The Corser Collection

Archive Collection
  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 418 Corser
  • Former Reference
      GB 418 A.4.123, A.6.37. A.7.59 & E.3.2
  • Dates of Creation
      19th century
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
      English
  • Physical Description
      1 box, 96 files
  • Direct Link

Scope and Content

Includes correspondence, notes and the catalogue of the library of Rev Thomas Corser.

Administrative / Biographical History

Thomas Corser was born in Whitchurch, Shropshire, in 1793, and was educated from 1808 at the Manchester Grammar School. In 1812 he was admitted as a commoner of Baliol College, Oxford, where he graduated BA in 1815 and MA in 1818. In 1817 he was ordained to the priesthood and in 1821 moved to the curacy of Prestwich, near Manchester. He obtained the incumbency of All Saints' Church, Stand, Manchester, in 1826, and continued there for nearly 50 years. He married Ellen Lyon, the eldest daughter of Rev James Lyon, rector of Prestwich, on 24 November 1828.

One of the founders of the Chetham Society in 1843, Corser was also a member of the Spenser, Camden, Surtees, Percy and Shakespeare societies, and was elected FSA in 1850.

Corser edited 4 works for the Chetham Society: Chester's triumph in honor of her prince as it was performed upon St. George's day, 1610, in the foresaid citie, OS 3 (probably ed. Thomas Corser, 1844); Iter Lancastrense: a poem, written A.D. 1636, by the Rev. Richard James, B.D., fellow of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, OS 7 (1845); A golden mirrour, conteining certaine pithie and figurative visions prognosticating good fortune to England, and all true English subjects, with an overthrowe to the enemies; whereto be adjoyned certaine pretie poemes written on the names of sundrie both noble and worshipfull, by Richard Robinson, of Alton [1589], OS 23 (1851); and Collectanea Anglo-poetica: or, a bibliographical and descriptive catalogue of a portion of a collection of early English poetry, with occasional extracts and remarks biographical and critical, OS vols 52 (1860), 55 (1861), 71 (1867), 77 (1869), 91 (1873), 100-102 (1877-1878), 106 (1879), 108 (1880) and 111 (1883). The Collectanea is an alphabetical account of Corser's collection of early English poetry, with extracts from each author and biographical and bibliographical notices. A number of parts of this series were edited by James Crossley after Corser's death.

Thomas Corser's collection of books was sold at London on various dates from 1868 to 1874, and realised upwards of £20,000. Corser died at the Stand rectory on 24 August 1876.

G. C. Boase, 'Corser, Thomas (1793-1876)', rev. Nilanjana Banerji, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004. See also Manchester Courier, 28 Aug 1876.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on access to this collection. Viewing is by prior appointment. Please contact archivist@chethams.org.uk.