Isaac Basire

Born: Isaac Basire was born in 1607 on Jersey in the Channel Islands and was baptised in Rouen. His parents were Jean Basire, a minor nobleman, and Judith le Macherier. His parents were Protestants.

Educated: Isaac Basire was educated at the School of Erasmus in Rotterdam and Leyden University. He also studied in The Hague before coming to England in 1629. In 1635 he graduated as a Bachelor of Divinity at St. John’s College, Cambridge.

Married: Rev. Isaac Basire married Frances Corbett from Shropshire in 1635 or 1636.

Family: Isaac and Frances had 7 children, of whom 5 survived into adult life. These were Mary, Isaac, Charles, John and Peter.

Home: Rev. Isaac Basire came to Durham with Thomas Morton when Morton became Bishop of Durham in 1632. He was the Bishop’s domestic chaplain. As a result of his loyalty to King Charles I, Isaac Basire went into exile, leaving his wife and family in Egglescliffe. He lived abroad from 1647 to 1661. From 1662 until his death he lived in Durham.

Known for: In 1636 Isaac Basire became rector of Egglescliffe. He was made a Doctor of Divinity in 1640 and in the following year he became chaplain to King Charles I. He is known locally for his role in safeguarding Yarm Bridge on behalf of the Royalists during the Civil War. For this he was briefly imprisoned in Stockton Castle by the Parliamentarians, and subsequently sought refuge in France. In the 1650s he travelled in Italy, the Middle East and Transylvania. Jerusalem, Aleppo and Constantinople were among the places he visited. Dr. Basire also wrote books about the Anglican Church, including “The Ancient Liberty of the Britannick Church” in 1661.

Died: Dr. Isaac Basire died in Durham on 13th October 1676 and was buried in the cathedral churchyard.

Further Information:  “Seven Sages of Durham” G.W.Kitchin (1911)

“The Correspondence of Isaac Basire, D.D. with a memoir of his life” W.N.Darnell (1831)