Papers of Thomas Chalmers, 1780-1847, minister of religion

Scope and Content

  • Papers on condition of Church of Scotland, undated
  • Correspondence (from John Donald to Prof James), c1839-1915

Administrative / Biographical History

Professor Thomas Chalmers was born in 1780, at Anstruther, Fife, Scotland. He was educated at the burgh school there and then at the University of St Andrews, Scotland. He received his license to the Presbytery in 1799, when he became the assistant to the Rev Thomas Elliot at the United College of St Andrews, Scotland, where he also lectured on Chemistry for a season. In 1803, he was appointed the minister to the parish of Kilmany, Fife, Scotland and he remained there until 1815, when he transferred to the Tron Parish in Glasgow, Scotland. He received his DD from the University of Glasgow in 1816. In 1820, he took up position as minister to St John's parish, Glasgow, but requested to be relieved of these duties so that he could take up the position of professor of moral philosophy at the University of St Andrews, which he did from 1823-1828. In 1828, he was appointed professor of divinity at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and retained this position until 1843. He also lectured in London in 1838. Thomas Chalmers was a moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland from 1832. Thereafter, he was actively involved in the movement that led to the disruption of the Scottish Established Church and to the formation of the Free Church in 1843. He was principal and divinity professor of the Free Church College, Edinburgh, from 1843-1847. He was the author of a number of theological, philosophical, expository and devotional treatises, which dated from 1813. He died at Edinburgh, in 1847.

Source: Fasti Ecclesiae Scotican Ae, (Edinburgh, 1868).


The arrangement of this material reflects the original order in which it was received

Access Information

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Acquisition Information

Deposit : General Assembly of the Church of Scotland : 1974 : 4762

Deposit : General Assembly of the Church of Scotland : 1974 : 4892

Other Finding Aids

Conditions Governing Use

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents. Applications for permission to quote should be sent to Archives and Special Collections, please email:

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 247 procedures

Custodial History

Held in Alexander Donald collection, by his son John Donald, then United Free Church College Library, then by General Assembly of the Church of Scotland as part of the Library of Trinity College, Glasgow.

Deposited as part of the Library of Trinity College, Glasgow, 1974.


None expected

Related Material

GB 247 MS Gen 1036 Letters by Thomas Chalmers addressed to William Buchanan of Glasgow