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Chalmers, Thomas, 1780-1847 (Principal and Professor of Divinity at New College)



  • Existence: 1780-1847

The theologian, preacher, and philanthropist Thomas Chalmers was born in Anstruther, Fife, on 17 March 1780. He was educated first at the parish school and then at St. Andrews University where he became a keen mathematician and scientist. He also wanted to be a preacher and when he became a Minister at Kilmeny in Fife, in 1803, he also gave lectures on Chemistry at St. Andrews. As a preacher he made his name at the Tron Church from 1815, and at St. John's Parish, Glasgow, from 1820. In 1828, Chalmers became the first principal and Professor of Divinity at the New College, University of Edinburgh (then called Divinity Hall of the Free Church of Scotland), and Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1832. Within the Church, Chalmers was the leader of the Evangelical party, and as such he proposed the Veto Act (1834) which gave some power to the parishes to reject a minister proposed by the patron. This stand against patronage contributed to the Disruption in 1843 when he led around one third of Church ministers to form the Free Church of Scotland. He became the first Moderator of the General Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland. The Rev. Dr. Thomas Chalmers died overnight on 30-31 May 1847.

Found in 7 Collections and/or Records:

Bound volume of manuscript materials by and about Scottish poet Thomas Brown

 Fonds — Box: CLX-A-1593
Identifier: Coll-1986
Content Description Ths is a bound volume of manuscript material, correspondence and verse, by and about Thomas Brown, Scottish poet and Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh from 1810 until the end of his life in 1820. The collection was almost certainly put together by his friend and colleague William Erskine, to whom the vast majority of the manuscripts are addressed.Contents: Twenty-seven autograph...
Dates: 1797-1835

Collection of letters of Thomas Chalmers, mostly to Rebecca Bell

Identifier: Coll-2083
Scope and Contents Collection of 15 signed autograph letters from Thomas Chalmers, Edinburgh and Burntisland, 1832-1842. All but one are addressed to Miss Rebecca Bell of Woodhouse Lee, Canonbie, Dumfriesshire (the remaining letter to George Bell of Leith), discussing the state of the Church of Scotland during the campaign that culminated in the Disruption and the establishment of the Free Church of Scotland in 1843. He also offers spiritual advice, and discusses Miss Bell's proposed foundation of a new school.
Dates: 1832-1842

Letters from Thomas Chalmers to various correspondents

 Fonds — Box: CLX-A-360
Identifier: Coll-1856
Scope and Contents A group of thirteen letters from Thomas Chalmers to various correspondents, 1820-1846. Autograph Letter Signed to an unnamed correspondent, 16 February 1820: ('One reason for calling 1 upon you this evening was earnestly to solicit the hastening forward of our school estimates. Another was to speak to you of Mr McLeod in his capacity as a candidate for the reading school belonging to the Highland Society. I...
Dates: 1820-1846

Letters of Rev. Alexander Lockhart Simpson (1785-1861)

Identifier: GD46
Scope and Contents The letters are largely those to Simpson from Thomas Chalmers, and Sir George Sinclair. There are also letters from the Earl of Morton and Lady Morton, the Duke of Buccleuch, the Duke of Richmond, the Earl of Rosebery, Lord Stanley, Baron Torphichen, and the Marquis of Tweeddale.
Dates: 1835-1854

The Chalmers Collection

Identifier: MS CHA

Thomas Chalmers, D.D. and LL.D., Principal and Primarius Professor of Theology, New College, Edinburgh, etc., etc, 1848

Identifier: Coll-10/1/220
Scope and Contents

Thomas Chalmers, D.D. and LL.D., Principal and Primarius Professor of Theology, New College, Edinburgh, etc., etc. Mezzotint. 1848. Hill, David Octavius, 1802-1870, Photographer; Bell, Robert Charles, 1806-1872, Engraver; Johnstone, John, Publisher.

Publisher statement: Published by John Johnstone, London and Edinburgh 1848.

Note: From a Calotype by D. O. Hill Esq. 1845; with facsimile autograph.

Dates: 1848