Burdy, Samuel (c.1758?–1820), Church of Ireland clergyman and writer, was born at Dromore, Co. Down, on 22 September, probably in the late 1750s, the only son of Peter Burdy, a merchant. He entered TCD as a sizar on 22 March 1777, and graduated BA in the summer of 1781. Ordained in the established protestant church in 1783, he was immediately appointed curate of Ardglass, Co. Down, thanks to the influence of the local bishop, Thomas Percy (qv), to whom he had been introduced by the provost of Trinity.
When living in Dublin, probably in 1780, he had formed a friendship with an elderly clergyman, Philip Skelton (qv), after whose death he wrote a seminal work, The life of the late Rev. Philip Skelton (1792). It was republished in 1816, 1824 and 1914. Though thoroughly researched and generally well received, it sustained criticism for its use of Ulster dialect, against which Burdy defended it in Vindication of the Life of Skelton (1795). Another of his publications was A short account of the affairs of Ireland during the years 1783, 1784 and part of 1785 (1792). Burdy's published volume of verse, Ardglass, or the ruined castles (1802), and his narrative of a horseback tour to the Giant's Causeway made in September 1802, A tour of a few days to Londonderry (1807), as well as his biography of Skelton, offer precious glimpses of Ulster country life. His final literary effort, The history of Ireland from the earliest ages to the union (Edinburgh, 1817), has been dismissed as ‘for all practical purposes a re-edition of Gordon (1805), even to the very sentences and marginal indications of the contents of paragraphs’ (McCartney) (a reference to A history of Ireland from the earliest accounts . . . (Dublin 1805) by James Bentley Gordon (qv)). Burdy never married, his attentions to one of Percy's daughters having been discouraged by the bishop. His only promotion, in 1817, was to the district curacy of Kilclief (Portaferry), Co. Down, where he died 7 March 1820.