of England, the Treasury, and Origin of the Present Management of the Exchequer and Treasury of Ireland’ (London, 8vo). In the following year appeared ‘A History of the State Paper Office’ (London, 8vo), elaborated from the sketch of the department which he had already given in ‘Notes for the History of Public Departments.’ In 1852 he wrote an explanatory preface to ‘Liber Munerum Publicorum Hiberniæ,’ by Rowley Lascelles [q. v.], which was then first offered to the public. In 1853 appeared his ‘Handbook to Public Records,’ and in 1856 ‘Historical Notes’ (3 vols.), which was perhaps his most important work. It consists of a collection of short notes, chiefly biographical, compiled while he was arranging the papers in the state paper office, and afterwards supplemented by further research. Thomas died at Croydon on 27 Aug. 1857.

[Thomas's Works; Gent. Mag. 1857, ii. 469; Allibone's Dict. of Engl. Lit.]

E. I. C.

Dictionary of National Biography, Errata (1904), p.264
N.B.— f.e. stands for from end and l.l. for last line

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180 i 52-53 Thomas, Francis S.: for Kingston read Kington