The Scottish church leader Thomas Chalmers was born in Anstruther, Fife, on 17 March 1780, and died in Edinburgh 30 May 1847. He was educated at St Andrews and ordained at Kilmany, Fife, in 1803. Following a conversion experience he became a keen supporter of bible societies. In Glasgow from 1815 he became the most celebrated preacher in Britain and his poor-relief experiment at St Johnís from 1819 attracted interest and controversy. In 1823 he returned to St Andrews to lecture in moral philosophy and helped inspire the first generation of Church of Scotland missionaries to India. In 1828 he became professor of Divinity at Edinburgh. He was moderator of the Church of Scotland and raised funds for over 200 new churches. When the Church was split by the Disruption of 1843 Chalmers became first moderator of the Free Church of Scotland.

For further introduction  see The legacy of Thomas Chalmers. My 1980 Presbyterian Historical Society Lecture - Thomas Chalmers & the Mission of the Church, is available from the Presbyterian Archives.

A Thomas Chalmers website with comprehensive quotations, biographical material, links and photographs is provided by Alan Newble at

Thomas Chalmers Enthusiast for Mission:
The Christian Good of Scotland and the Rise of the Missionary Movement,
John Roxborogh,
Rutherford House / Paternoster Press, 1999, ISBN 0-946068-49-6, 324 pp. pb. £14.95.

Orders can be sent to:

Rutherford House: Rutherford House 17 Claremont Park Edinburgh EH6 7PJ Scotland, UK, Tel.: +44 (0)131 554 1206 Fax: +44 (0)131 555 1002

Also available from  (Thomas Chalmers - Enthusiast for Mission)

Sample chapter 9 Scotland and Missions before 1813.doc