Thomas Coombe

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Rev. Dr Thomas Coombe (1747–1822), Church of England clergyman and American loyalist, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and educated at the College of Philadelphia (AB 1766; AM 1768). He then travelled to England for ordination, staying for a time with Benjamin Franklin. He returned to America in 1772 but at the outbreak of the American War of Independence was imprisoned as he felt that his oath as an ordained Anglican clergyman would not permit him to swear to uphold the Declaration of Independence. He was allowed to return to England in 1779. He obtained his doctorate of divinity from Trinity College, Dublin, in 1781. He became a Canon of Canterbury in 1800 (Stall VII). He was vicar of Tenterden (1801–1806) and rector of St Michael Queenhithe and Trinity the Less, London, from 1807. He was an active member of the committee for the abolition of the slave trade.[1]

Following his death, his sons, Rev. John Riché Coombe (1774–1855) and Rev. Thomas Coombe the Younger (1796–1876), presented his collection of historic Bibles to the Cathedral Library. The books bear a book plate with the text 'This collection of anc. English Bibles, &c. was made by the late Rev. Thomas Coombe, D.D. and presented to this library by his sons, Rev. John Riché Coombe, and Rev. Thomas Coombe A.D. M.D.CCC.XXIII'.[2]

  1. James B. Bell, ‘Coombe, Thomas (1747–1822)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Jan 2008, accessed 7 May 2013.