Raised a Quaker, Thomas Birch was an usher at a dissenting academy before being ordained a deacon in the Church of England (1731). He was Vicar of Ulting, Essex (1734), Rector of St. Margaret Pattens with St. Gabriel, Fenchurch Street, London (1746) and of Depden, Essex (1761). Granted an M.A. by diploma from Marischal College Aberdeen, Birch was D.D. (1753) and a member of the Society of Antiquaries (1735) and the Royal Society (1735; secretary, 1752). He was a scholar, biographer, collector of manuscripts, and a trustee of the British Museum.
A general dictionary historical and critical, ed. Birch. 10 vols, 1734-41.
A complete collection of the historical, political and miscellaneous works of Milton, ed. Birch. 2 vols, 1738.
The life of Mr. William Chillingworth. 1738.
The complete works of Francis Bacon, ed. Birch. 4 vols, 1740.
Papers of John Thurloe. 7 vols, 1742.
An account of the life and writings of Ralph Cudworth. 1743.
Life of the Hon. Robert Boyle. 1744.
An inquiry into ... Charles I. 1747.
An historical view of the negotiations between the Courts of England, France, and Brussels 1592-1617. 1749.
The life of Mrs. Catherine Cockburn. 1751.
The life of Mr. Edmund Spenser. 1751.
The works of Sir Walter Raleigh, ed. Birch. 2 vols, 1751.
The life of John Tillotson. 1752.
Memoirs of the reign of Queen Elizabeth. 2 vols. 1754.
The life of Dufresnoy. 1754.
The history of the Royal Society of London. 4 vols. 1756-57.
The life of Henry Prince of Wales. 1760.
Letters, speeches, charges, advices, etc of Francis Bacon, ed. Birch. 1763.
An account of the life of John Ward, Professor of Rhetoric in Gresham College. 1766.